Posted 3 years ago By - Brian Edey
Experience Ion Assault, an action-packed arcade-style space adventure with an unprecedented particle physics engine. Fight alone or cooperatively through four different modes and more than 20 exciting levels. Instead of conventional weapons, use the free energy particles that are abundant in space to fend off swarms of aliens. Space adventure: Battle aliens with a unique fluid and particle system. Variety of play: Explore more than 20 levels in four diverse settings with lavish graphics. Upgrades: Earn upgrades for your spaceships, such as augmented speed or increased radius for collecting surrounding particles. Multiplayer action: Enjoy various multiplayer modes like Cooperative, Arena, or Harvest with up to four players. Power-ups: Collect special power-ups, usable for a limited time, such as Black Hole. International flavor: Ion Assault is the first Xbox LIVE Arcade game developed in Germany.
Like many two stick action shooting games, Ion Assault does the basics right. The left stick is highly accurate and allows for some tight cornering and general movement in even the most heavily populated levels allowing for you to survive if your thumb is agile enough. The right stick on the other hand just feels poorly implemented only allowing you to turn clockwise or counter-clockwise and it is far from fast and accurate. It is actually easier just to move your ships target line and then your ship so you can fire and kill or destroy asteroids. This control scheme feels off from the start to the end of the game and even after a couple of hours of gameplay I had this feeling that the controls were broken.
Your weapon is the game is energy particles which you vacuum up from the space around you and then fire from your ship. The more particles you have sucked up the more damage you will do and if you are firing at the edge of the level you can bounce your shot off of the edge and hit several objects at once destroying them and raising your score faster.
There are plenty of power-ups to collect in the game from a Gravity Boost which increases your vacuum power dramatically for a short time, gravity grenades and drones. When to use these is important because if you use them too soon it is a waste of resources when the game spawns something big or several something’s which are going to come after you and try to kill you. No matter how accurate you’re shooting and flying is dodging alien ships, meteors and other objects can become insanely difficult in the later levels.
Single Player and Multiplayer wise, Ion Assault is a good concept which fails to live up to its potential goals. Especially at its price of 800 MS Points which feels like a bit of a rip-off. If this was dropped to 400 MS Points I would say it’s a worthy purchase but at this full price there are better games to play.
Graphics and Audio
The best part of Ion Assault is certainly the graphics and while the game has been influenced by a few other notable downloadable console titles it is certainly not copying them. All of the 3D models for the ships, asteroids and various other objects floating around the screen all look well done but it is when you start shooting off the Ion’s and destroying objects and using your various special items and abilities is where the game’s overall graphics shine. It becomes a sight to behold in the most extreme action moments, it is just too bad that those moments are fleeting and few and far between.
Audio wise the game misses its cue in a big way. The most entertaining part of the audio is the voice over which tell you certain things like when you are viewing the achievement page or blow up a few objects. The music and sound effects on the other hand are generic and do not even attempt to push the boundaries of good audio.
The overall value of this game is very low because once you play the first level you have basically played all of the levels. They are highly repetitive and the game becomes boring quickly to the point I cannot see most gamers sticking with it past the demo. Even the multiplayer leaves much to be desired as the clumsy controls just make the entire experience a journey of frustration.
I hate to put my final comment in such a blunt manner but I do not want anyone to be confused of my overall view of Ion Assault. So my bottom line is, skip this game at its current price and pick it up when it is 5 dollars or so.
+ Interesting concept …
- Clumsy aiming controls
- Overly repetitive gameplay
- Zero replay value
- Audio is nothing special
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Release Date : 2009/09/23
System : Xbox 360
Category : Arcade
ESRB : E
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