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E3: Fightback from Ninja Theory

Hands-on with Ninja Theory’s first foray into mobile gaming…

Yes, the team that brought PS3 players Heavenly Sword have created a mobile game. But, don’t get too excited!

Called Fightback, it sees you taking the role of a moody Schwarzenegger-like 80s action hero as he storms the city’s skyscrapers to search out his kidnapped sister.

The game is presented in 3D, but from a side-on perspective. It plays somewhat like a Double Dragon-like brawler, but without direct control over the characters left/right movement through the levels. Instead, you must master various touch/gesture based fight moves, and combo them together against varied bad guys.

For example, swiping up-right will perform a high kick, while middle and low kicks are performed in the same way but in those directions. You can tap to punch, and combining gestures and taps will unleash new and devastating attacks. As you progress you’ll unlock new combos, as well as firing weapons for long range attacks – some of these you can buy with in-game and real cash, as well as picking up weapons dropped by foes (if you are quick enough).

Each level takes place on a floor of a skyscraper, with a time limit for which to complete it. With 100 levels in all, across multiple buildings in a city, there’s certainly plenty of action to be had.

The graphics in the game are powered by Unity, and so you can expect the usual smooth performance and visual effects those tools provide. It didn’t knock my socks off like Modern Combat, but I did like the 80’s era visual style, particularly the gruff demeanor of our hero.

I enjoyed my time with Fightback, particularly as I learned more attacks, and witnessed more difficult enemies. However, I find it hard to get too excited by freemium games, despite being promised that you don’t need to spend a penny to beat the game. There is always some element that acts as a barrier to fun (in this case your characters decreasing stamina).

Still, it’s good to see developers like Ninja Theory getting on board with mobile gaming. Even if this first outing might be the best example of their talent.

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