The legendary Stan Lee, along with POW! Entertainment, has teamed with MoonShark and Controlled Chaos to introduce the world to a brand new hero in "Verticus" for iOS. The Earth's core has been infiltrated by the Obliterators who've been constructing a terrible doomsday weapon right beneath our feet and there's only one man who can stop them. Head past the break for our full review!
"Verticus" immediately drops players into the story, with Mission Commander Stan Lee there to help you get started. It's an endless falling game in the same way "Temple Run" is an endless runner. You control a lone hero in a specialized, rocket-powered skydiving suit. As you make your decent from the clouds to the center of the Earth you'll be bombarded with floating mines and power-ups, along with collectible coins and purple orbs that serve as in-game currency.
The controls are simple, all players have is a single on-screen joystick used dodge obstacles and swing side to side picking up bonuses. As you progress, new enemies make their presence known – this where your weapons come in. When starting off you'll have no defense other than your agility, but through the use of coins you can purchase a rocket launcher to add a bit of offense to your arsenal. Your suit can also be upgraded with a more powerful shield, something you'll definitely need if you hope to stand a chance against the alien invaders.
Visually the game looks great. Our hero truly looks like the one man who could dispose of this threat. The ever-changing landscape – which moves from clouds, to city, to caverns and finally the Earth's core – makes for a believable futuristic world, and the enemies... Well, they look like bad guys, which all the game really needs.
While Stan Lee's presence throughout "Verticus" separates this game from the slew of freemium endless runners available on the App Store, it's not quite enough to save it. Your mission is to save the world, but you'll never really achieve this goal. Making it to the core, where you'll take on the boss and grab the explosive Cosmic Fuse to take it back into space, leads you to believe the mission was a success. However, just as soon as you dispose of the bomb another one immediately plummets down to Earth, beginning the mission once again. On top of that, the game is pretty difficult until you've collected enough coins to upgrade your suit, increasing defense and attack power.
Unless you're constantly competing with friends for the Game Center high score, "Verticus" sadly isn't that rewarding. Sure, purchasing new suits and seeing what kind of damage you can do after upgrading is fun, but with no real goal other than achieving a high score, "Verticus" becomes awfully repetitive. With that said, I have to admit that I did enjoy my initial time with the game. Unfortunately, the replay value just isn't there.