Archetype was an intriguing first-person shooter that I enjoyed… only for a few minutes at a time. I thought that the online play itself was great, but with only one gameplay mode and not too much of a variety, Archetype failed to be THE BEST first-person shooter the iPhone has seen.
But the developers seemed to have listened to my pleas, adding a huge 1.3.1 update with one more gameplay mode, one new level, gyroscopic controls, and a number of bug fixes. Controls can also be edited to be inverted, and blood can either be turned on or off.
Here’s the full update list:
New level: Avarice! Avarice features extreme vertical combat around the central power core. The jump pads in this level launch you higher and further than before. Fly over your enemies and snipe them from above.
New game mode! In Rocket Arena play the popular level Pride with a new twist: rocket launchers only. One rocket shot will take out any enemy (or friend) and without auto-fire, only the best will survive!
Gyroscopic aim assist: This first implementation allows iPhone 4 owners an early glimpse at Gyroscope controls. “Look-around” and more aiming options in next update. Stay tuned.
Facebook connect. Post medals and ranks you earn to your Facebook wall!
Info button: read news, see new features and get notified of upcoming fixes.
User controls for inverting yaw and for disabling blood.
Automatic screen rotation (on iOS4)
In addition some notable bugs have been squashed:
Fix for spawning too close to enemies.
Fix for players appearing to be holding an axe while holding the default rifle.
Fix for crash at end of game for iPod 2nd Gen, due to low memory, meaning you wont have to restart your device as often.
Many other fixes, tweaks and optimizations.
And with those updates, I think I can bump my review up to a ‘Buy‘ rating. While I still think the animations could use some work—Eliminate contains some great animations—Archetype is slowly being improved. Hopefully by the next update, it’ll be good enough to warrant the Must Have.
Archetype was released into the App Store and rose the rankings by a storm, providing some solid online play. While I personally thought that more could have been added, after my talk with Dane Baker, it sounds like more is actually coming soon. With that said, here’s our interview with lead producer Dane Baker.
NoDPad: What motivated you to create Archetype? Dane Baker: We’re all huge fans of the FPS genre and we wanted to bring the best parts of that experience to the iPhone and iPod touch – things like in-game radar, team-based deathmatch, BuddyLists and more.
NoDPad: Do you feel comfortable with the competition in the App Store? DB: We are entirely focused on Archetype. For us it’s not about looking over our shoulder but working very hard to make the game an even better experience for our customers. The rest takes care of itself.
NDP: What went into the development process of Archetype? DB: About 4,384 two-liters of Diet Mountain Dew, 2,842 large pizzas… The short answer is about a year of extremely hard work. I’m extremely proud of this very dedicated group at Villain and MunkyFun, our development partner. Just goes to show you that with enough talent and dedication you can accomplish anything.
NDP: How did you create such smooth online multiplayer, with no lags and such? DB: Pixie dust, mostly. One member of our team is a witch. Put the two together and you have FPS magic (plus some pretty nasty ice cream headaches).
NDP: What are your thoughts on the iPhone 4’s Retina Display? DB: It was quite unexpected from Apple to go that route this generation but what a display-it’s a developer’s dream and we’re thrilled that Archetype takes full advantage of the high resolution. The game actually runs a separate engine just for iPhone 4.
NDP: What updates are you planning for Archetype? DB: If I told you, I’d have to kill you. Okay not really. We’ve got some exciting things coming down the pipe but I don’t want to spill the beans too soon; suffice to say some very cool things are coming soon that we think our customers will really enjoy.
NDP: Any closing thoughts? DB: On behalf of everybody that worked on Archetype, I’d like to thank our customers – you guys (and girls!) are the best group of fans in the world and we feel honored to be able to make cool stuff for you to enjoy. The initial response has been humbling and we can only say “stay tuned.” This is just the beginning.
Thanks for your time, Dane Baker! For more information on Archetype, be sure to check out our full review. We’re definitely excited to see what Villain has in store for us.
I must admit that some parts of Archetype are awesome. The graphics are quite smooth, the updated resolution for the iPhone 4 is quite slick, and the multiplayer itself is well done. An acceptable amount of variety with maps and weapons was also quite nice, and the ability to veto maps was also a neat feature.
But once you take all that and boil it down, you get an online FPS with just one gameplay mode: Team Deathmatch. There are also no unlockable weapons or armor like there are in Eliminate, and no real ranking in terms of online leaderboards.
Along with that, Archetype’s character animations are quite sparse, and it looks as if the characters belong somewhere in Marathon or Wolfenstein Classic.
