Stargate SG1: Unleashed – Episode 1 Review (iOS, Android)
The first episode of Stargate SG1: Unleashed was released yesterday. Naturally, I couldn’t wait to get it. Seriously; I was vibrating at work with the need to get home and download it. After waiting impatiently for half an hour while it installed -most likely the fault of my connection- I got ready to join SG1. During the game you play as Jack, Sam and Daniel, although strangely the only bit of Teal’c-ness you get is a few dialogue pieces. The graphics are good, a little reminiscent of the CSI games in that the characters look like who they’re supposed to be, but every now and then something feels just slightly off and you remember you’re playing a game. Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping and Christopher Judge reprise their respective roles. It’s sad that Don S Davis isn’t around to do the same. Richard Epcar does a decent job in the part.
The story starts out with Colonel Jack O’Neill and Dr Daniel Jackson trying to escape a Goa’uld infested Cheyenne Mountain. Just when it seems they’re going to be ok, Daniel is shot and killed. Jack is winged on his way through the Stargate. The sudden switch to a perfectly normal home base where nobody is dead does well to confuse us. The answer is one of Stargate’s go-to causes – time travel. Future!Jack dies and it’s up to present-day SG1 to figure out what’s going on. They Gate to a planet with an abandoned temple but a fully functioning slave town. While Sam marvels over the sight of a time travel globe thingy, Daniel decides the best idea is to go undercover in the slave town. Teal’c goes with him for protection. This lasts all of about two minutes before they decide to split up. Over the course of his investigating, we find out the goddess Sekhmet; daughter of Ra who was banished for her part in an uprising, is behind all the time travel/SG1 killing business. Rather, I should say the team finds out. We already know because we saw the introduction.
What I’ve discovered is simple: I would make a terrible member of the SGC. This isn’t a surprise. I’m fairly terrible at games overall. The most important thing for me is that a game be enjoyable whilst I’m being rubbish at it. SG1: Unleashed is a lot of fun, especially if you’re like me and have a habit of shouting at your characters, because we know these characters so well already. It also makes the click-the-answers aspects much easier. We all know that Teal’c won’t sugar coat an answer, and Jack won’t choose protocol over protecting his team.
There’s a nice mix of activities here – as you’d expect it’s all based on point-and-click; very much like The Walking Dead. You get to shoot as Jack, Sam and Daniel. I’m not sure if the character you are has any effect on your skills, but I will say Daniel and Sam died a lot more often at my hands than Jack did. The majority of your time is spent as Daniel in the slave camp, with lots of sneaking and do-this-so-you-can-do-that kind of item fetching. The last bit of escaping the camp is a lot of fun. I’m not sure exactly when Daniel Jackson learned to fling himself around like James Bond crossed with Indiana Jones, but it was my favourite part of the chapter. I won’t say what happens when you get back to the team, because that would spoil it all.
The main issue I had with this game was probably a matter of personal preference. The controls drove me mental. It’s all touch screen and that makes it very difficult to control sometimes. This was particularly annoying with time sensitive challenges or when Daniel is being stealthy. One wrong move and you’ve failed. Another thing that bugged me just a bit was in the camp: when Daniel kills a Jaffa because there’s no other choice, the body disappears. It’s a good thing in that no other guard can find the body and come for you, but I wish I’d been allowed to pick up the Staff weapon first. Luckily the game autosaves after you complete each mission, so if you suck at one part you don’t have to worry about being sent back a long way when you fail.
The problems with the controls is something that can be overlooked, and if it is released on PC or XBox, as per the rumour mill, it won’t be an issue. I’m not sure if the game feels shorter than it is, or if they just pack a lot of information into a short span because I finished the chapter in less than two hours, and now the wait for the next one to become available is killing me.
Rating: 4/5 Raging Nerds
If you want to download Episode 1 (the other episodes will be made available in sequence) you can go HERE for iOS – it’s £2.99 or $4.99. Android hasn’t released it yet, but it should be available soon.