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Shadowgun

For:   Also on: AndroidiPhoneiPad
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Let there be light

Product: Shadowgun | Developer: Madfinger Games | Publisher: Madfinger Games | Format: Android | Genre: Action, Shooter | Players: 1 | File size: 219MB | Version: Europe
 
Shadowgun Android, thumbnail 1
Infinity Blade may be a great AAA game designed specifically for touchscreens, but I can’t have been alone in feeling a little let-down when I first played it, in that the console-esque graphics merely housed an elaborate game of Fruit Ninja.

But it’s not hard to see why Epic and Chair chose that path. Too many ‘traditional’ games on iOS are a chore to control due to the touchscreen’s slippery nature, and more still look like bad copies of what has gone before.

Shadowgun, from Samurai II developer Madfinger Games, isn’t a perfect third-person action game by any means, but those looking for an eye-catching Gears of War-style experience on their mobiles that doesn't feel like a series of compromises won't come away disappointed.

Killing in the name of

You, as the titular Shadowgun John Slade, have to infiltrate a mad scientist’s facility, taking down hordes of genetically-altered beasts and security robots while hiding behind conveniently placed chest-high walls.

While the plot may sound like a rejected script for a Jason Statham movie, the game itself is a darn sight more enjoyable, thanks mainly to the well-tuned controls.

On paper, there’s not too much difference between the way Madfinger has approached Shadowgun and the way Gameloft approached Shadow Guardian. One side of the screen handles movement, the other controls your view. There's a button for firing (which can be held and dragged), one for reloading, and another for weapon-switching. Fairly standard stuff.

Where Shadowgun beats its similarly named rival is in the polish applied to the controls. Movement is smooth and accurate across the board, while the fact that most combat takes place behind walls means there’s no faffing with strafing for the most part.

There’s also no need for extra buttons - cover is handled automatically, there’s no close-combat element, and absolutely no jumping or dashing.

This cutting back of extraneous abilities has the desirable effect of keeping things manageable, even when there are several enemies all gunning for your shadow blood.

The god delusion

Everything about the game, from the graphics and controls right through to the sound, oozes class. Unbelievably, even the voice acting is entertaining, so while the chugging guitar soundtrack does get a little tiresome after the 50th loop, it’s still worth popping earphones in to hear the exchanges between John and his sarcastic AI, Sara.

Naturally the big draw is the graphics, but while there are a lot of good things to say about the visuals - the textures are detailed and the animations are flawless - this quality appears to have come at the price of variety.

Every level is a mesh of metal and steel, and while there are a few brief moments where you go outside the facility the majority of the game is bathed in the same pea-green glow from the hundreds of gunge tanks the doctor appears fond of.

That’s not to say that Madfinger just throws metal corridor after metal corridor at you in the hope that the graphics alone will be enough to impress you.

Set-pieces such as a boss ‘battle’ with a huge digging machine and the excellent variety in the enemies you encounter (including an incredibly annoying one that teleports behind you with a grenade launcher) keep you on your toes throughout.

Crash and burn

Little secret icons that unlock artwork and facts are a nice reward for those willing to go off the beaten track, but everyone else should be able to blast their way through the story in three to four hours on Normal difficulty.

This time spent with the game is likely to be, sadly, extended due to crashes. Our iPad 2 dumped us from the game a good five or six times before the campaign was over, often just before a checkpoint after one of the more tricky sections.

There are also moments when ambition exceeds the execution. A set-piece involving two security robots was a little tarnished when they started firing through the walls, for instance, while the sections where you're forced to run and gun once again highlight the problems touchscreens have with traditionally console game genres.

But despite these hiccups, Shadowgun remains the best attempt to recreate the third-person action game we’ve seen on iOS to date, proving that you don’t necessarily have to ditch a genre just because you don’t have a D-pad.

 
Shadowgun
Reviewer photo
Will Wilson | 28 September 2011
The best third-person action game available on mobiles, with stunning graphics and tight controls
 
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Joined:
Nov 2011
Post count:
2
supes | 19:44 - 7 November 2011
This app crashes a lot, doesn't it? I've read a few reviews with same problems --> http://macnews1.com/game-review-ipad-shadowgun

Please make updates for other iDevice. I really hate it when it crashes just right before a checkpoint! :(
Joined:
Apr 2010
Post count:
203
jeffyg3 | 05:09 - 1 October 2011
the game is fun, but it ends up feeling a little monotonous further on. would have liked more variety.

still a really good game, though I wouldn't call this the best 3rd person action game on mobile devices...Dead Space on iOS devices is a MUCH better game overall, though not as much a shooter as Shadowgun.

good jb on the game Madfinger. Can't wait for the multiplayer.
Joined:
Sep 2011
Post count:
1
Morenno | 16:46 - 30 September 2011
@MADFINGER Games
Sorry to say but the game still crashes at 15-20 minutes of gameplay on ipad 2. It happened to me and to a friend. (in both ipads 2)

The games is very fun. But when it crashes after a boss battle or close to a checkpoint is dissapointing.

Please fix it on a update.

Congrats for the game.
Joined:
Sep 2011
Post count:
1
gunxswordTA | 23:13 - 28 September 2011
Bad review.

Next to no description of actual gameplay, only description of controls.
Also, no comparison to Gears of War? It's almost an insult to the franchise as this game blatantly rips off the game's concept and mechanics.

On to the lack of gameplay, perhaps the reviewer omitted discussion in regards to gameplay because he did not play the game enough to notice the monotony and repetitive combat, or his just being biased and eschewing negative comments.

Go read Slidetoplay or 148Apps reviews instead. They make much better description on actual gameplay, which is by far more important than the universally acclaimed graphics.
Joined:
Dec 2009
Post count:
8
MADFINGER Games | 11:40 - 28 September 2011
Thanks for review Will..

btw, game should not crash on iPad2 now.. I mean version 1.0.1. You had version 1.0 which was compiled by wrong compiler and it crash everytime after 20-30 minutes of playing..

Best
Joined:
Sep 2011
Post count:
1
RAHIEM69D | 10:51 - 28 September 2011
hello there...I have a Motorola xoom and can't wait to hit the buy button for this game...any eta for tegra 2 tablets?
 
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