iPad and Android Game Review: Shadowgun
Reviewed by JadeDragon
Madefinger Games has been producing high quality games for iOS and Android, most noticeably the Samurai hack and slash series, Samsung Way of the Warrior and Samurai II Vengeance. The newest game from Madfinger Games steps up even more with console quality graphics and audio, realistic and detailed environment, shadows and ragdoll included and more. The game is Shadowgun with a production style of Gears of War games and weapons of future warfare. Once the game is ready to go, you'd better strap on because it's going to be an intense ride!
SHADOWGUN traded the Samurai sword for several highly styled super weapons. Your hero is a buffed professional bounty hunter who will stop at nothing until he finds the rogue Dr. Edgar Simon and the year is 2350 when state of the art weaponry and attack robots roam on spaceships. Shadowgun, developed with the Unity platform, has all the visual eye candies that will attract plenty of players; but itís the complete AI design, simple yet effective controls and smooth movement of characters that will keep the players fighting to the end. Like a good quality console 3rd-personal shooter, Shadowgun offers easy movement, excellent interaction with surrounding environment and intelligent AI opponents. Bullets that hit the explosive bio fuel containers can generate the expected effects, and they hit different barriers you see different effects depending on the type of the barrier. These are some sophisticated effects we rarely see in mobile games. There are shadows, blood splatters and ragdoll effects along with heavy firefights, all work very smoothly.
Since the resource limitation on mobile platforms, Shadowgun canít pack as much as a console game that can provide a complete stories with lengthy cinema pieces. But it offers a long single player campaign that should last you 5-8 hours depending on the difficulty levels. The weapon collection isn't large but effective, and you get plenty of bullets along the way. The game peppers in some puzzle solving elements, timed rush sequences and more to break up the gunfights. Shadowgun has one of the strongest AI implementations weíve seen on a mobile platform. Enemies will duck for covers the same way you would, and flank you in a very intelligent way. If there are different types of enemies in one location, they will work together to utilize each otherís strength. You will really need to watch out and keep track of everyone in their party; or one of them might sneak up on you and hit you from behind, especially the units with cloaking abilities.
Shadowgun uses both iOS and Android powers to the max in rendering realistic environments, vivid characters, and eye-popping special effects. The developer tweaks the game for each platform, and will even have an enhanced version supporting the next gen NVIDIA Tegra quad-core technology. The stunning looking graphics have enough details and shades that rival some console shooter titles, and the game never slows down. There are still some crashed on the iPad even after the latest update, but it crashes a lot less.
Controls are smooth in Shadowgun. Fans of dual stick shooters will have no trouble picking up the game and playing right away. The movement virtual stick is location-flexible. Wherever you touch the lower left screen the stick can anchor it on that spot. Shooting and reloading buttons have set locations, and there is an autofire function. Your character will reload when the gun runs out of bullets, but you can manually reload before getting into a battle.
The audio package is also polished to match the intensity of the gameplay and outstanding graphics. Sound tracks are blood pumping, and sound FX realistic. The sound tracks arenít as heavy as those in Rage, but powerful enough to accompany the actions in Shadowgun nicely. Bullets, rockets, lasersÖeverything has its distinctive sound, making the whole package an intriguing audio experience.
Some games might have uncommonly good graphics, but are hobbled by other aspects of the games. Shadowgun doesnít slack on anything Ė it plays as well as it looks and sounds. The game is extremely smooth, and quite easy to pick up and play thanks to the excellent controls. Yes, you might die a few times in battles, but you never have the feeling that you just canít get through a level. The very intelligent AI keeps you on your toes and various types of enemies give you run for the money. All in all, Shadowgun is one of the best 3rd-person shooter games weíve seen on both iOS and Android.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 5 - Graphics pushes the boundary of the platform.
Sound: - 5 - Fitting music to create the mood and effective sound FX.
Controls: - 5 - Very smooth control and easy to use.
Gameplay: - 5 - Beefy gameplay, good level design, excellent AI and non-stop action.
Playing Hints and Tips:
-Watch out for every enemy in the fight. Some robots rush you, and cyborgs like to flank you.
-Use metal barriers that get destroyed by bullets. Use leaning on the side to shoot then duck for cover.
-Donít be afraid of retry if you die the first time. You can learn enemy attack patterns and strength as you retry your approach.
Developer: Madfinger Games
Release Date: September 22, 2011
Buy App: Shadowgun
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