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iPhone App Video Review: Marathon 2: Durandal

by Andrew Koziara

Bungie Studios fan-boys rejoice! Daniel Blezek has returned with a port of the sequel to his last port. That port is Marathon 2: Durandal. The sequel is stronger in almost every way, with more diverse visuals and better general design.

On top of that, the original Marathon port has received several upgrades in updates since its release, and all those upgrades come prepackaged here. Marathon 1 was originally an iPad exclusive, but is now iOS Universal, for example, as is this game. Here's the original Marathon review for comparison.

Marathon 2 continues the story of the first game. The only surviving AI from the original game, Durandal, has put you in a 17 year stasis. The game begins when you are awakened on an alien planet and called upon once again to put a stop to the invading forces. The game uses lots of neat tricks to make the story seem grander than ever, despite being a very similar game, such as more AI controlled allies, more fighting between the multiple factions, etc.

This is another classic retro shooter, and like the last game, it's rather dated yet still pretty fun, especially if you have nostalgia on your side. The iOS controls are manageable, and seem a bit tighter to me, but it's still generally awkward. New additions to the game include a shotgun, some new enemies, and even water which players can enter and swim. Like the first game, the story is told through terminals, and levels mostly consist of finding switches and opening hidden doors to find your way around. There have been lots of little tweaks to how things work, and the game is generally the same, only stronger.

The games visuals are a bit more detailed, and more importantly, much more colorful and varied than the last game. The soundtrack and background music don't really set the tone anymore, relying more on ambient noises like emergency alarms or flowing water. As with the last port, this game is entirely free, and as I mentioned, iOS Universal. There are a few in-app purchases to make, such as the returning Master Chief Mode and HD texture upgrade. Both games also support Game Center leaderboards and achievements. Unfortunately, there's still no online multiplayer. Although you can download this game on the Xbox Live Arcade if you're interested in such things. You already know if you'll be downloading this app or not, so hop to it. Now hurry up with Marathon: Infinity Mr. Blezek. Thank you, kindly.

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