The Siri Remote is an ideal input device for Freeblade’s style of gameplay, making use of the touch pad to guide the game’s crosshairs. Shooting is handled automatically as soon as you place a finger on the touch pad, and for the most part, this system works really well.
You won’t be able to just constantly leave your finger rested on the touch pad, as your weapon overheats with too much use, adding a nice strategic element to the weaponisation.
My biggest gripe though is that there are no sensitivity controls to tweak the speed of the crosshair movement. The sensitivity is set reasonably well within actual gameplay, although opinions are always going to vary, so it would be nice to have the option to customise it.
Within the menus between levels however, the pointer sensitivity can be quite frustrating, as it’s overly sensitive. Also, when hovering over an option that you then want to select, placing pressure down onto the touch pad to activate it as a button causes your finger to move slightly on the pad, taking the pointer away from the option. So the sensitivity within the menus really needs tweaking.
While there is no controller compatibility with Freeblade, I don’t really see this as a negative, as with the on-rails shooting style of gameplay, the Siri Remote – if the above gripes were dealt with – is ideal.
Aside from these complaints, Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade is definitely worth a look, and considering it’s free-to-play, it’s easy enough to download and decide for yourself.
The Warhammer franchise’s human tech versus Ork setting is realised in wonderfully detailed environments by studio Pixel Toys, and blowing it up onto a big flatscreen really brings out the best of Freeblade’s explosive sci-fi action.
Guided through the campaign’s signature grim, dark settings, players will upgrade their Freeblade’s weaponry, and even customise them with personalised paint jobs, just as you would your tabletop miniatures. It’s a nice touch that bridges the Warhammer universe’s video game and tabletop divide.
Once you’re done with Freeblade’s campaign, there are events to dig into, and content such as new armour has already been added by Pixel Toys to the Apple TV version in the short time since its release in 2018.
I definitely look forward to spending some more time with Freeblade this year, as despite its weaknesses, it’s still an excellent arcade escape.