Command a drop ship and sift through what's left of Earth. Oh, and watch out for zombies.
The aliens have landed and transformed peaceful citizens into scary zombies in Crescent Moon Games' newest iPhone and iPad release, Razor: Salvation, a stationary shooter where the goal is to rack up tons of kills while rescuing innocents. It's a cool idea, one that comes with a fun social element that takes into account the entire world, but a smidge of boredom and performance issues left us craving more.
Technically, Salvation's a first-person shooter, except you can only move 360 degrees. You play as commander of a drop ship, charged with landing on hostile territory in New York, Frankfurt and Shenzhen to seek survivors and turn E.T.'s into chunks of goop.
To that end, your ship comes equipped with six weapons that'll be instantly familiar to shooter fans; a mini gun, auto-cannon, mortar, grenades, rockets and the always trusty rail gun. As expected, they're weak at first, and you can upgrade each piece of equipment and buy ammo at the in-game shop, adjusting the reload speed, fire rate and max ammo. On top of that, you're free to boost the drop ship's defenses, add a spiffy paint job and even change the appearance of hazmat suit-wearing civvies.
Naturally, you'll need currency (Razor Bucks) to do this, and the virtual loot can be tough to obtain. Surviving long enough to amass a small fortune is the trickiest part, and you can be sure that good old fashioned grinding factors heavily into the gameplay, unless you want to splurge via in-app purchase.
With this in mind, the game's infinitely more enjoyable once you load up on rockets and boost the ship's durability, as you'll be able to spend more time in the fight. There's also the added incentive to doing your part to thwart the aliens' evil schemes, thanks to an online component that tracks everyone's performance around the globe, listing countries with the most kills, saves, kills per capita and saves per capita.
Unfortunately, Salvation still needed extra development time to cook. The controls (drag a finger to maneuver the camera, tap the fire button) work just fine, but the game occasionally stutters, making it tough to line up targets. There's also a weird inconsistency with the blast radius, where a decently-placed rocket will hit the intended target, while another won't come close.
In addition, there's a strange glitch where text remains on screen after backing out from the previous menu; it even appeared during a round of play. We nixed it with a reboot, but this is a problem the devs need to fix pronto.
Finally, and this is more opinion-based, there's no denying the fact that the entire game involves sitting on a swivel and rotating around the same old scenery. There simply aren't enough stages in the game, and the lack of creativity with the weapons means you'll see everything this title has to offer within an hour, at best.
Still, we can't help but dig Razor: Salvation's shooting gallery formula, and there's definitely potential to add new weapons and boards to boost its appeal. The app's currently on sale for $0.99, and while there's still much work to be done, we suggest getting in on the ground floor.
What's Hot: No shortage of aliens and zombies to blast, upgrading weapons to make them more effective, neat social component that tracks kills/saves by country.
What's Not: Text glitch, not enough environments, minor performance issues.