Genres: God Sim
Platform: Xbox XBLA Kinect
Release Date: 13/06/2012
Download on XBLA
Babel Rising Review
God Sims have always proved to be popular; titles such as Populous, SimCity and Black & White for example. Games where you have complete control over the world you have helped create. bringing good harvests to your loyal people and smiting those who stand against you with an almighty vengeance. It’s something that everyone seems to like to play, at one point or the other. Now we have a new contender – enter Babel Rising; a direct port of the popular mobile game, but does it belong in the heavens… or hell!
The premise of the game is kept fairly simple. As God you are angered with your people as they attempt to build the fabled Tower Of Babel. As God you don’t like this idea…so you decide to smite thee down with the vengeance and power of the four elements. Following the principles of a tower defence game, but in reverse, you attack waves of workers as they attempt to build the tower. Each elemental power has two basic attacks, which recharge once used.
For instance with the water element you can cause a rain shower, slowing down the workers. The second attack sees you able to freeze the workers in place. By using combinations of these, you also power up a super elemental attack; this can be activated by simply tapping the left and right triggers. These unleash your wrath in a new way of inflicting destruction; fire for instance: sees a meteor shower raining down upon the workers. There’s no upgrade system for the powers however, which leaves things basically the same for every level!
The campaign is fairly simple, with set challenges set to complete the levels. These vary with the requirements ranging from 45 workers to be killed, and others where you have a set time limit to last. Later on you face priests that are invincible to certain elements, requiring you to mix up your elemental powers to progress. The levels are nicely designed, with some great cell shading used throughout the game. However the sprites of the workers look like tiny dots, with no real change to their looks. Levels seem to repeat themselves and during the campaign there seemed to be only three distinct settings. This makes the game become repetitive rather quickly, and boredom can sink in pretty quickly.
The controls have been kept fairly simple, and are easy to get used to; you can control the cursor dictating where the elemental forces will strike, simply with the left stick. As mentioned before two of the face buttons are assigned to the elemental powers. The only downside to the controls is the camera; the in-game camera is controlled fully by the right stick, which means when you are being attacked from multiple angles you need to switch sticks rather quickly. The left and right shoulder buttons could have proved a simpler control method.
The campaign is also fairly short, which leaves it up to the other two modes to keep you entertained. First up is a survival mode; simply see how long you can last as wave after wave of workers attempt to build the tower. This is followed up by a split-screen competitive/co-op mode. This is basically the same as the campaign but can be fun… as long as you have a friend around to play. Sorry, but in this day and age there really should have been an on-line mode. There’s no real reason for this to not have been included, giving the overall package a rather lazy look.
Babel Rising is a simple game, which in short bursts can be quite entertaining. However if you’re looking for something with a little more depth, then you might want to pass. Its premise is sound with a few parts that shine with class; however there is always a nagging feeling that this could have been so much more. If they had included on-line play, the longevity would have been greatly increased. This title just goes to show that not all mobile phone games are suitable for the consoles.
Cool element powers,
Easy to master controls,
Good for short bursts of game time.
Gets repetitive very quickly.
No on-line play.