Generally speaking, I find that I’m not really a fan of mobile games with the claim to fame of being “Just like a Console/PC Game!” It’s a statement that might as well read: “Just like a Real Video Game!” due to its implications, and tends to insult the work of mobile game developers drawn to the platform for its unique capabilities, as well as truly great mobile titles everywhere that could only exist on their platform.
There have been exceptions to my stance on these titles of course (the Infinity Blade series jumps to mind), but by and large I find the growing community that believes the advancement of mobile gaming lies in its ability to mimic console and PC games to be troubling.
Then again, if it gives us more games like Implosion: Never Lose Hope, I might be able to enjoy my ride on the pending movement a little more.
The brilliance of Implosion: Never Lose Hope lies in its understanding of what it’s trying to accomplish. Implosion is a hack and slash affair modeled after games like God of War, Ninja Gaiden and Devil May Cry. Games in this genre that do it right tend to focus more on spectacle than providing complex gameplay, while all the while making sure the gameplay it does provide is air-tight.
Implosion doesn’t stray far from that well paved road. It has a story, but you’ll be forgiven for skipping over it. There’s an upgrade and inventory system, but if you spend more than a minute at a time thinking over it, your device has likely frozen.
Instead, Implosion is all about that action. Thanks in a large part to an immediately intuitive control scheme (the virtual joystick found here is among the best I’ve seen on mobile, even if it is fixed) the game is able to throw wave after wave of foe at your robot suit enhanced character, and let the player mow them down in combo driven furies until they can take no more.
Simple and familiar? Absolutely. But being able to take this kind of no-holds-barred action with you wherever you may be is a godsend. Every moment of action is smooth and engaging, and the longer you play Implosion the more subtleties you discover in the combat. The thrill and feeling of overwhelming power that follows a perfect combat sequence is as tangible as it is in any great action game, and will keep you coming back for more, again and again.
That’s fortunate, because in and of itself, Implosion doesn’t offer a lot of content. Levels are beaten in a handful of minutes and there’s not very many of them to go around. Bosses and mini-bosses may pose a take you a few tries to best, but for the most part you’re going to be plowing through the opposition at a frantic rate. It’s fortunate that the process of doing so is incredibly enjoyable, but it would be nice if the game had a little more meat to chew on.
There is some additional content available behind a paywall. Yes, I know that sounds like a bad thing, but it’s actually handled very respectfully. It’s very much in-line with the modern DLC distribution method of console and PC titles which, though it may have its detractors, is firmly established as a respectable business model of the industry, and is frankly welcome for fans of the game.
A bigger problem is in the aesthetics. While the technology fueling Implosion is impressive, the character .and level design is painfully uninspired. You can only mow through so many zombies in industrial areas before everything begins to feel routine, which in a genre with limited gameplay offerings is a big no-no. It’s clear that the developers were big fans of what makes games of this type ultimately work, which is why it’s a bit head scratching they didn’t provide more variety in the spectacle department.
These shortcomings do little to truly hinder Implosion, though. While it doesn’t quite reach the standards set by God of War or Bayonetta, in the mobile gaming arena it is an unrivaled achievement. Here is an action game that knows its job is to be entertaining above all, and sure enough every time you pick up Implosion, it never fails to provide entertainment.
The future of Android gaming is not set. But if it is to evolve to a point where traditional gaming doppelgangers become the big buck generators, then I think I can live with it a bit easier, so long as more games like Implosion: Never Lose Hope are the result.
Fast, exciting and fun, Implosion: Never Lose Hope is a testament to the potential of the Android action genre.