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For: iPad   Also on: iPhone

Seeing the light

Product: Lawless | Publisher: DeNA | Format: iPad | Genre: Arcade, Shooter | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Lawless iPad, thumbnail 1
Everybody loves light gun games. They're exhilarating virtual shooting galleries, exuberant tests of marksmanship that offer an almost uniquely close connection between player action and on-screen consequence.

And everybody knows that light gun games just aren't much fun without a light gun. Ask anyone who's ever played a console conversion of an arcade shooter without investing in some gun-shaped hardware first.

So, Mobage's free-to-play on-rails shooter Lawless has got its work cut out for it.

Thankfully, Lawless's touchscreen controls capture the thrills and immediacy of the arcade experience better than a traditional console controller ever could.

Turning the tables

Of course, Lawless is by no means the first light gun-style game to make an appearance on the App Store, although it's one of the most direct recreations of the arcade experience to date.

IAPs explained
Crime coins are available to purchase in packs that start at 69p / 99c for 100 and go up to £69.99 / $99.99 for 10,524.

You can use this currency to buy powerful and exotic weaponry; boost your XP and cash rewards; or for additional mission retry tokens.
As such, you'll pick your avatar and then spend your time peeking out from cover and taking pot shots at your enemies before ducking back into safety.

But whereas the likes of Time Crisis and House of the Dead cast you as the good guys, Lawless has you playing as amoral career criminals, and tasks you with shooting down beat cops, SWAT operatives, and riot-shielded police.

Gunning down these goody two-shoes is simply a matter of jabbing at your display. It's an immediate and intuitive way to play, and one that allows for a pleasing sense of mastery almost from the get-go.

Fun but dumb

Since headshots in Lawless are a bit of a breeze, the game challenges you to take out your enemies quickly, and it's possible to rack up some hefty score multipliers if you can gun down police specialists extra quickly.

This sense of pace lends a certain excitement to proceedings, but Lawless is nevertheless a rather lightweight experience, and the inclusion of character and weapon-levelling systems does little to disguise the fact that you're just pushing at pixels.

But what it lacks in depth, Lawless makes up for in immediacy, visual fidelity, and good old-fashioned fun. It may not stay with you long, and it's best suited to short sessions, but Lawless is a fun ride while it lasts.
Reviewer photo
James Nouch | 12 December 2013
A fun but lightweight shooter that sets out to recreate the thrills of an arcade light gun game for your iOS device
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Nov 2013
Post count:
Lochheart | 17:26 - 12 December 2013
Can you remove 1 point to the final 7 or just advise that this game is not playable without an internet connection ?

It's just a shame to be unable to play just because a F$$$$ freemium system...