This summer, After Earth was released in theaters. Like many films of the action and science fiction genres, a game was released based on the film. Reliant Games was tasked to release After Earth available on both Android and iOS.
After Earth gives players the opportunity to play as a female ranger or a male ranger. The new ranger is taken through cadet training where they learn to run, jump, slide, skydive, and fight. Directions and later missions are given by General Cypher Raithe (Will Smith's character).
The gameplay is very similar to Temple Run. The new ranger runs through an environment where they need to jump and slide to avoid obstacles. The game could be as addictive as Temple Run if it weren't for the controls. In Temple Run, you tilt your phone left and right to control where your character is running. With After Earth, you have three tracks where your character runs and you swipe each time to change tracks. This is fine until you find you need to move over two spaces and end up falling in a pit Sure, this could just be poor planning on my part, but it does get frustrating. To attack, the player taps the screen. Sometimes the game registers a swipe as a tap and a tap as a swipe, which leads to ridiculous mistakes where I slash at the wall and run into them or even worse slash in the open air and fall to my death.
When I saw the skydiving, I was excited. When I actually tried it, I was less excited. The gyroscope didn't seem to work properly and instead of collecting coins, I just tried my best not to plow into the earth. The one thing gameplay-wise that I did like about After Earth were the boss battles. I thought these were fun, as they give you QTE prompts where, instead of pressing a specific button like on consoles, the player taps and swipes different places on the screen. For some reason, these scenes were also more responsive to my taps and swipes. The lack of an exit button didn't bug me as much as it did to some of the reviewers I saw on the game's app page. I figured I would just press the home button and I was fine.
After Earth looks good for a mobile game. The characters look a little generic, but the suit looks cool as do some of the enemies. The promotional pictures talk about flowing through lush backgrounds, and it's not false advertising at all. I'm actually impressed with how good the game looks. However, one thing about the game is sometimes during the in-game text, letters seem to disappear giving incomplete directions. The missing letters are completely at random. To give a short example, if we're given the word "Complete", sometimes we will see "Com lete" or "o et " The spaces are still there, just some letters are missing to the point where you can't make it out. The animation of the character jumping, sliding, turning, skydiving, and attacking flow seamlessly when you're able to properly execute them.
Through my LG Lucid speakers, they sounded good, but plugging my headphones into my phone, I was able to fully grasp how good this game sounds. While the sound effects sounded decent, nothing really stood out. The heavy hitter that made me really like the sound of this game was the score. The music was done well. Joshua Mosley, the game's composer, did a nice job of adding to the epic sound. When I heard the intro music, I had to grab my headphones to really do it justice.
Overall, After Earth had potential to be the next most fun and addictive mobile game, but the controls just left me frustrated to the point that I had to quit the game numerous times to take a break. The sights and sounds of After Earth were pleasing to the eyes and ears, but the rest just didn't stack up enough for me.
GameDynamo's Score for After Earth (Mobile)
|Exequiel Roman III
He has been gaming since before he could spell video or games... or even his own name. While he can find a game he enjoys in any genre, he cites Tetris being his all-time favorite game. Oh yeah... he writes stuff too.
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