As a supporter of mobile games, it's always a shame when a franchise makes its way to the format and is treated as if any old garbage will do. After the highlights that were Assault On Dark Athena and Escape From Butcher Bay, Vin Diesel and his gaming crew have proven that there's scope to make the character work digitally. Here, with The Merc Files, it's as if they just uploaded their first draft to the App Store.
To try and make it accessible on your tablet, or in this case smartphone, Riddick is inserted into a number of small maps with three goals existing for every scenario. You decide whether to retrieve an item, get to the exit, or kill everyone in the room. The man of the hour is controlled using a series of taps, so to stealth murder an enemy, for example, you simply place your finger upon them and good ol' Vin will do the rest.
Unfortunately, the game's AI is so erratic – it's as if they've all just stumbled out of bed – there's never any rhyme or reason as to how you're supposed to sneak around them. You can be creeping in the shadows, ready to strike, when a guard shifts direction entirely. Perhaps this is just a tough challenge, you may ask yourself, but such an argument falls down when you witness two soldiers bouncing off each other before heading off in random directions. Occasionally they'll just spin around.
Riddick barely listens to what you're telling him to do either, meaning you're constantly screaming 'Vin, you s**t, go that way… no… that way!' at your mobile device. I can't imagine that selling point ever appearing on the box.
In short, see the films, play the old games, but ignore this entirely. Even the most hardened Riddick fan will just find it needlessly upsetting.
Version tested: iOS. Played for 3 hours.
3 / 10
- Vin Dieself (as Riddick) is in it.
- AI is dumb.
- Sometimes it takes forever to respond.
- It's horribly fiddly.