Implosion – Never Lose Hope is a new hack and slash game available right now in the Google Play Store. The game has amazing graphics for a free game but is it worth your time? Let’s look at what this game is all about.
There are very few console caliber games that transition into the mobile space as easy as hack and slash games have. Hack and slash games do not have to have very complex and in-depth gameplay elements in order to be fun. Drop in some bad guys to beat up and let the player come up with some combos that they like to spam until they are dead. Developers can add in various types of bad guys that require specific strategies like using a certain combo on them, dodging out-of-the-way or even hitting them in a certain spot.
Still, none of these strategies are very complex on the surface, but when you implement them into a sandbox style area(like hack and slash games tend to be) that is where the fun happens. Millions of people love to play games for 1 or 2 minutes here, 5 to 10 minutes there so having an incredibly complex game(story wise or gameplay wise) can be quite off-putting to this new type of gamer. This is why you see so many mobile games with the ability to pause and resume at a hat. This is also a reason why so many games focus more on gameplay than things like story or graphics.
Speaking of graphics, Implosion has some amazing looking graphics in certain parts of the game. When you first launch the game you are greeted with a history lesson of what is going on. During this time they show off some very impressive graphics while they get you caught up to speed with what has happened with Earth over the years. Granted, the game does have some nice graphics here(and while playing too), don’t expect it to be everywhere. Once you get past this intro and start learning more about the story you come across a very different art style.
After the intro movie, you’re taken to the main menu of Implosion and from here you have three options. Campaign, Expert and Opening. The developers are so proud of their opening intro, and probably spent a lot of money getting it made, that they want you to be able to watch it any time you wish. Campaign mode is just as you would expect. This is where you go through the story elements of the game(which generally happens before and/or after each level) and this is probably where the majority of players will spend most of their time. There’s also an Expert mode which is probably unlocked after you complete a certain percentage of the game.
Once you begin the campaign for the first time, you are shown what the other art style of Implosion has. This time around, things are more hand-drawn and while it looks like it might be animated, I think it’s only the camera that is moving around(mixed with some effects). You’re told that the Earth has gone through some catastrophic events that has forced everyone off the planet.
You learn that you are on a mission with your sister and after so many years you are actually able to make it back to Earth. Something happened to these siblings as they have lost their parents(in what seems to have been during those events) and they are now on their own. Not completely alone though. This team is working for some company(or maybe the government) and you are on a mission to find out what happened(or is happening) on Earth right now.
You don’t physically go to the planet’s surface though. Instead, you are ‘jacked in’, so to speak, into these machines that they call warmechs. This reminded me a little bit of The Matrix and Pacific Rim as you are simply controlling these machines with your mind. I don’t even think you are actually inside them(like in Pacific Rim). Instead, you are mentally connected to them with your mind. Everything it sees, you see. Everything you tell it to do with your mind, it does in the battlefield.
As I said, the mission is to find out what happened to the Earth and what is going on there right now. You’re in communication with some people in charge(and your sister) throughout the levels and they will help guide you and feed you information about what is going on while you are playing. When you land and you start to look around, you notice that the landing pad has been kept up and the overgrowth has been trimmed back. This is your first clue that something strange is going on here and hopefully that mystery gives you enough to get you curious.
As soon as you gain control of your warmech, you are eased into the game. As with most games nowadays, you are presented with a tutorial that slowly teaches you the ins and outs of the game. First up is movement. If you’re not touching the screen, you won’t see a digital control pad in the bottom right but once you touch your thumb to the bottom left of the screen you’ll see one appear and this is how you move your warmech around.
Once you get the hang of moving around, you’re told about your first action move, the Dash. This button appears in the bottom right of the screen and it actually has a cooldown. So you can’t just go around and spamming the dash to keep away from enemies. This is what you will use to avoid enemies though so use it sparingly and only when you need it.
Soon after you are told about your Strike button and how it works. Now, as with all hack and slash games, you do have the option to just spam the Strike button over and over and over and that will probably get you where you need to go. However, things like boss fights and other trickier enemies will put up more of a fight and require that you be more creative. Instead of having a bunch of different attacks to string along to form a combo, Implosion’s special Strikes are done with timing.
