• arrow
    LOG IN 
    • Log in using an option below.
      Forgot password?
      Login with Facebook
      Sign in with Twitter

Shop Contact Us Submit Videos Who Are We? Hall Of Fame Advertising With PG Games Archive
Best games on iPhone Best games on iPad Best games on Apple Watch Best games on Android
Best free games on iPhone Best free games on iPad Best free games on Apple Watch Best free games on Android Competitions
iPhone game sales iPad game sales Apple Watch game sales Android game sales
Latest iPhone game updates Latest iPad game updates Latest Apple Watch game updates Latest Android game updates
New iPhone games New iPad games New Apple Watch games New Android games
PG.biz PG FRANCE PG GERMANY PG Game Guides PG GameHubs PG Connects
AppSpy 148 Apps Android Rundown iPhone Quality Index iPad Quality Index Android Quality Index Swipe Magazine Best App Ever Awards
Pocket Gamer on NewsNow
UK Mobile Pages Directory
Skinflint Price Comparison
PSP  header logo

Coded Arms

For: PSP

Shotguns, rocket launchers and killer robots in a virtual reality world, but does Coded Arms offer more than just fancy firepower?

Product: Coded Arms | Developer: Konami | Publisher: Konami | Format: PSP | Genre: Shooter | Players: 1-4 | Version: US
Coded Arms PSP, thumbnail 1
Sometimes it's good to be first. Be the first person to build a flying machine and you got your name in the history books. First person to climb Mount Everest - he's famous as well. Other times though, the glory is more short-lived. First person to run the 100 metres in under 10 seconds? We could look his name up on the Internet, but frankly we can't be bothered [it was James R Hines in 1968 - fact-loving Ed]. So what's the glory in store for Coded Arms, the first first-person shooter game on PSP?

First off, perhaps the most important aspect of this game is its control system. Thanks to console shooters like TimeSplitters and Halo, the standard for a smooth shoot-and-scoot experience is well defined - the dual stick method, where you use the left joystick to move your character and the right joystick to point your gun. Obviously the problem with PSP is it only has one joystick - and a tiddy one at that. Konami's compromise is to use that single stick to move your character forward, back and strafing side to side, and use the four right-hand-side action buttons to point your gun. If you're really keen, you can go into the control options menu and play around with some other set-ups, but thanks to a solid auto-aiming system, you'll soon get used to Coded Arms' controls, even when taking out the annoying flying robots that appear early in the game.

But if the controls work well, the rest of the game feels a bit peculiar. In terms of atmosphere, it's basically a rip-off of TRON, where you're hacking into a virtual reality world, collecting data and fighting with the security bots. This makes for some good graphical touches, such as when you destroy anything, it turns into a buzzy electric wireframe object before vanishing, leaving some ammo or a new weapon plug-in for you to pick up. And as a shooter, there are some excellent weapons effects, explosions and electrical flashes.

On the other hand, this also means Konami tries to get away without any actual story behind the game. All you do is enter a level, shoot everything, collect what's left behind and then move onto the next level. Even more annoying is that Coded Arms levels are randomised, so everytime you play (or replay) a level, its corridors and rooms are laid out in a completely different way, although the same enemies are always in the same rooms.

The result is a game, which has great graphics and a good selection of weapons - all the usual variations of shotgun, assault rifle, bazooka, sniper rifle and minigun - but doesn't give you much encouragement to clear another 13 levels. The only variation is in the final level bosses; of which there are three types, Enforcer, Colossus and Mantis. As colourful and extravagant as the rest of the game is mundane and pedestrian, these add the real interest and even fun which is lacking elsewhere.

However, once you've unlocked the main six single-player areas and defeated the three bosses, the game then goes into an infinity mode which means you can keep playing random level after random level, with the occasional boss thrown in for good measure, until even the most fanatical shooter fan gets bored. OK, there are some cool extra weapons to pick up - the three-homing-rocket Trident launcher for example - but with these type of games, the weapons are only really as fun as the enemies you're shooting with them. And by the time, you've fought your way to get Trident, you've defeated all the bad guy type several times over.

Of course, the one place where this sort of thing doesn't matter is multiplayer. And with up to four players and three modes - deathmatch, keep the mark (a variation of king of the hill with a pick-up) and last man standing - here at least Coded Arms makes its mark.

So to answer that question about being the first first person shooter on PSP, in terms of timing we can't argue with Coded Arms but remember that as soon as there's two options available, being first isn't the same thing as being best.

Coded Arms is on sale now.
Coded Arms
Reviewer photo
Jon Jordan | 22 August 2005
A solid first person shooter with plenty of guns and levels, but without too many frills or thrills
Have Your Say