Saturday, June 2, 2012

Mobile Game Review: Shadowgun

Introduction:

This is what I like to call a third person "duck and cover" shooter. It is a great game, but it is designed for duck and cover action. Don't get me wrong. I like the game, its just felt a little repetitious at times. Minions run out and you find cover. Firefight ensues. The redemption for this game was controller integration options. But I'm releasing the squall before the first game. Let's get into it then.


Controls:

Customize your controller.
The touch screen work well enough but it was not a joy like with Mass Effect Infiltrator. Sure the game worked, but there were times when my character was podding along and I was thinking, "I wonder if I should watch grass grow or maybe catch a senior citizens wheelchair baseball game." Okay, it wasn't THAT bad, but still. I felt like I had deja vu several times during the fighting and the pace the game lagged in places because of the touch screen controls. There was the classic left hand moves, right hand changes perspective. Fire button is static so moving view while firing was a little rough. No auto aim. I actually like that. There's a dive button so you can dodge rockets. I felt the touch controls could have been done better. As mentioned above though, the game is redeemed by the option of using a Bluetooth or USB controller. Since I was reviewing the game with the Transformer Prime with keyboard dock, I was able to use an after market PS3 controller. With the controller I was able to customize what each button did in settings. After I set that up the game moved a heck of a lot faster.

Game Play:


Narrow approach with limited
movement. Just they way I like them!
Spider bots, my (least) favorite baddy.
I still wish there was an option other than the plodding pace that the on screen character moved at. Why there isn't a sprint option boggles my mind. The minions I fought were a bit repetitive as well. My least favorite are the spider bot bombs. While easy to kill, they are fast and tend to swarm. The game makes up for the predictability of said minions with quantity though. Also the environments were diverse and enjoyable. Maybe I got up on the wrong side of the bed today so I'm sounding grouchy, but I have to say the game was fun. Boss3es tend to be tough and require a little bit of lateral think on occasion. See the additional screenshots at the end to get a peek at a couple of the bosses.

Close combat's best friend!
The shot gun!
The weapons were good. You get 4 by the end of the game. A classic assault rifle, shotgun, grenade launcher and rocket launcher. The assault rife is your primary weapon. The other guns hold not nearly enough ammo. When  you change difficulty settings the ammo levels go up or down on the secondary weapons in addition to bad guy difficulty going up.

As you can see, I've shot this guy's
cover to hell.
The one thing I loved about the game is that not all cover is created equally. Depending on the type of cover, position of the enemy as compared to your position the cover can be more or less effective. This applies for both sides.


Hacking a door lock.


Another aspect of the game that I enjoy is the hacking feature. This is how you get weapons ahead of time and get past some locked doors. Other little bits I enjoy are the exploding canisters placed around the environment. I love things that go BOOM! Also fun are the mines that are placed on some of the levels. Some people may be annoyed by these, but I like playing chicken with them. If you step withing the sensor ring and then dive backwards once the mine is launched into the air. Lots of fun!
A mine with moving sensory ring.
It moves outward from the mine like
sonar. You can walk past them
without setting them off.
But playing mine chicken is
just too much fun!
When played with the controller, the game is a lot less duck and cover and a lot more fluid in motion like the standard third person shooter. Again, this is a redeeming factor. Still, I am comparing to other games that feel more fluid with the touch screen interface and I also am not as big a fan of duck and cover shooters. Call me fat fingered if you want (My mom says I'm big boned. Lol.) but I expect these higher end mobile games to be better programmed since most players don't have or know about the controller option.

Story Line:

Where the game lacks in those little annoying bits I've been gripping about it makes up big time in story. The basis of the story is that in this future there are mercenaries who work for governments and major corporations. The mercs are called Shadowguns. Enter our hero, the character you play. He is hired to "retrieve" a missing scientist. At the end of the first game you are presented with a choice of what to do. I won't spoil the game by telling you what the choice is, but this minor decision changes the end of the game. The story is what made me really want to stick through the minor slow bits.

Bonuses:

Each level you play there is a hidden Shadowgun Skull. If you find and grab it you unlock bonus levels. These bonus levels are in addition to the included expansion called "The Leftovers." Both the bonus levels and the expansion are tons of fun. Game play is similar to the original game, but the expansion was a little bit more interesting. What is more, the expansion has the same feature of finding the Shadowgun skulls so you can essentially triple or quadrupedal game play just by finding the skulls while playing. 

Graphics:


The screenshots you are seeing are based of the standard definition version of Shadowgun. I bought it a few months back and then they released the THD (Tegra High Definition) version. Since I'm a cheap S.O.B. didn't want to drop more bones on a game review. Maybe one day I will, but until then you'll just have to deal with it. Lol. All kidding aside though, for a standard definition game the visuals are great. I had no issues playing this on a tablet. The TF201 is the highest definition screen Android tablet 
on the market as of the writing of this article. That the Transformer Infinity will change that when it is released and I am sure other OEMs are working to take the title from ASUS, but until then I have to say I love this tablet. Heck, I'm sure I'll love it even after. But I digress. As you can see from the screenshots, this is a beautiful game! No glitches, smooth processing and more.

Maturity Rating:

This game is rated PG-16 (Parental Guidance for ages under 16). Its rating is due to graphic violence and mature language.There is minimal gore and no sexual content.


Final Assessment:

To be fair, this game preforms much like the Gears of War franchise games. If you like that sort of shooter, this is the game for you. I personally don't regret purchasing the game. The standard price for the game is $4.99, so it is worth the price simply for the entertainment aspect. The game is available through Google Play Store and the Amazon Appstore. The iOS version is available through iTunes at the same price. Each store periodically have done sales on the game so it is worth it to check and see if it is on sale. As of the writing of this review the game is available in both standard and Tegra processor optimized HD version and standard version for $1.99, but that isn't guaranteed for forever.
All in all I have to give this game 2 1/3 out of 3 Triforce. It is a fun game. It really gave some enjoyment. Maybe I'm just a hard person to please, but I feel like if the game needs an external controller in order for it to be awesome however, I think there is a bit lacking. Like I said, story is solid. It is fun, but I think the touch screen controls and the pace of the game are both a little lacking. Not lacking enough to not get the game, but still. Well, until next time TriForce fans, this is Justice signing off!

Additional Screenshots:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giant Crab Bot anyone?
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
Ouch! Mine chicken FAIL!


 

 

Walk into that beam &
you'll smell like bacon.


 

 

Run like your butt's on fire brother
because that drill boss is tough!
 















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