Release Date: January 29, 2013
Platform: [Reviewed: Xbox 360], PlayStation 3
Rated: T for Teen
Mastiff and Teyon have come together yet again to release their own shoot ‘em up title, Heavy Fire: Shattered Spear. It’s a genre that almost everybody loves and a price point that everyone can afford. But even with the well planned marketing , is it worth it?
Shattered Spear is narrated by Will, a U.S. Army Ranger in Afghanistan. A undercover spy in Tehran, managed to steal top secret nuclear plans. While in route back to Afghanistan, his dirty deeds catches up with him, leaving him pinned down in need of the ranger’s regime. The mission is to get the Intel and stop a nuclear disaster from occurring.
Shattered Spear breaks down in 12, extremely short missions. However, once you complete the rookie mode, veteran unlocks, increasing the difficulty. Gameplay is literally forced-fed as you have no control over your character, similar to what one may in House of the Dead or Time Crisis. All you are allowed to do is aim, shoot and throw grenades; and when situations seem unbearable, you can take cover.
Increase your health, refill your ammo and retrieve grenades by shooting the onscreen icons scattered throughout each stage.
After building your score, you will at times have the opportunity to unlock special upgrades such as new weapons, extra magazines, additional health and more. The most important upgrade is definitely the ability to have a faster reload. Shattered Spear struggles to find its ground with not only reloading, but that will come later in the review.
After each mission you are ranked based on your skills, accuracy and more allowing you to promote yourself from Private to General. Your overall score can be accessed through the home screen’s leaderboard to find out where you rank among your peers.
Throughout gameplay, you’ll find aiming down targets to be a bit atrocious. You can adjust sensitivity, but then there’s pulling yourself out of cover to push down your right thumbstick to get a shot off.
Then there are the characters that are quite frankly dull and unbelievable. It’s understandable that Shattered Spear was probably working with a budget, but it doesn’t excuse the poor acting from whomever decided to take the voiceovers.
Graphics were not much to cheer for either. But with the $19.99 price point, the early XBOX/PlayStation 2 look isn’t much of a complaint.
The three biggest let downs for Shattered Spear is the amount of gameplay, as I clocked game completion at 1hr and 18mins. Second is the poor voice performance, which left me after a while ignoring monologue. Finally, even with the hour and a half story, there wasn’t anything rewarding in beating Shattered Spear.
Heavy Fire is not the worst game to ever release, it just doesn’t have an “it” factor. I could have seen this in the marketplace at a lower price, $20 is pretty steep for a game that takes you nowhere.
Replay Value: 1.5/5
Overall Rating: 2/5