This week is huge for gamers, being the week that Mass Effect 3 releases. The Mass Effect series is a trilogy of science fiction role playing shooter games that has a massive following due to the series’ amazing story, which goes far beyond anything you’ve experienced in games before. In a day and age where many of the top selling games go something like “here’s 25 different guns, those people are terrorists, shoot them”, that’s something to be celebrated – and I have my copy pre-ordered for the Thursday European release.
Mass Effect 3 also brings with it some iOS apps, and the first one just hit the App Store. Mass Effect: Infiltrator follows the story of an agent of the pro-human organization Cerberus who turns his back on the organization after learning about its latest evil plans (the company has a lot of those…). he then goes on a killing spree while at the same time collecting intel. It’s set in the Mass Effect universe and even ties in with the actual Mass Effect 3 game (which won’t be on iOS) by enabling you to raise ME3’s Galactic Readiness Score if you hand over the intel you find, a game mechanic that basically affects how the main game ends. Playing Infiltrator isn’t necessary to get the best ending in ME3, but it does help.
As for Infiltrator, the game has gotten mixed reviews, and a lot of very bad ones. Releasing a game that bears the Mass Effect name is in itself a Suicide Mission because it raises the expectations of the game to a level that it’s very hard to reach. The game’s non-standard controls is being mentioned as one source of annoyance, lack of any true Mass Effect story elements is another.
Personally, I’m not sure if I should get this. The only thing that actually tempts me is the Galactic Readiness part of it, as playing shooters on tablets that can’t do touch emulation and game controllers (read: the iPad) is no longer something I consider a pleasure after getting an Android tablet set up with proper controls. Unfortunately this game is iOS only, which in itself is an insult to the market, and shows ignorance on EA’s part. I can’t see myself playing through it, and with ME3 releasing in the US today, the timing of this app was simply idiotic. Perhaps if it was released weeks ago, feeding the hungry gamers waiting for the main game, but EA has managed to do something as ridiculously idiotic as release a mobile game that by its own tie in with ME3 has forced it to compete with perhaps the biggest game release on any platform in all of 2012. Good job.[iTunes ($6.99) via Touch Arcade]