Upon being captured by a madman and forced to relive painful memories of a mysterious expedition, adventurer Jason Call has to run, shoot and climb his way through dangerous forgotten lands and temples. Temples that don't appear on any maps. Or charts.
Uncharted, you might say.
Clumsy attempts at facetiousness aside, Shadow Guardian is as close as you can get to playing Naughty Dog's masterful action-platformer on an iPhone or iPad. Gameloft are the masters of crunching big-name franchises down into fantastic mobile games... and I'm delighted to report that they've done it again.
Jason's adventure takes players throughout the world from Egypt to the Arctic, with the main objective being to hunt for treasure and defeat a nefarious villain who's after the same To do so, you'll engage in some snappy third person combat and cover-based shootouts; using slick, convenient controls to throw down on paramilitary goons and helicopters with merry abandon.
Climbing steals the show, though. Many surfaces can be scaled using context-sensitive icons and movement prompts that feel like a cross between Assassin's Creed and the original Uncharted games. The animations are smooth and lifelike, and there's no doubt that these sections are by far and away the most visceral part of the package.
But there's more than just running, gunning and climbing to occupy your time. Gameloft soon lose all pretensions to realism and deliver a crazy, over-the-top experience that works brilliantly. Stomping around in a massive mecha-golem? Battling crazy robots and skeletal monsters from beyond the pale? Yes please.
The HD iPad version is a little more expensive, but delivers some significantly improved texture work and some very impressive character models. Unfortunately this good work is subsequently sabotaged by awkwardly-placed controls that make gunfights a lot more uncomfortable than they ought to be. The reload and weapon selection icons are several inches from the rest of the movement controls, which are themselves located in the bottom corner rather than halfway up the screen.
You'll soon get used to it, though.
- Big, bold and brilliantly-paced adventure
- Fantastic climbing
- It's Uncharted on a mobile. So... go buy it
- iPad version suffers from poor controls
- Occasional dialogue spelling/grammar mistakes
Summary: Shadow Guardian is a rip-roaring, rollicking adventure that will take you around the world and show you a great time. Well worth charting a course for this one.
- Standard Version: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1.3 or later.
- HD Version: Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later.