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Released to coincide with the launch of Mass Effect 3 on other platforms, Mass Effect Infiltrator is a third-person iOS shooter that places players in the role of a Cerberus Operative named Randall Ezno. While working as an intergalactic bagman pays well (and surely comes with an excellent dental plan), Ezno has a sudden change of heart about his career when he discovers that the aliens he’s been tasked to capture are being experimented on. It goes without saying that as a result of Ezno’s decision, a whole lot of explosions, diving for cover, shooting, and biotic carnage ensues.
Developed by IronMonkey -- the same team that gave us the iOS versions of Dead Space and Mirror’s Edge -- Mass Effect Infiltrator is a stunner: characters and combat animations look great, environments are gorgeously rendered, and the game’s voice acting is top drawer. Thanks to currency earned in-game or obtained as an in-app purchase, players are able to upgrade Ezno’s equipment and biotic powers to suit their playing style. As an added bonus, EA made it possible for Mass Effect Infiltrator players to use points won in the game to affect their Mass Effect 3 Galactic Readiness Rating, should they own a console or PC copy of that game as well.
My one notable quibble with the game -- and it’s a big one -- are the wonky controls. While moving Ezno from place to place is easy enough, guiding him through combat is an exercise in frustration; a fact we found strange given how user-friendly IronMonkey’s controls were for Dead Space and Mirror’s Edge.
The bottom line. Despite capturing the look and feel of the Mass Effect universe in a universal iOS app, Infiltrator limps through the action due to frustratingly awkward controls.
iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 3.1 or later
Mass Effect universe is fully realized and beautifully rendered for iOS. Optimized for the new iPad. Interactivity with Mass Effect 3 is a nice touch.
Frustrating combat mechanics suck the joy out of an otherwise impressive game.