Jul 18, 2013
This is the era of the official companion movie, and Disney seems to understand the marketing implications. Great for us, because we get to check out potential gems like The Lone Ranger.
So yeah… the game is based on the movie that is itself based on the iconic masked hero of the Wild, Wild West. The developer does a good job of realistically rendering the desolate heat of the old west; the graphics are truly nice. The grimace of the horsemen, the smell of horses, the unforgiving nature of the sun, heck… even the grit of sand in the teeth… the visuals bring it all to life. The perspective angles are well utilized, and the cutscenes jump off the device.
The gameplay is fun without being overly complicated. The main protagonist isn’t The Masked One… just a future ally. Most of the action involves building attributes and money by completing quests while waiting on time-based elements to build up and/or be rejuvenated. The tasks are intriguing — I don’t know how fun 19th Century rat exterminations can be — and things mostly fit together in a logical manner. For example, the town well has an energy component, praying away ghosts helps to level up and shooting gang members pays out silver.
I did enjoy the duels. These occur in an abbreviated first-person perspective; different opponents have different speed attributes, and better weapons generally help in achieving better results. Red targets appear on the opponent, and draw time (the reaction time to tap the red target) determines who gets the shot off first; whoever’s life bar drains first, or runs out of ammunition, loses.
As much as I liked the graphics, I did see a glitch or two close up. Also, the quest algorithm was a bit easy, as it’s more about resource management than executable skill. I’m also going to quibble about the dueling. I thought it was a bit convoluted, and I readily blame sore losing. I still think the speed portion of this element can be tweaked a bit. The attribute replenishment system will have folks gnashing teeth.
Frankly, would have preferred a paid title game. Also, what I perceive to be an “an always connected” requirement may be a bit of a drawback for folks who watch their data allotments.
Overall, for me, the positives far outweigh the negatives. It’s okay for a freemium game, and the in-app store is not necessarily needed (though time and patience then will be). If Johnny Depp in face paint doesn’t tickle your box office fancy, this game might do it for your gaming one.