Release Date: 7/13/2011
For Fans Of: Running Games, Hack-n-Slash, Magic
Available Exclusively On
The Good: Good graphics, fun running segments, lots of moves to perform
The Bad: Running segments interrupted by slower fight sections, jerky animations, sluggish controls
Guardians is a side scrolling 3D game with endless runner gameplay. The game has pretty good graphics and a semi-interesting story about magic and saving mages. The game does consist of some hack and slash gameplay, but the game is ultimately flawed due to a lack of polish and extra care the developers decided to skip.
You slide, jump, double jump, and hack your way through obstacles and enemies as you run along paths. Some enemies can be jumped over, some have to be slid under to knock them down and some can be attacked. You must judge this from the way enemies are standing, but this is very hard because they come up way too fast and there are too many types of stances to remember. It would be easier if you were slowly introduced, but you get mostly all thrown at you from the start. Having throwing knives helps because you can take them down before getting close, but ultimately this becomes one of the major problems.
You can gain lives called destiny by collecting them and if you do die during a running section you can tap a quick time event to save yourself. Every so often the good pace will be halted by an enemy you have to fight head on. Backing up allows you to block while slashing attacks. You can stun the enemy with magic to take them down faster or use throwing knives. This is where you will get really frustrated. The animations are terrible here and the controls are sluggish and unresponsive. Hitting the magic button should give you instant results but you have to wait for the animation to play out before seeing them. This leaves you vulnerable for the enemy to attack. Even if you are attacking it’s hard to judge when to start blocking because the animations are so jerky and abrupt.
This is what each level consists of. At one point I gave up because the game’s flaws made it difficult to fight tougher enemies. Having to find exploits in the game’s design so you can continue is unacceptable. I had high hopes for this game, but in the end, you will just get frustrated and angry from the many flaws.
Overall, Guardians has good graphics and a decent story, but the sluggish controls, jerky animations, and interruption of decently paced running segments are absurd. This game could have been much better with more polish, but the developers chose the quick way out.