Reviews

Mission Europa – review

Everything has gone wrong, and you have no clue where to go or what to do. The outpost on the moon Europa stopped communicating. As a part of a special search and rescue crew you are sent to investigate. The shuttle crashes after a flash of seering light hits it, and you wake up in the remains of the mining camp. Alone you struggle to your feet, and enter the barren cantina. A lone flickering computer avatar awaits. Puzzled you listen to what little the avatar knows, and wants. It might not be too knowledgeable or even coherent, but at least it gives you something to hold on to. A quest to keep you sane, a quest to help the avatar get the truth about Europa.

img_3590Mission Europa is a first person RPG game with a whole lot of melee, magic and ranged fighting. The controls are all touch, and highly customizable. Actually just about everything about Mission Europa is designed to be user oriented, and you can really develop your own take on the game. If you want to be a melee brawler using passive skills to enhance your chances in the close encounters that is fine. If you rather want to focus on utilizing magic to fry, freeze and blast the opponents that is up to you. Finally there are a wide range of ballistic weapons ranging from shotguns to machine guns to blast away the vile creatures.

Back to the controls, as they are the backbone to any game. A virtual stick on the left steers movement, and lets you strafe. It only reacts when you have your thumb inside, and if you like me tend to stray away from virtual sticks when trying to make quick movements the character will stop instead. This is something I would like to see enhanced. Looking around is done by moving anywhere on the right of the screen. There are two attack buttons, a right and a left. I have used the left for my shield, as it is harder to reach when you move around with that thumb. The right button has been my main attack button. I would like to have it slightly bigger, as I tend to miss it a lot when overrun by foes. There are slots for magic, potions and passive skills around the screen. To further assist you in having different ways to play depending on the situation you can create different setups of items that are scrollable using the symbol at the top right. Everything about this game is made to give the user a personal experience, and I love it.

img_3597The mission structure in Mission Europa is highly linear with you taking one mission at a time from the avatar. The missions however are varied, and most of them are kind of hard to fully grasp giving the game a high level of mystique. Some missions are only about slaying a number of enemies, while others are about finding some weird device or bringing back the severed remains of a foe. To help you quickly find your target you have a small map that shows quest goals as green arrows. The map is puny, and hard to fully read. That actually helps keeping the game fascinating. You are stuck in an unfriendly environment that you have not been prepared for. When a mission is completed you return to the avatar, by either teleporting yourself or dying. If you die unfinished quests will reset, but finished quests will remain finished.

Beside the avatar the base consists of a vending machine letting you buy, and sell items. There is a lot of customization in Mission Europa. What type of weapon do you want to use? Skills and magic? You can also create new items using blueprints, and found raw materials. There are armour for all parts of the body, and if you have the Collectors Edition you can even dress up in body parts as armour. The menus for buying, selling, inventory and skills are easy to understand and use. Tapping an item gives you detailed information, and the chance to use, melt to give raw materials or simply trash it. When the inventory gets full in the middle of a quest you don`t have to return to the base, but can simply melt all inferior items to scrap.

img_3630Furthermore there is an IAP machine that lets you upgrade your currently equipped armor to saintly. This gives it a boost, but it doesn`t make the game super easy. I tried it once, and it enhanced everything I had by approximately 20%. At $0.99 it made it easies to slay enemies with one attack instead of two, but I could still be killed by a couple of blows from a boss. You can also buy potions, and gold for the game as IAP. If you are using the regular edition of Mission Europa you also unlock episodes this way. In the Collectors Edition you get all episodes straight away, and a lot of different extras as well.

A mail box lets you communicate with other users, as well as getting cool freebies and messages from the developers. A portal that lets you teleport to any level in any episode is available for the Collectors Edition, and in the Standard Edition you can reach only the visited levels.

img_3629Game life in Mission Europa is massive, and I have only started out completing about 20 quests out of 150 available in the full game. It has taken me about four hours of fun hacking, slashing and equipment customization. The game is said to contain over 50 hours of game play, and that seems to be a reasonable figure. With online multiplayer the game has already gained a large horde of fans. At http://www.missioneuropagame.com/ you can see the current champion in the arena for the day, and all time. You can also search for your own character to see achievements, an image of your current character and a list of equipped material. If you are looking for the game to play for a long time Mission Europa is definitely the game to get.

The presentation in Mission Europa is really special when you compare it to games from Electronics Arts and Gameloft. Instead of trying to be a realistic it has gone to a futuristic style with shiny textures, and dreamlike color palettes. Characters have exaggerated limbs, and thin appendages. The game world is grimy, gory and paints a bleak picture. Enemies are varied in design, but can still be categorized in four different types: melee, ranged, flying around close by and bosses. Bosses are really hard, and takes some strategy to beat. If you have played Necromancer Rising from developer Ryan Mitchell you will feel right at home with the presentation, and controls of Mission Europa.

The music is orchestral, slow and varied and helps setting the tone of a desolate monsterinfested mining station. Sound effects are good with some meaty thuds as you hack away. Early on I didn`t care for the digital interference filters used for the voice acting of the avatar, and bosses. As I have travelled deeper into the game I have grown quite fond of these filters, and have no problem hearing the messages. You can play your own music alongside both the sound effects and voice acting.

kambladThere is so much to say about Mission Europa, as it has such extensive amount of content. I will keep playing this for quite some time. Usually we try to finish games before reviewing them at TouchGen, but that would mean that I wouldn`t have a review up for another month. As I really enjoy the game I feel that it is important that the word gets out there that there is a new action RPG in town. Mission Europa has managed to grip me in a manner that Ravensword, and other RPGs for iOS has failed. The combination of action, challenging gameplay and customization cater directly to me.

I highly recommend Mission Europa, as a deep, fun game worth investing a whole lot of time into. For iOS most games are about instant gratification, and quick casual gameplay. Finding a game that can last a long time is hard, but Mission Europa is one of those. It lets the player decide how the game is played, and even if the quest structure is linear every gamer will have a different experience playing the game. I also think that in the choice of Standard at $3.99 or Collector at $9.99 it is better to go all in, and get the complete version with otherwise impossible to get extras right away.

Final Rating

un-missable

eds-choice

Mission Europa Collector`s Edition $9.99

Mission Europa Standard Edition $3.99

Version: 1.0
Seller: Banshee Soft

Follow further development of Mission Europa at the developers blog:
http://ryanmitchellgames.wordpress.com/

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  • Ronan

    5stars here! I agree this is a great game!

  • gh3ry0n

    Just like “The Quest” : unexpected, unusual, awesome.

    4,5 stars ? 5 stars, no less.

  • silentcorp

    Awesome review, thanks for taking a look at the game unlike some “other” sites!

  • FatalGamer

    I was hesitant at first but went ahead and bought the collectors edition after reading this review. It’s been about a month and I’m not even finished with the campaign! YOU WON’T REGRET GETTING THIS GAME

  • Ax

    Get it now. The standard version is FREE today (thanx FAAD)

  • http://twitter.com/BansheeSoft Ryan Mitchell

    Mission Europa Now has a patch into apple for review that clears up the crash issues the sound engine was causing. Sorry for the trouble in for review 1/25/12.

  • Brian Kayser

    I’ve been enamored with Europa for a few years and in fact wrote a Scifi book about a mission to the ice-moon. I hope this game does great.

    http://www.thecurseofeuropa.com/

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