Smartphones. We all own one, or two, or maybe even seven if you’re so inclined. The mobile phone has evolved beyond just the means of communicating while on the move, to a device that has become integral to modern society.
We can do everything with our smartphones, from sending text messages, browsing the internet, online banking, socialising via social media and even, you guessed it, make phone calls. It has integrated so much with our lives, that some game developers have seen it as a tool to keep reminding us about their game that we’re currently playing, even when we’re out and about doing other, less important things.
And thus the Companion App was born. It is a mobile application that supplements the experience of the game you are currently playing. While it is sometimes a hit and miss, we will today look at those that were a hit:
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
The Assassin’s Creed franchise has become a bit stale of late, but that doesn’t mean the developers didn’t try to keep the players interested and engaged. The App that supplemented the game was pretty decent, and I personally found myself spending quite a few hours playing on it while I was away from my console.
The app allows you to manage and send Edward Kenway’s fleet of ships across the globe in order to collect resources and money, which you can then spend in the game itself. It has a decent turn-based naval mini game that requires you to sink enemy ships in order to make the trade route safer for your ships.
It was (or is, depending on your stance) a lot of fun, and reaping the rewards in AC IV itself felt quite rewarding. The only issue I had with the app was its hunger for the battery.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
The MGS V App might be a bit limited for some people, but it does have some cool features that integrates with the actual game. The App essentially turns your mobile device into Solid’s in-game phone, which allows you to view and mark locations on the map. It also gave you the option to listen to unlocked music of the game, which was a nice addition.
Some of the in-game iDroid phone functionality was missing from the app, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that the app synced with the game pretty seamlessly.
The Fallout series is known for the clunky watch device that the protagonist of the game wears on his/her left arm. It does everything from managing the inventory, ammo, medical administration and even allows you to listen to the radio. It also added a bunch the holotape minigames that you could find in the main game.
The Pip-Boy App made many a fan’s dream come true, by allowing you to do all that through your smartphone, and syncing it with your game as you play. They even went so far as to sell a special edition of Fallout 4, which included a plastic Pip-Boy Replica housing for your phone. Talk about creating an immersive experience.
Grand Theft Auto V (iFruit)
The best way to describe the Grand Theft Auto series is as a parody of modern society. So it was fitting that the latest entry in the series would include parodies of the mobile devices that we use every day. These in-game smartphones are essential during gameplay and like in real life, you use it all the time. How’s that for irony?
The iFruit app, had a few cool features about it. You can play mini games that would train Franklin’s dog Chop, and make him more useful in the game itself. You can also order car and number plate customisation that you can then use in both GTA V and GTA Online. The app is a bit limiting, but it did add some nice features away from the game.
Probably one of the best companion apps available. What makes this apps so incredible is the ease of use, and its functionality. You can change weapons and items between your three Guardians and the vault on the fly, even quicker than it would be in game.
You might find yourself needing a different weapon for the task at hand, so you quickly fire up the app and retrieve the needed weapon in a matter of seconds. You can do Guardian loadouts while away from the console, as well as manage the group or clan, if you happen to be an administrator of a clan. It is very versatile, and to date it is one of the best companion apps available.
So what do you guys think? Have you used any of these apps? Do you use other companion apps? Let us know in the comments below.