Once you press the Strike button once and pause, you’ll see a purple field surround you and if you press the Strike button again(when the field gets close), then you’ll start into a special Strike combo. After you hit that second special Strike attack, you’ll see another purple field and if you hit the Strike button again at the right time, this will continue. There’s a few layers that you can go through this with before ending with a massive attack that includes a wave/knock down attack.
Now, spamming the Strike button will result in much quicker hits and these are great for a certain type of enemy. Doing those special Strike combos though, those take pauses and leave you vulnerable to other types of enemies. So this is one way that Implosion tries to keep you on your toes and keep you paying attention to what you are attacking. As you can see in that other control image, you also have special attacks that you can do. They give you one toward the beginning but all three of those are interchangeable with special attacks and moves that you pick up throughout the level.
Some of these are acquired by fulfilling the Special Condition goal for various levels. Some of these special attack moves are picked up by attacking breakables within the level and collecting items. Some are randomly given out as prizes for completing a level. There’s all sorts of different ones that you can pick up and use. Since you get to choose which three you want, this is Implosion’s way of allowing you to customize your character to your own specific playstyle. You just have to try out the ones that you pick up and see if they are a good fit for you.
At the end of the level, you are graded on how well you did and you are given a score. The more points you get the higher your score is and the possibility that you’ll get some interesting items or gear. You’re graded on Time, Damage Taken, Special Condition Fulfilment and Revives. I’m not really a fan of the time parameter since I like to take my time and find all the little secrets that the developers have hidden throughout the levels. Thankfully you have the opportunity to replay these levels as many times as you would like.
Here is what the level selector looks like. Each white dot is a new level and tapping on it will reveal the name of the mission, the difficulty of it and your objectives. This level select screen is also your in-game menu too. This is where you have the generic options screen, the list of rewards for badges, and the equipment and status pages too. If you look through the full screenshots listed at the bottom, you’ll notice the words ‘Trial Version’ at the top left and that is right. The game has a certain number of levels for free(which you can play as many times as you would like) but you don’t get to play beyond this point until you drop $10 on it. This is what the $9.99 in-app purchase is for too so you don’t have to worry about it being a freemium game.
The game is run on a level system and when you first start playing the game you’ll see this HP bar at the top left. This also shows you your RA meter(which is used to execute special moves) and you’ll also see your current XP number too. Earn enough experience points and you will level up. Level up your character to increase your stats(as shown above) and your warmech will become more and more powerful. For anyone with a love for RPG grinding/leveling, this will probably add some enjoyment to the game. It certainly did for me.
You even get the choice to pick which warmech you want to use at the beginning of the level. At first I thought this screen was where you go to pick if you want to play as the brother or the sister but I think it’s actually juts a warmech selection screen. You have to earn enough badges to unlock this warmech and that’s something I haven’t done just yet. I don’t know if changing warmechs is aesthetic only or if it adds another gameplay style into Implosion. If you have gotten further than I have and know more about this please let me know in the comments section below.
I enjoyed the short amount of time that I actually got to play Implosion and I hope to be able to play more of it soon. I am not sure if I will drop $10 on the game but that isn’t because I don’t think it’s not worth it. I just think it’s going to take more than 6 levels before I get hooked to the game enough to pay that much for it. Again, I’m not trying to say that I don’t think the game is worth $10 dollars, I would happily spend that much if I didn’t have a laundry list of other games to play that didn’t actually require me to spend money on it.
I really did like the elements of strategy that I saw in Implosion. Timing your special Strikes at the perfect interval and seeing the massive attacks you could pull off was very satisfying. The first few levels had quite a number different enemies and almost all of them had their own quirks to learn as you got used to their styles. The bosses were engaging and didn’t allow you to just spam the Strike or special attack buttons and this was something that I was worried about. These types of games can be very repetitive if the developers don’t add in enough spice to mix things up. I can’t say whether or not this continues past the free to play levels but from what I have played I have enjoyed.
I will eagerly play through the rest of the free to play missions though, and see how things progress. Who knows, the game might get me hooked faster than I think. We’ll just have to wait and see. I want to hear what you think though. The game has been out for a fair amount of time and I’m sure there are others who have played it more than I. I’m curious to hear your thoughts on the game and how much of it you have played so far.
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