After owning the game for far too long without even touching it, I thought it was about time to see what a third person shooter plays like on the small screen. When I bought it, it was one of those, oh that looks good moments that doesn’t outlast the download time. Now that I’ve had some time by myself with the game, I found it consistently enjoyable from beginning to end, though it does have its faults.
Shadowgun is a third person cover shooter on Android and iOS devices that tries to bring a AAA experience to a mobile platform. I mainly used my Asus Prime for this review along with an attached Xbox 360 Pad.
First glimpses show a well textured and modelled 3D environment with a selection of backdrops for you to crawl, dive and run through. Although with closer inspection one will see that the graphics aren’t up to current generation standards, it is still very impressive for a mobile device to output such detail. Something you do not see every day.
You often come across enemies or bosses that are twice, sometimes three times your size usually accompanied by a couple of bodyguards too.
The game doesn’t lag with several enemies on screen and performed flawlessly on my Galaxy Note 2 and my Asus Prime.
Keep in mind that I don’t own the THD version which is enhanced for Tegra 3 so I can’t tell you how much better that version looks.
With a selection of weapons to kick-ass with and multiple enemy types to slaughter, you will not be waiting around for the action to kick off. The game plays like a modern third person shooter with obstacles to use as cover in each section of the map, as you make your way towards your current objective.
Cover in the game has one good point for me and one bad. The good is that it seems that most, if not all cover is destroyable by you and your enemies, meaning against tougher opponents you’ll have to keep on your toes to stay alive as you move towards fresh cover.
The bad is the fact that getting into cover in the first place can be awkward. I found myself either hopping over the cover instead of cowering behind it or standing right next to it while getting my face blown off. I have since worked out how the system works and I have fewer problems with it, but it still can be a nuisance. The trick is to press light against the cover and then stand still, your character seems to detect the object and then hide behind it. You’ll find your’ll get hit a couple times trying to perfect this but usually it works fine.
The A.I. in the game is good considering it’s a mobile title. I found enemies flanking me and advancing to attack me while I reloaded or became vulnerable due to loss of cover. They also took cover often and kept firing at me to keep me pinned. A decent A.I. that does make some standard AAA games look weak on the A.I. side of the gameplay.
As well as the standard affair of gameplay you also get a mini-game included for hacking doors or devices, making you remember a sequence of numbers and then repeat the sequence afterwards to gain access to a weapon or door. Not ground breaking stuff but it is challenging enough even for those of you with good memories.
From what I can tell of the story, you’re a bounty hunter called John Slade who’s hunting for a Dr. Edgar Simon, a geneticist that has created his own personal army of mutants and cyborgs. You’re tasked with infiltrating Dr. Simon’s fortress and bringing him back to your employers alive.
Now I would say the story was adequate but the story did seem to boil down to the Dr. is evil so we should capture him and collect our bounty. Luckily enough you do get a choice at the end that could change how the game ends, but unfortunately for those of you who expect more open environments to explore and plenty of juicy story bits, you’ll be left a little disappointed. Though the game does have decent voiced cut scenes that do shed some light on the situation as you progress, it is still pretty bland on this particular element.
Add in that my choice for the end didn’t seem to do much for the story, replay-ability isn’t going to be a biggie for anybody unless they have an urge to shot a giant robot over and over again.
Sound was rather hit and miss. Though the music was okay, the general weapon sounds seemed dull and unoriginal. The noises the enemies made were average at best with no real effort shown in this department. The only shining light of the game when it comes to sound was the fact that the voice acting was semi-decent.
Any game’s enjoyability, especially on a touch screen device can often hinge on how well the controls feel and how responsive they are. The on-screen controls for Shadowgun are like any other shooter on a touch screen. You get two analog sticks for aiming and moving, as well as a couple of buttons dotted around for things like reloading or dodge rolling. As you can imagine, the game doesn’t control well or respond as well as if you had a controller in your hand. Well thankfully something I really enjoyed about Shadowgun is the fact that it supported an external controller which made the game way more enjoyable. I played through the entire game with my Xbox pad and it felt almost perfect with the aiming being slightly too sensitive at times.
- Works excellently with an Xbox 360 pad.
- Good A.I. that keeps attacking.
- Decent voice acting.
- 6+ hours of content for £4.03/$4.99, the THD version is the same price.
- Free expansion pack.
- Poor cover system that can lead to death.
- Lack of engaging storytelling elements.
- Slow and clunky controls without a controller.
- Sound needed more attention.
I had a good time with Shadowgun and I certainly look forward to reviewing the other titles associated with the brand. So keep a look out for my review of the free expansion pack for Shadowgun and the multi-player review of Shadowgun: Deadzone. In the meantime, grab yourself a copy of Shadowgun and enjoy a mobile AAA shooting experience. If you have a Tegra 3 device then grab the THD version for better graphics at the same price, everybody else can still get the normal version for just as much fun. Suitability: 16+ Platforms: Android & iOS Replay Value: Little