Graphically Endowed: 9 iPad Games That Deliver A True Console Experience

Apple’s trendy tablet comes with many superlative features that make it perfect for the business traveller, but what does it offer the hardcore gamer that lurks inside us all?

The new iPad has always been expected to redefine the superlative, and we have to say the 2048×1536 Retina display, coupled with that slinky quad-core graphic processor has been tempting video game developers ever since it released in March this year. Here, EXEC takes a look at selection video games that make the iPad 3 more than just another bite off the apple.

Dead Space iOS
For those who easily tire of killing placid zombies that slowly inch their way towards your 600 rpm, lead spewing barrel, Dead Space will revive your fear of mutated marauders, with a guttural growl, a clatter and an eerie silence. Also, as far as iPad games go, the visuals are gorgeous.
Fans of the PC and console versions will be delighted to know that the game isn’t simply an iPad remake of the original. Instead, the exclusive plotline in Dead Space HD brings players up to speed on the events between the first and second instalments of the game, with plenty of gore, horror and panicky, out-of-ammo-and-running-for-your-life action along the way. And for folks who’ve never played Dead Space and scare easily – keep the lights on and your blankie close.

Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard
Gameloft brings Clancy to the iPad a third time with another blockbusting Rainbow Six title. There’s the usual, heavily armed terrorist organization with a devious plan and the equally ubiquitous team of Rainbow Unit operatives. But unlike the older incarnations of the game that were based on gadgetry, headshots and lots of firepower, Shadow Vanguard places a distinct emphasis on strategic and tactical elements as you guide your team through each level. Of course, you could play it with a hair trigger and plenty of ammo, but be ready restart your failed mission more often than not.

Batman: Arkham City Lockdown
Gotham’s gone haywire again and the Bat is called into action to retrieve the rampaging inmates of Arkham Asylum. In this iPad spin-off the popular console and PC game, you’ll have a chance to face off against your favourite Gotham villains and their underlings in a series of epic battles across the city. Purchasable armour, gadgets and suit upgrades only add to the Batman’s dark finesse and the rapid gameplay may induce sore thumbs or cracked displays. Costume changes are also possible, including those from the silver and big screens, as is a set of three comics that allude to upcoming storylines.

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within HD
Despite having nothing new to offer besides the same old title rehashed for iOS, Prince of Persia: Warrior Within HD still manages to pack in most of the punch that the console version did. Sure, it entails a smaller screen and the controls are a little trickier, but we feel that the joy of being able to take relive the PoP experience on a flight or in a train or a dingy hotel room, is certainly worth the buy. Lots of enemies, lots of cool weapons and remarkably detailed environments are guaranteed to lock you into the game until your battery gives up.

GTA: Chinatown Wars
At first the controls (especially while driving) tend to be less than comfortable, but any disquiet on that account is quickly dissipated with the sheer joy that you get from this title. GTA: Chinatown Wars incorporate a 360-degree camera that you can control, as well as cel shaded graphics that work extremely well with the giant sandbox-style game play. With the usual GTA betrayal and double deals, the storyline builds you up from a talented thug to a respected member of the criminal community. And one among the many killer elements of the iPad version is that the in-game vehicle radio can be hooked-up to your iTunes library to deliver the ideal gaming tempo.

Mass Effect Infiltrator
Some might bemoan the lack of complex RPG strategies in Mass Effect Infiltrator, but if you’re the kind of person who took Shepard to the fore without giving a damn about the rest of your team, you’ll absolutely love this game. Simplified controls, incredibly detailed environments and both biotic and conventional weapons at your disposal, allow Infiltrator to serve up a beautifully rendered, high-impact experience. On the flipside, you’ll have to remember that you have no team and you won’t be able to get out of a tight spot by calling on your favourite Turian sharpshooter.

N.O.V.A. 2: The Hero Rises Again
N.O.V.A. 2 may not give you the same adrenaline rush that Halo did (despite the weirdly similar story line), but it certainly makes for an entertaining few hours. The game is action-packed with well-crafted environments and highly detailed player models. If you’re used to aliens and evil humans colluding to destroy civilization, the plot is a bit of a let down but the game more than makes up for it with engaging game play, lots of vehicles, baddies and death-spewing joy-toys.

Resident Evil 4
Taking on the persona of Leon S. Kennedy on a mission to rescue the President’s offspring, you’ll find yourself up against the standard collection of brain-eating zombies that made the original Resident Evil such an epic survival-horror hit. Environments range from sleepy European hamlets to dank castles and island research facilities. A laser sight add-on to ranged weapons should make it much easier to target creatures and their various dastardly appendages (which react to gunshots in strikingly realistic ways). The graphics are pretty smooth and manage to pull off the dark, gritty feel of the genre, while the over-the-shoulder camera angle allows for an excellent field of view – perfect for when the hordes come calling.

Infinity Blade 2
The granddaddy of iOS gaming is undoubtedly the much-acclaimed Infinity Blade 2. If you’ve played this game before, you’ve probably got a self-satisfied smirk spreading across your face because as its predecessor did, IB 2 simply rocks the casbah better than most. Sure the lack of free roam and absolute control over the character may give it the feel of a slightly antiquated RPG (does Myth come to mind?), but this title is something you don’t want to miss. The huge variety of weapons, monsters and strike combinations are what make Infinity Blade 2 so very addictive and the fact that your protagonist is a armour-clad, monster-slaying immortal doesn’t hurt either. Plus, if you enjoy a little humour peppered through your gaming experience, in-game quirks such as the ‘Holiday Helm’, ‘Cardboard Armor’ and ’Rainbow’ sword contrast nicely with the dark fantasy theme. As far as we’re concerned, Epic Games was the first developer to bring high-quality console-style graphics to the iOS, and what do you know? They seem to be the best at it too.

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