BackStab – Review

On July 5, 2011

App Type: Uncategorized

BackStab – Review

Our rating:

By: Gameloft

Version #: 1.0.0

Date Released: 2011-06-23


Price: 6.99

User Rating:

Backstab is the latest game brought to us by Gameloft, the developer responsible for landmark iPhone games such as Dungeon Hunter and N.O.V.A. This is perhaps their most technically ambitious game to date, as gamers are thrown into a free-roaming sandbox set on a lush Caribbean island.

The story places you in the role of Navy Captain Henry Blake, who gets betrayed by a man whose villainy is instantly obvious from his unnaturally posh English accent – and the fact that he’s called Kane. With the help of an attractive female rogue, your mission is to get your revenge on the evil Kane and clear your name. The missions along the way are varied, as you get to swim, man cannons, and slash your way through hordes of identikit English redcoats.

But the story isn’t what this game is really about. What is really intriguing here is its world, and the question of whether the iPhone can handle this kind of scale. For the most part, the answer is ‘yes.’ The game looks great, and although distant buildings tend to pop abruptly into view, the game world, with its lush beaches and large cities filled with beggars, hookers, and side-quests is surprisingly immersive. Among the side-missions are races and an amusing ‘arena’ mode, in which you get to fight creatures as varied as bears, zombies and giants.
Yet with a game as ambitious as this there are bound to be flaws. The touch-screen feels fairly limited for the free-running Assassin’s Creed style of gameplay that Backstab demands. At certain points you find yourself jumping into the abyss or falling off a ledge for no reason.  The camera sometimes feels awkward, and it can be a real nightmare navigating the frankly unnecessary platform elements of the game.

Combat, meanwhile, is simplistic but fun. There is a single button for attacks, which you tap at frantically to unleash undeservedly stylish combos. If you’re in the right position at the right time, you can unleash some brutal finishing moves, including a surprisingly graphic decapitation. Do well enough in combat, and you can temporarily make enemies go slow-mo while you chop them down at a normal pace.

BackStab is one of the most technically accomplished games on the iPhone and is a genuine feast on the eyes. Sometimes it feels as though the gameplay just doesn’t match up to visionary game world, but an accessible combat system makes up for this. The storyline is decent, and the missions varied, but the main selling-point of this game is its lush, large world, which holds plenty of surprises and treasures for the more adventurous gamers.


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Quick Take


Would I Buy Again:Yes, it?s free.

Learning Curve:Medium.

Who Is It For:People who like the freedom of sandbox games.

What I Like:The big, beautiful game world.

What I Don't Like:Frustrating platforming elements.

Final Statement:A big, flawed beauty of a game that sometimes looks better than it plays.

Read the Developer's Notes:
Take on the role of Henry Blake, a broken man whose life was stripped away, and help in his quest for justice and revenge. Climb, jump and sneak your way through diverse settings to reach your target and strike down adversaries. Use your deadly fighting skills and the combo-based combat system to defeat your nemesis and anyone else who gets in your way. Roam freely across a huge island and gaze upon its magnificent full-3D environments and experience the feeling of an immersive, realistic world around you thanks to impressive character interactions with true-to-life voice effects.


• Discover a blockbuster production with the best graphics, an unprecedented story & endless content.

• Experience an action-packed adventure with open environments, deep combat, platforming and more.


• Become a rogue killer with nothing left to live for but vengeance on those who betrayed him.

• Use agility, strength and cunning to get the drop on your target, eliminate them quickly and escape.

• Master the combo-based combat system to slay anyone standing between you and your prey.


• Experience an immersive world through impressive character interactions and lifelike voice effects.

• Roam across a vast island full of exotic 3D environments like jungles, beaches, a volcano and more.

• Investigate 4 unique cities to find new quests and secrets.

Warning: This game is not compatible with iPod touch 3G 8GB and older devices. Compatible with iPad 2.

Article By

I'm an up-and-coming freelance writer (or so I like to think) specialising in film, apps and gaming. Aside from writing app reviews on what sometimes feels like a mass scale, I've also contributed work to The Independent and, and am on the writing team of the popular Lifestyle blog, Like what you see? Follow me on Twitter @Rob_Zed and get in touch!

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