Eminem’s new album, Relapse, has been called a great comeback effort by a rapper who hadn’t released anything for 5 years. However, the iPhone game tie-in is a broken, unplayable mess that’s a straight jack move on Em’s unsuspecting fans. Don’t buy it.
This is not the real Slim Shady.
In Relapse, you play as Marshall Mathers himself, or some likeness of him, who murders his way out of a medical facility one floor at a time. This entails marching from one side of the screen to the other, holding down the Attack button to punch out elderly zombies as you go. At the end of each floor the undershirt-clad hooligan steps into an elevator, and you get ready to purge the next level of inmates.
After about two floors of this, you’ll be wondering what else that $2.99 might have bought you, because it’s painfully obvious that Relapse was released in a half-finished state. The 3D graphics actually look halfway decent, and the ambient sound is kind of cool, too, but there’s no gameplay behind it at all.
You can steamroll right over the bad guys with ease, no strategy required. Punching them makes a violent smacking sound, but there’s no animation to show that you actually hit them. Some of them drop a gun, which you tap to pick up, but it’s no better than punching.
There’s a “tolerance meter” that serves as a life counter, but it doesn’t matter whether you take damage or not–you’ll have seen everything the game has to offer long before you die. You get “willpower points” for beating down the hapless oldsters, but there’s no high score list.
Relapse was produced by Shady Games, but we doubt that Em had anything to do with this game at all… and that includes playing it before release. His music, which should be an obvious inclusion in a tie-in game, is absent, as is any regard for the fans getting burned by buying this garbage. Save your money and buy some of Em’s singles instead.
Correction 5/27/09: The review originally stated that you could not pick up weapons. This is incorrect–you can pick up weapons by tapping on them. STP regrets the error.