Korean developers have been busily porting a seemingly endless line of cookie cutter hack-‘n-slashers from old cell phones to iOS devices for some time now. The latest is Exitium: Saviors of Vardonia, and while there’s nothing particularly bad or wrong about it, there’s also nothing here gamers haven’t seen many times before. Still, like pot boiler mysteries, vampire romance novels, and first person shooters, there’s a certain comfort in knowing exactly what you’re getting.
Exitium offers a choice of four characters. The Paladin and Berserker are close-range warriors, while the Priestess and Mage offer long-range firepower. So, playing the game with each character lends a somewhat different feel to the gameplay. It’s unfortunate that there’s no option for multiplayer though, as a team-based dynamic would have done wonders for the play value.
Bring the pain with numbers.
As far as play value goes, Exitium offers plenty of quests to make the small entry fee worthwhile– as long as you like fetch quests and massive amounts of combat and level grinding. As is almost expected for this genre, you’ll spend a fair amount of playtime just killing the same endlessly respawning monsters over and over in order to reach a high enough level to take on the next map. Virtually all the quests require the player to get an object and take it somewhere. There are side and story quests, but there’s little difference in terms of what you’re actually tasked to do.
The game has surprisingly nice aesthetics. Exitium looks like a high-def version of a 16-bit RPG, with excellent details in the characters and scenery. Oddly, the game runs at an almost hyperactive pace. This pacing issue makes both the controls and animation jerky and imprecise, even when the game speed is dialed down in the options menu. Whether this is due to the iPad 2’s beefy processor or some other issue is up to speculation, but it’s certainly distracting. The game is playable either way, but this is definitely an issue that needs some sort of patch.
Exitium isn’t groundbreaking or particularly creative, but is still a decent choice for RPG lovers who want something new to play. You’ll find plenty of quests and monsters to slay, but there’s nothing here that hasn’t been done many, many times before.