There’s a lot of excitement surrounding Star Wars with the latest The Force Awakens installment hitting theaters in just a couple of months. Disney has been rightfully building on that excitement, but it’s latest effort comes as a partnership with mobile developer Kabam.
The two companies have worked together to bring Android and iOS users an online role-playing games called Star Wars: Uprising. There were high expectations for this title, but unfortunately the game doesn’t even come close to being a great online role-playing game for mobile devices. It’s exactly the opposite.
One of the first things you’re tasked to do is creating a character from a total of four different species.
There are a few customization options during the character creation process, but nothing that really matters as you won’t be seeing the details of your character much. The gameplay is at a top-down camera angle, so unless you zoom in, the customization of your character doesn’t seem to matter much.
Kabam’s choice to take on this top-down style was interesting as gameplay is similar to Blizzard Entertainment’s hit video game series, Diablo. The way Kabam has designed Star Wars: Uprising is actually really pleasing. You tap all over the screen to move your character, similar to the clicking all over the screen to move your character in Diablo. I found this method of controlling your character to actually be much more seamless and smooth as opposed to controlling your character via the traditional method that is an on-screen controller.
All of your character’s abilities are, as you might expect, controlled from tapping, too. You can tap your character twice to launch one ability, tap and drag for another, and so on. It’s very fluid, though it took me some getting used too.
Combat was also a fluid and involved experience. You can tap enemies to begin firing at them, you can, of course, use your abilities as well, but you may also double tap on areas of the screen to dodge enemy fire, which becomes a pivotal element at later spots in the game. In these later areas you can no longer just stand and fire at the enemy and win, you have to learn to maneuver your character in a way that keeps him or her alive during engagements and especially boss battles.
While there are some very involving aspects of the game, Star Wars: Uprising wasn’t meant to be played for hours at a time, as the lack of variety gets boring quickly. For the most part, mission maps are all laid out the same, and your enemies are all the same, just graphically designed in different ways. In fact, some of the maps are designed the same way with new monsters in place. That said, there isn’t much variety or ability to explore areas going on.
Anywhere you go in the game, exploration is limited to what the developer gives you. You’ll see different scenery as you jump from planet to planet, but most everything is go from point A to point B, and there’s nothing outside of those two points. Even with those rather large pitfalls, the game is still beautiful, though.
Disney and Kabam has put a lot of effort into designing the graphics for Star Wars: Uprising. Everything in this game is extremely detailed, at least as far as mobile games go. There isn’t a stone or path that doesn’t have some sort of careful and purposeful detail to it.
For mobile, character models look great, but I did notice that some models felt blurry on older smartphones. That seems to be entirely dependent on what type of display you have, though.
Beyond that, no complaints here. I didn’t notice any clipping or graphical errors; it’s all very polished.
The story is no doubt the most important aspect of Star Wars: Uprising, as it picks up at the end of the Return of the Jedi. In a nutshell, the Imperial’s block the star system you reside in, preventing news of the Rebel’s victory from reaching other planets. You play as the low-man on the totem pole to put a stop to this blockade by working your way through the aforementioned frustrating and repetitious missions. And unfortunately, it’s all very bland and the dialogue you isn’t even that great.
It would’ve been nice if Star Wars: Uprising left off at a great lead into The Force Awakens when it hits theaters this December, but alas, that’s not what this is. Despite having fun with it for the first hour or two, you quickly realize that Star Wars: Uprising is a half-baked title taking advantage of all the hype and marketing around The Force Awakens. It’s a money grab full of in-app purchases.
Again, it’s entertaining for a little while as you figure out what’s going on, but there’s nothing that will grab your attention for the long run. The most excitement you’ll find yourself getting out of this game is collecting all of the armour sets available in the star system, which frankly, quickly becomes a frustrating endeavor, but probably the most interesting part of the game.
Star Wars: Uprising is a huge disappointment in my book, and it’s certainly not going to hold you over until The Force Awakens hits theatres. Disney had a chance to do something great with this game, but in reality, it’s just another disappointing marketing ploy.
It’s almost a 1GB download, and you can try it for free, but I guarantee you’ll be in the same boat I was: losing interest after just an hour or two.