Category: Action Games, Shooter, Third Person Shooter
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When I read that Shadowgun for iOS was a console-quality game, I was skeptical. However, after Madfinger Games provided the game to me, I was very impressed. Shadowgun is a third-person shooter that looks to be inspired by Gears of War. It uses the Unity development platform, usually used in web-based applications. It looks stunning is an experience you wouldn't expect to get from an iOS game! I entered expecting exaggerations yet was so impressed that I promptly ran to show my friends.
Shadowgun looks awesome. There, I said it. If I had seen screenshots without reading about the game at all, I wouldn't have thought it was an iOS game. Allow me to pass on the words of Marek Rabas, president of Madfinger Games, from the press release. "Shadowgun pushes the boundaries of what is possible graphically on today's mobile devices... Once a gamer picks up Shadowgun and experiences the amazing visuals, combined with the fast-paced, immersive gameplay, they will never be able to look at mobile games the same." My friends, Marek Rabas was right on. Check out this video if you don't believe me. You'll see a 3D world, impressive textures, decent lighting, and a grim, futuristic setting. Of course, you'll also see a beefy looking, macho, tough guy running around shooting anything that moves. Hell yeah.
Madfinger Games didn't let me down with the audio either. The music definitely matches the mood while I run around shooting my enemies. There are lots of sound effects - mostly gunfire! It all sounds great. Shadowgun also features voice-acted dialogue. As you can expect, the main character has a gruff voice that all these types of characters have. It's what gamers come to expect! Your emotionless android girl back on the ship likewise features an emotionless voice, and there's definitely some humor thrown in the game as the two talk.
The story is introduced in the opening cutscene. While it isn't amazing, it's enough to justify the gameplay. Unfortunately I noticed a few typos throughout the game, but nothing major. In Shadowgun, you're a bounty hunter in a future controlled by powerful corporations. Toltech Enterprises pays you to bring back a former employee, Dr. Edgar Simon. The story continues to unfold during the game itself. You could easily ignore the story if you'd like, as I know a lot of gamers do. I, however, enjoyed the story. No level was mindless. There's a reason for what's happening in every level. Halfway through the game, a story reveal even caused me to let out a small expletive.
As I mentioned, Shadowgun is a third-person shooter. You run around and shoot bad guys. What more could you want? Four buttons are displayed. In the top-left is a pause button. The bottom-right contains the shoot and reload buttons. Finally, a button for switching weapons is in the top-right. How about moving and aiming? Touch anywhere on the left side other than the pause button and slide your thumb around to move. Do the same thing on the right side for aiming! While it might sound difficult to move with your left thumb, aim with your right thumb, and press the shoot button on the right at the same time, it's actually quite simple. After pressing and holding the shoot button, you can drag with your right thumb to aim while still shooting. It feels very natural!
If you run straight up to an enemy, you probably won't last long. You'll need to take cover behind walls. I don't understand why bad guys leave small walls scattered around their facilities, but it works in your favor! Simply run up to a wall to take cover behind it. Aim using the crosshair in the middle of the screen, and when you press the fire button, you'll pop out of cover to fire. When you let go, you'll go back into cover. While you're in cover, pulling away will cause you to leave cover while sliding your thumb up in the direction of the wall will cause you to jump over it if you can. It's simple and intuitive. Cover won't last forever though, because some cover is destructible. That can be used against you by your enemies, but you can also use that knowledge to blow through your enemy's cover.
In addition to shooting enemies, the game builds upon itself with new enemy types, additional tactics, and lots of features. You'll need to find terminals to open doors. A variety of mutants and robots will attack you. You'll even need to perform memory mini-games to hack doors. (Seriously? Why do computer network specialists in video game worlds use mini-games to protect their networks?) Difficult enemies are introduced that are later used as normal enemies once you've learned how to deal with them. This is something a lot of games get wrong, but Shadowgun gets very right. There are a variety of weapons, and each feels different, giving a good amount of choice. Of course, no shooter would be complete without bosses. Boss fights aren't always the same either. Some bosses are stationary, shooting at you while you dodge and shoot back. Others will force you to flee while using the environment to attack them. Shadowgun features three difficulties as well as bits of story information unlocked by finding hidden markers in the levels.
Shadowgun really blew me away. It's one of the best games I've played on the iPhone, and it's one you can really show off! It sounds and looks gorgeous. Shadowgun is a very fun game for hardcore gamers, a group of people often ignored on the iOS. I will eagerly watch Madfinger games for more releases in the future. For only $7.99 on the App Store, Shadowgun gives you hours and hours of high-quality action entertainment. I really recommend it!