Dot Net Review - "WWE Presents: Rockpocalypse" mobile game
By Chris Shore
WWE released their first mobile game this week, WWE Presents: Rockpocalypse. The game features WWE Champion The Rock on a movie lot, battling his way through men who have suddenly become aggressive due to a strange illness. As The Rock fights his way through the studio, you can find notes lying around that are supposed to build to an explanation of the root of the illness, as well as briefcases of coins that can be used to buy new equipment for The Rock, as well as updating his skill set.
Each level begins with an opportunity for players to search for coins and clues before beginning the fight sequence. Players can strike, dodge, and parry during the fight sequences, and can earn the ability to "slam" their opponents by connecting on combos and then tapping the dots that appear on the screen. Sometimes these slams are simple Superman punches, while other times Rock pulls out signature moves like the Rock Bottom.
For Rock fans, especially those who love Rock's shtick, this is a must have. The scenes are punctuated with Rock delivering classic lines, as well as a few new lines, like his "boots to asses" gimmick. Rock was clearly having fun recording the lines, as is evident by his delivery in the oft played "Finally, The Rock has come back to…where in the blue hell am I again?"
The game is also well thought out in terms of upgrades. Players can use coins earned in fights, as well as found prior to fights, to buy new boots, pants, shits, and weapons, as well as upgrading Rock's skill set, like doing damage when opponents block. Experience points also lead to upgrade ability for Rock's basic stats. There are 18 levels spread across four different backgrounds, and each area is replayable, allowing players to find missed coins and clues, and allowing them to earn "grind" for more experience and points to purchase higher level equipment.
Sadly, the gameplay is both horrible and repetitive. There is significant delay from swiping the screen to Rock actually moving. Dodging reaction is better, but parry is almost a lost cause due to the delay. Every fight is virtually the same, with opponents changing outfits and skin color, and most carrying some sort of weapon. The briefcases of coins are easy to see and pickup, but clues are harder to find, and at least for me, were difficult to pick up even when found.
The biggest complaint from reading reviews in the app stores was over the size of the game, 228 MB is pretty for a mobile app (though there are many bigger than that), and the way it slowed phones down. I played on a Samsung Galaxy S III and had no lag problems, but that phone is also considered the top Android phone right now. Given the size of the download, I can see how it might slow down users with phones older than a year.
While far from perfect, WWE Presents: Rockpocalypse is a decent first effort from WWE. Hardcore gamers will find the repetitive, and sometimes buggy, fighting sequences a drag, but more casual gamers will appreciate the simplicity of it. The graphics are well done, if a tad uninspiring, and Rock's voice over work is probably the highlight of the app. If this was a pay app, I could not recommend it. But for free, I encourage you to try it out. Not everyone will like it, but then that's what the uninstall button is for.
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