Sep 30

uhhh...stop me if heard it, boys. This lady ran into a bar....

At the present time the we are enjoying an unprecedented time of peace. Fast forward to the year 2012; we are on the brink of extinction and you are the only group of soldiers that is left to protect the world from the Trinigon Alliance. Step into the world of Project Sanctuary, where you have the option of being one of three characters and take down the Alliance. While its a familiar story line and at times slightly cheesy,  the game is fast, with great in-game graphics and a haunting soundtrack.

 

Project Sanctuary is a third person shooter (TPS) game that allows the user a top eye view of the non-stop and intense action below. With this view, it’s more like you are director of a movie rather than immersed in the action like you are in a First Person Shooter (FPS) game. Though one could argue that delivering a top eye view of the action allows the developers to be a bit lazy with the graphics. With a FPS you have to focus more on the artwork, the details of something getting shot, like the splattering of the blood, the facial expressions of someone getting hit by a bullet, or even the falling of the corpse. Where with TPS, your view is from above, so the graphics don’t have to be as precise. With that being said, I like the graphics. They are polished and you do get a bit blood splatter as you are shooting the aliens. Once they die, you get rather large pile of purple alien blood. However, once the aliens evaporate into thin air, so does the blood splatter. I realize that you can’t waste valuable memory on objects that are no longer relevant to the game, but just once would I like to have to step over a bunch of dead carcases or shoot my way out of pile aliens who are taking advantage my tripping over said carcases.

 

Die Aliens Die!

Die Aliens Die!

In between the levels, the story line is advanced through a comic book. The artwork of the comic is not bad, nor is it spectacular either. It is drawn in black and white. I am assuming that was an artistic approach to ensure the reader understands when it’s time to relax and take a break from the intense action. If you do not want to break your mojo, you do have the option to skip the comic and jump back into action. Since the demographic of this game is most likely to read comics as it is, a nice option would be to offer the comic to read independent of playing the game.

 

Ahhh...Nothing like 0BEER:30

Ahhh...Nothing like 0BEER:30

As expected, the aliens get increasingly more difficult to wipe out as you progress through the story (or levels). Additionally, there are three levels of difficulty, Normal, Hard and Nightmare. Each character has its own unique skill set that provides a better match-up for a particular level. Rachel is quicker, her weapons have an increased range, and she is more accurate. Frank and James are men so they can carry the bigger guns. This means they are slower, but more powerful. It’s a bit cliche, but it works. There is also a fourth character that can be unlocked as you progress through the levels. In all, there are 20 levels that must be completed in order to save the world. A new bonus, Boss Challenge level, comes with the release v1.2.

 

There are three missions within the level to complete; primary, secondary and challenge missions. The level is completed when you complete the primary mission, regardless if the secondary and challenge missions have been completed. You will receive some money and points by completing the primary level. By completing the secondary and challenge missions, you will also receive additional money and points. It would be helpful if the progress of the three missions were on the screen. This way if you wanted to focus more on the other two missions prior to completing the first you could. Currently, you have to hit pause to review those statistics and it is disruptive to the flow of the game. You will need the money to purchase more powerful weapons so that you can properly deal with the bigger and stronger aliens that you will undoubtedly encounter. Which, by the way, is completely logical. I mean, think about it. The world is on the brink of extinction, it’s absolute anarchy, and you are still on a performance based payscale? Uhhh…Okay. Anyhow, The skill points allow you to tailor your character to better meet the demands of the next level.You can make your character faster, retain their health better, etc. You can pause the game to see where you are in terms of completing the level. However, I think it would be better if those statistics were displayed on the screen. That way, you can determine if you want to work on the secondary mission prior to completing the primary mission.

 

your mission should you choose to accept it

your mission should you choose to accept it

The controls are simple to use and quite intuitive. A simple D-pad controls the character directionally, while the control pad on the right manages the direction of the weapon and fires it as well. The D-pad gets in in the way of the action at times, but that is to be expected with a touchscreen device. Overall, it’s not a big deal. Additionally, there is a reload button that you can push when you get low on bullets. Keep an eye on that reload button. When a blue line appears and you hit the reload button while said line is visible, you will get an adrenaline boost. This allows you to run away from the blood thirsty aliens while you reload.

 

If you are feeling a bit lonely in your plight to save the world, you can play with up to four of your friends either via wifi or bluetooth. Other modes of play include an Arena Mode as well as an Endurance Mode. Both of these modes require some skill at the game to unlock, which I clearly don’t have (it’s more of a testament of how much I suck at these games than to how difficult the game itself is). According to the descriptions, Endurance mode is single player and it tests your skills by surviving as long as you can. Where the Arena Mode, also single player, tests your mettle against waves of enemy units. It is not clear to me what the differences are based on the descriptions, so you will have to open them up and decide for yourself.

 

uhhh...stop me if heard it, boys. This lady ran into a bar....

uhhh...stop me if heard it, boys. This lady ran into a bar....

While you have the option to manipulate the volume of both soundtrack and the F/X sounds, if you turn the volume down to its lowest point, you cannot listen to your own music. This is not unique to this game, but many developers choose to go this route. I appreciate the hard work they put into developing the soundtrack. It is haunting and paced nicely to match the game play, however it does become repetitive and after awhile you might be inclined to turn it off. I mean seriously, and maybe this is just me, but who doesn’t want to listen to the sweet sounds of Kenny G while your sTEC 9 is blowing up aliens at a frenetic pace? The point is, allow your user more of an all or nothing approach to the music.

 

While this game is not for me, I do appreciate the third person aspect of the game as it is not as nauseating nor gory, due to the graphic limitations. When I was about 12, my dad called me downstairs to check out this sweet new game he had just bought called Wolfstein 3D. Aside from the nausea it gave me, when my dad shot dead the first German Shepherd that jumped out him, I almost threw up (it’s ok, my wife called me a patsy as well) For those who enjoy this genre or have a serious dislike of all things alien, it’s worth the purchase at $1.99. For those who don’t, such as my patsy self, will most likely allow the Trinigon Alliance take over and see if they can manage the planet any better than previous regimes.

 

Questions or have an app that you want reviewed? Send an email to omiwebdesigninfo@gmail.com. You can also follow me on Twitter @matt_briseno

 

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One Response to “App Review: Project Sanctuary”

  1. Kim Says:

    It´s clearly a total rippoff of Alien Breed from the good old Amiga days! Wish they´d just release that game instead!

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