Price: Free Score: 7/10 Category: Games

Everyone loves a good dogfight, right? Z2Live looks to impress iOS gamers with MetalStorm: Online, a free to play iPhone and iPad title that pits users against one another in the skies.

Obviously, the studio behind MetalStorm didn’t release the App free of charge to be nice. While most users will enjoy the game without spending a dime, using the standard issue plane, ammo, and missiles, players have to cough up some real world money to purchase faster aircraft, stronger ammunition, and more explosive missiles.

Like ‘High Noon‘, having the best gear is essentially the difference between life and death. ‘MetalStorm’ lets you outlast endless waves of computer opponents, which is all well and good, but additionally features online play for up to two players. Here, you’ll get randomly matched up against another wannabe pilot and engage the other person in a fight to the death, unleashing missiles and a barrage of bullets in the hopes of transforming his or her plane into a burning wreck.

It’s enjoyable for the most part, largely because of the user-friendly touch controls that let you swipe to perform evasive maneuvers and the virtual buttons that fire the machine gun and missiles. The game’s accelerometer controls are smooth and responsive, allowing users to tilt their device to command the sky.

On top of that, ‘MetalStorm’ is easy on the eyes, with detailed planes, impressive explosions, vast mountain ranges, the blazing sun and blue oceans. You’ll notice said mountains disappearing as the game keeps up with the action, but that doesn’t detract from the overall experience, especially when things run so smoothly all of the time, even during online matches.

That’s but one example at how polished and content rich ‘MetalStorm’ truly is. The developers packed this application with a ton of stuff, including GameCenter, Facebook, and Twitter integration. Then you have the different types of planes, missiles, cannons, and plethora of tech upgrades ranging from rocket boosters to resistant flaps. ‘MetalStorm’ is as deep an experience as you want it to be.

Battling the computer is a decent way to pass the time, and there appears to be an endless stream of online opponents, but some sort of story mode could have turned out really cool. Online support for more than two people couldn’t hurt, either. The lack of game types is disproportionate to the wealth of planes and unlockable items.

Of course, it’s tough to argue with a nonexistent price tag, especially when the game’s so technically sound. At the end of the day, MetalStorm: Online is easily one of the better flight games on the App Store.

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