Prepare yourself for a deluxe adventure within the Warhammer universe. Eisenhorn: XENOS is a new 3D adventure game for iOS that lets you play as Gregor Eisenhorn, who is an Inquisitor set to protect the Imperium of man. Eisenhorn instantly stands out with a deluxe 3D graphics engine that delivers some of the best visuals on iOS, especially when you gander at the grand scale environments. The game is great to see in motion, but it takes more than visuals to make a compelling game.
Eisenhorn: XENOS features a deluxe story based on the first book of the Eisenhorn trilogy, and it’s easy to see the adaptation from a book. There’s an expanded narrative to make your way through the sets in the world as well as the circumstances of the protagonist with intricate dialogue. The game features great voice work to deliver the story, and part of the time you feel like you’re playing a console game. The length of the game, the detail in the story, and the depictions of the graphics engine definitely deserve the term console quality. Eisenhorn: XENOS is simply one of the most deluxe experiences you can find in the App Store, and that’s the most compelling aspect of game.
Through it all, any game comes down to the gameplay. Eisenhorn: XENOS offers a familiar third person adventure set-up that emphasizes combat with puzzle style progression. The path forward isn’t always obvious, so you do need to explore the world from time to time. That ‘includes using hacking tools as well as mental perception to find the next objective. Then, you’re presented with the combat that lets you use sword combat as well as ranged gun attacks congruently as you battle various types of enemies. The game does a good job of letting you direct your attack with the on screen joystick. The only problem is that the action buttons are a bit on the small side, and it isn’t always clear if you triggered what you wanted from tapping. You can also slow down time, and use special metal abilities to push back enemies, and gain a new edge.
There’s a lot to like in Eisenhorn: XENOS, but there are still some hindrances to full enjoyment. The most obvious detractor is that the game develops quite slowly with a lot of cut scenes, and slow walking even when you’re considerably into the game. The combat sequences are few and far between, but that may be because they’re not the best. The combat action is very robotic with truncated movements by all parties involved, rather than the fluid structure the style normally dictates. The interrupted movement includes running along a corridor, and having to align with the appropriate action point to jump, climb, or drop down. The game consistently break the flow of player movement within the action sequences, and then presents a lot of slow downs else where. There are definite parts of the story that could have been left on the cutting room floor even when trying to establish the setting. The graphics engine also leads to some lighting and texture oddities from time to time
Eisenhorn: XENOS ($9.99, Universal) is an advanced creation for the iOS platform that isn’t without its flaws, but is still well worth picking up for the deluxe experience it provides.