The good things are present though, including a ton of achievements and smooth online play. It’s just that there’s not enough.
Graphics: Sure, the animations are quite poor. But the surrounding graphics and the map designs are all very well thought out, and the detail on the iPhone 4’s Retina Display are quite stunning. It makes the game look a bit or even better than Eliminate, and the futuristic style of Archetype really appealed to my senses.
Controls: I usually play with the dual-joysticks on invisible and my fire on auto-fire, making for speedy and comfortable controls. Some may not like them, as they aren’t the best, but it works for the speedy and somewhat hectic online play.
Online connectivity: I’ve never disconnected from a match, and I’ve never lagged heavily. Sure, there are times when an enemy or some character appears to be in one place when they are actually in another, but there was nothing majorly wrong with the connectivity. No dropped or disconnected games, and the online play ran considerably well over 3G (yes, even with my left hand covering the antenna).
Achievements: There are a ton of achievements to unlock (21 to be exact), and they vary quite well in terms of difficulty. It would have been nice if they were associated with Plus+ or OpenFeint, but hey, it’s the thought that counts.
No DLC: This is the part I hated about Eliminate; the fact that you couldn’t play nonstop and had only an hour or so of play. Sure, they did some things to fix that, but it doesn’t make the first impressions of Eliminate being a cheap game go away. I love the fact that the developers provided one price and one price only, with no hidden costs or anything. You spend $2.99, you get the whole game. It’s as simple as that, and I hope they keep it that way.
Only one game mode: Online FPS usually strives on different gameplay modes. Capture the Flag, King of the Hill, Team Deathmatch, 1v1… the list goes on of all the basic game modes. Even including Capture the Flag would have gotten this off the dislike list; the current offerings for game modes are quite sparse and below average.
Animations: Like I mentioned before, the animations are quite poor. Characters move more like blocks than anything, and movement of the legs or arms are not seen at all. While this may contribute to the online smoothness and such, the developers should have added more points of movement. Eliminate did it well and I don’t see why Archetype cannot.
Online leaderboards: From what I see, there are no online leaderboards of any sorts to keep the competition going. Most kills, most experience points, most grenade kills, machine gun kills, shotgun kills… there’s seriously an endless list. I’m not entirely sure why the developers forgot to include this in there, but they did and it’s quite unfortunate.
Gets old: How long does online play really last? Honestly here, hype and excitement aside, when does online play last for more than a few days? Personally, online play has never hooked me in for more than a few hours. Fragging and machine-gunning people over and over again does get old; admit it. And with it being the same gameplay mode also, this game gets older even faster.
No unlockables: It’s times like these when I want to blend two games together to make one; in this case Eliminate and Archetype. Add a couple of unlockable weapons and armor and you have a game that has a considerable amount of replay value. Atleast Eliminate lasted me about a week before I became bored; Archetype needs something to keep its user base playing. For me, I don’t see myself playing this longer than I already have.
Once you strip down the game to its bare core and reveal it in its true form, you get a relatively smooth online FPS with one gameplay mode. Poor animations add to the list along with the fact that replay value is limited, making for quite mediocre online play. I have to commend the developers for creating a good-looking game with smooth online play; no disconnections and such, but the features of that online multiplayer are much too little. Basically, for $2.99, you’re getting a few hours of enjoyment and nothing more. Judge for yourselves, but from my experience, this won’t last you very long.
Update: Archetype has been updated with one more gameplay mode and one more level, along with gyroscopic controls and a various number of bug fixes and such. Because of that, the rating has been bumped from a ‘Worth A Look’ to a ‘Buy’.
Archetype was developed by Villain, and I played through version 1.0.5 on my iPhone 4. The price is $2.99.
Archetype is a newly-released first person shooter that was first released on the Czech App Store, then months later, was finally revealed to the United States. It promises smooth, 5v5 online multiplayer with a variety of weapons and maps; 6 and 5 respectively. Along with that, Archetype serves up dual-stick controls, similar to that of Minigore and Meteor Blitz.
It’ll be interesting to see how this shapes up against games such as Eliminate, although the features seem to be much more extensive. Archetype also includes the ability to melee with any weapon, something we haven’t seen in any FPS so far, and it also features radar to track enemies and such.
Piling more into the feature list is the fact that you can add enemies and friends and challenge them to a deathmatch at anytime. Of course, they’ll have to be online and accept, and I’m sure there will be some sort of button to show if they’re offline or online.