Metalstorm: Aces, is a free-to-play game that is an extension of 2011’s Metalstorm: Online. The game looks nice, has tons of aircraft to fly, and a plethora of upgrades that can keep you occupied for a long time. It has quite a few gameplay modes as well: You get a main campaign with 60 missions, a survival mode, and a versus mode, where you can battle random opponent or Game Center friends. There is an abundance of content available for you to start sifting through right off the bat.
Controlling your aircraft is done simply by tilting your iOS device. Evasive maneuvers such as barrel rolls or summersaults are done simply by swiping with one finger on the touchscreen, while buttons let you fire bullets or missiles. The interface is clean and the controls were responsive.
After each mission is completed, you receive not one, not two, but three different types of currency: parts, insignias, and credits. Freemium games can be forgiven for having two currencies, but three feels unnecessary. Parts are used to upgrade your aircraft, credits are used to buy other aircraft or weapon upgrades, and insignias are used to also purchase certain types of aircraft, and also speed up the upgrade process. When you upgrade a part on your aircraft, there’s a timer that has to wind down for the process to be completed. If you find that you’re not accumulating any of this currency fast enough, you can buy currency through in-app purchases.
The game has two noticeable flaws: the mission structure, and rubberband AI. Even though the game has 60 missions overall, there are only a handful of mission types, and those missions are repeated again and again. With so much repetition, is a 60 mission campaign needed? The AI of the enemy aircraft can be bothersome as well. There were times where they were just waiting for me to hit them, and other times, they would hide behind the landscape or a building, not to be found. It makes it difficult to really get a feel for the opponents’ reactions, and discover if you’re getting better at the game or not.
Overall though, Metalstorm: Aces is a worthy addition to any air combat fan’s library. It’s a little repetitive, but it packs in plenty of content. And anyway, the price is right.