Madfinger Games have been busy focussing on all things mobile and the result of their hard work is a small download but a massive game: Shadowgun.
Shadowgun puts you into the third person over the shoulder view of our protagonist Jack Slade, a bounty hunter who always brings his man down. You are sent on a mission to capture or kill the mad scientist Dr. Edger Simon, who has stolen secrets, people, and resources from a multinational company. Now that company wants the situation sorted out, like only Jack Slade can.
The first thing that grabs you about this game is the graphics. I’ve played so many games on the iPad now and this one really made me stop and look around the environment on more than one occasion. Most of the game is spent indoors and although the constant trawling through levels does get a little repetitive Madfinger have made this slightly different with the use of industrial building techniques and colour changes. You actually feel like you’re moving along in the story. For all the indoor story progression it was the outdoor scenes that really showed the potential power the iPad holds within. Madfinger have really created graphically beautiful environments; when you get to view long distances you can see distant mountains, smoking sunsets and scrolling clouds. Just magic.
With all the graphical punch that comes with this game you would allow some breathing room for the sound quality, but again Shadowgun flexes its muscles and really delivers. Powerful guns blasting and environmental sounds are constant and consistent, whether it’s the sound of huge metal doors sliding open or your enemy screaming at you that you’re about to die. Of course there is also the classic touch of manic action-style metal music to alert you to any enemies as you enter new rooms.
For all the games charm and polish it is still hampered by a few basic niggling issues. Firstly I played the game as a shooter on the iPad, this is a real hamstring to the ability of any shooter. Controlling the movement of the character is at times difficult, other times downright excruciating. There is nothing more annoying than being shot at by multiple human-like cyborgs and not being able to turn or move to avoid being killed!
Secondly, and I cannot lay all the blame at the feet of the developers, is the game crashes. On multiple occasions the game just switched off and returned to the home screen. I would be eagerly awaiting the next scene as I sat staring at a loading screen and the next moment I found myself looking at my home screen. Like I said it is not something I can hold solely to the game, perhaps I may need to restart my iPad more regularly, but hopefully it gets addressed in future patches.
All in all this is by far the best shooter I have not only played but also seen on the iOS to date. The story is not very influential to the game but the gameplay, sounds and graphics make up for that. The caption on iTunes reads ‘6 hours of game play’, which is not far from truth. I finished the game in little over 5 hours however I did not find all the unlockables in the process. I found it challenging in sections and entertaining through-out. As one of the more expensive games on the iPad ($8.49 on the Aussie App Store) I would be hesitant to pick it up, however after more than 5 hours playing the game I can now recommend it wholeheartedly as a worthwhile purchase.