SHADOWGUN Review for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad
MADFINGER Games’ latest contribution to the iOS is a visually stunning third-person shooter set in the 24th century. SHADOWGUN. The game stars John Slade, a mercenary, who as a “shadowgun”, is hired by the largest intergalactic corporation to bag their errant employee, a dangerous scientist who ran away with company property and proprietary information on genetic engineering.
SHADOWGUN is a universal app that runs on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. There’s no doubt the game reigns with its impressive graphics. Although I found the intro or opening sequences to be a little low in resolution on my iPad 2, the actual game graphics are crisp and downright gorgeous.
The game offers a bit of story to wrap things together. John Slade operates with the aid of an android named S.A.R.A., who will speak to and sometimes guide him in-between his bouts of shooting. Such story elements are very minimal, but the accompanying voiceovers are excellent for a mobile game. The gameplay is pretty simplistic. In contrast to the spiderbots who will scurry at you and explode, the humanoid enemies are often close to being sitting targets waiting for you to pick off. Winning in this game is all about seeking shelter from live fire. You can crouch behind barriers or hide behind walls, and then pop out at appropriate times to rain shots on your opponents. They too will intermittently seek cover between rounds of shooting. Given time, they’ll sometimes also try to approach you and change their cover positions. Firing on them will push them into hiding again. Aside from humanoid enemies, there are also big robots or machines, which are harder to destroy.
Some barriers will partially collapse after a period of taking hits, so you should pick a sturdier barrier (typically the yellow and black striped ones) to shield yourself, or move to the next barrier. Other than this, there isn’t very much else to the game strategy. While you can reload or change your firing weapon, you have no additional combat moves at your disposal. Although you can leap over a barrier after taking cover, you can’t roll away or engage in melee battle.
Just a wee bit of game variation can be found sporadically, such as when you need to hack a system. Such hacking will have you playing a memory mini-game. Numbers on a grid will light up, and you’ll have to tap them in the same sequence to successfully clear the stage.
Overall though, the game is honestly rather repetitive. I didn’t feel much sense of adventure despite the graphically beautiful environments. In every room or area that John enters, he has to basically take cover and blast at anything and everything hostile. Moreover, the enemies don’t appear to be overly bright. Despite this, the game has its challenging times, when more powerful enemies are pitted against you, or when you’re overpowered by sheer numbers.
The controls work very well, and since the positions of the virtual D-pad and other buttons are fully customizable, they should suit everyone. However, the game is unfortunately not free of bugs. Perhaps depending on your device model, you may experience some crashing. SHADOWGUN’s recent update appears to have improved stability, but it may take additional updates for all the issues to be ironed out.
SHADOWGUN, a universal app currently available in the App Store for $7.99, is recommended to fans of third-person shooters. If you’re looking for something similar to Gears of War, this is it. SHADOWGUN boasts superior graphics that will most certainly not disappoint; just don’t expect any complex gameplay, and you might very well enjoy the shooting action.
Note: A promotional code was provided by the creator for use in this article.
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