BackStab HD – Handsome, if unoriginal game
If the following intro for BackStab HD doesn’t get you salivating over this game, then nothing will. ‘My name is Henry Blake, once a proud officer in England’s Royal Navy. Now I stand a shattered man. Betrayed, imprisoned, my fiancée taken away, I have now found my freedom and soon I shall find my revenge’.
Unfortunately, as much as the premise entices, BackStab HD just isn’t as good as it looks or sounds.
Given that it is in HD, the graphics for the game are sumptuous – this was a game that was launched originally to showcase the Xperia Play – but the actual gameplay does leave you wanting that little bit more.
Most of the game is built around a similar jumping, climbing and running mechanism as Assassin’s Creed. And, like Gameloft games before it, this is something of a homage to that game – borrowing a lot of the techniques but never quite mastering the genius of Ubisoft’s game franchise.
One of the reasons for this is the controls. You can move the camera around by scrolling your finger anywhere on the screen – we found this to be more of a hindrance than a help, though. We did find the virtual joystick to be a little easier to use. When it comes to fighting, though – and Henry Blake seems to get into a lot of trouble – we found that mashing buttons did more damage than any kind of strategy.
The plot is standard fare, at least until the middle point of the game where it all goes a little crazy, mixing it up with a whole host of zombie encounters. This strangeness does add to the feeling of the game, though it does feel like the makers are trying a little too hard.
On the plus side, there are some fairly decent side quests, including some horse riding and some gun sequences that do add to the fun. Although the graphics of the people in the game aren’t as decent as the background, it is hard to believe how good this game looks on a smartphone. It lacks originality and is repetitive but it pushes your smartphone to the max and there’s enough here to keep you coming back for more.