Hunting down Pirates with Nimbus & Co: 3rd Party Game Controllers in Manticore RISING
Earlier this week, the controller update for Manticore RISING went live and enabled the players to steers their ships via alternate game controllers.
There’s no denying: One of the biggest USPs of the new Apple TV is the iconic Siri Remote, which enables you to navigate your apps via intuitive motion and touch commands. And although using this unique input device is really good fun, there are also many gamers out there who do not want to do without their tried-and-tested gamepads on the new platform. To offer these players an ideal gaming experience as well, we released a “Game Controller” update for Manticore RISING earlier this week. Now, everyone is free to choose whether they would like to go space pirate hunting with the Siri Remote or with an alternate controller such as the Steelseries Nimbus.
A snapshot of a play session with the Steelseries Nimbus at our office... we're happy that every player can pick his or her fave input device now.
Hans, our Head of Core Technologies, summarizes the translation process from Siri Remote to 3rd party game controllers as follows: “Siri Remote offered us tons of new possibilities. But it also brought up a number of challenges. In the beginning, we were quite surprised how well the integrated motion sensor worked and how much the overall gaming experience benefited from the new control scheme. But there were also a couple of gameplay features that had to be adjusted to Siri’s limited input options. In those cases, we had to come up with all-new solutions, such as the ‘auto fire’ mode. All in all, we believe that Manticore RISING blends perfectly well with the Siri Remote. But we also think that it makes sense to support gamepads as alternate input devices in apps as fast-paced and action-packed as ours.” Before we could put that idea into practice, however, we first had to overcome a few obstacles, as Hans reminisces. “The implementation of the gamepad controls was pretty challenging, because we had to make sure that the overall gaming experience would remain similar regardless of which input device was chosen. Just like the Siri Remote users, the gamepad users had to be able to exercise quick and precise maneuvers almost intuitively, or else they would not stand a chance against RISING’s hard-to-defeat enemies. This was not an easy task, but in the end we mastered it to our full satisfaction. In my opinion, Manticore RISING does currently offer one of the best gamepad integrations on the entire App Store on the new Apple TV.”
If you choose to play with a gamepad, you can perform barrel rolls simply by using the left or right trigger.
Gameplay-wise, there is one fundamental difference between the Siri Remote and the Steelseries Nimbus. On the latter, the auto fire function is deactivated. According to our Lead Tester Ronny, this does not only cater for a gaming experience that is more in line with traditional console gaming, but it also adds a new tactical component to the game. “Since you now have to press the fire button manually”, he says, “you can deliberately refrain from doing so. This means that you can delay your bombardment until you are in a perfect position to open fire”. Additionally, there are a number of maneuvers that are little easier to execute with a gamepad than the Siri Remote. One such example is the barrel roll, which can now be done by pressing the left or right trigger. But Siri has got her advantages as well. Especially during fierce dogfights, the navigation of the space craft comes about a bit more precisely with swipes and gestures than it does with a physical stick.
The info graphic above illustrates the control scheme for 3rd party game controllers.
As you see, both input devices have their benefits and which one works best for you, mostly depends on what player type you are. At least that is how we see it. But what about you? Have you already played Manticore RISING with both the Siri Remote and an alternate game controller? If so, which 3rd party gamepad do you use and which control scheme do you prefer? We are looking forward to read your feedback in the comments!