Warfare Shooter Review

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Title: Warfare Shooter
Developer: Lightning Game Studios
Game Type: PlayStation Mobile
Download: 73 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download 

EU Availability: Digital Download
PSTV Support: Yes

Ever since Unity 3D support came to the PlayStation world, developers have been trying to make first-person shooter experiences for the Vita in the form of PlayStation Mobile games.  We have reviewed a few games of these types or at least orientations.  Off the top of my head, I have reviewed the PSM games On Call, Insects – The Alien Invasion, and The Game Lab Project in these styles.

The biggest thing to note about all of these experiences is that PS Mobile comes with a certain amount of technical difficulties to get through to create a refined experience of this sort.  The game On Call played well, outside of load times.  Then we have The Game Lab Project and Insects which looked visually fantastic, but suffered from some frame-rate issues as you played through the game. The latter two also felt more like small mini-game experiences rather than full game experiences.

As the inevitable PSM closure in July creeps closer and closer, I am doing my best to bring out as much coverage for the developers and games for it as possible.  Today, we go back to that first-person shooting experience in one of the games that released just last week.  Somewhat in the same vein as Insects, here is my official review of Warfare Shooter!

Story

Due to this game not having any sort of plot or story, this section shall remain blank.

Gameplay

Warfare Shooter is, as the title suggests, a first-person shooting game.  As you play through the game in a more arcade sense, you will be traversing a 3D environment and shooting down enemies with firearms that you either start out with or find lying around as you explore the area.  So, the most technical terminology for the game is an Arcade First-Person Shooter.

When you boot up the game, there will be only one game mode to go into.  You will simply tap on the Start Game option as soon as you boot the game and it will load into the area for you to begin your match against your opponents.  Since there is only one game mode, you don’t need to worry about looking around for customization and other types of game modes, since you’ll always be doing the same thing regardless.

Once the area loads, you will be equipped with a handgun to fight off your enemies.  Around the area will be other firearms that you can use the touch screen to swap out for to use instead, such as an Assault Rifle or Shotgun.  The main point is that you find the firearm you wish to use before enemies start spawning and moving towards you.

As you play through the game, enemies will spawn from the other end of the stage and your goal will be to take them down.  The enemies are in the form of giant bugs that look similar to the enemies from the PSM title Insects.  You can use any of the firearms around and firing off shots will damage and kill them.  Then, you will wait until the next spawns and the process starts over, working up your score until the timer stops and you can start the game again.

Unlike Insects, you can actually move around this environment freely.  You can run over to the walls, climb up ladders, and move around to try to find everything there is to find.  While the environment isn’t that big, you aren’t forced to stand still as you move and gun down giant insects.

The biggest downside of the game is how simple it is.  First of all, it doesn’t matter what firearm you pick up and use.  One shot will kill any enemy, whether you shoot them with a shotgun or handgun or assault rifle.  There is also no depth as far as distance goes.  You can snipe enemies from across the stage with any weapon and they’ll take just as much damage as if they were right next to you.

The other downer is that the game gets old very quickly.  The environment you’re in is rather small, so there’s only so much you’ll want to fight off enemies that go down in a single shot and spawn in the same, exact place every single time.  Once you know this, there is no level of tension in the atmosphere.  You are an over-powered gunner against giant menacing-looking insects that aren’t really that menacing.

The bright side is that the game has some solid FPS mechanics.  You have a lot of the precise-aim, scopes, reloading, and a fair amount of firearms to choose from in the game.  Were the mechanics implemented into a more in-depth experience, developers could make a pretty decent shooter.  All in all, though, this game is more like a survival mini-game and will only take a few minutes of your time for each time through the game.

Controls

The controls for the game are pretty standard for shooting fans.  One thing to note is that, despite the game working on the PlayStation TV, there are some touch controls for you to play around with.  The touch controls are mostly for the opening menu, though, as that’s how you go from the Main Menu and start a game.  You can also tap during the game to focus your aim.

You will be using the buttons to play most of the game.  First of all, the D-Pad doesn’t do anything.  Moving around the environment is done with the Left Analog Stick and moving your camera/aim is done with the Right Analog Stick.  In order to go into Zoom/Scope mode, you can tap and hold the L trigger or Circle button.  You can fire your weapon by tapping the R trigger as well as the X button.  Finally, you can reload your gun with the Square button.

It’s a pretty simple control scheme, but the camera controls definitely present an annoyance.  First of all, the camera is always moving towards the ground, so you have to constantly be moving it to where you want it.  Second of all, the camera moves very sluggish and feels like there’s a lot of resistance just to get turned around.  It’s workable, but very annoying.

Presentation

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The visual presentation of the game is probably the best part of the entire package.  Visually, the game looks really good.  There are very few jagged edges to be seen and all of the environments and effects look really nice.  It’s up with the same level as games like Insects or The Game Lab Project.

The problem with the presentation is how it plays.  The load times for starting a game are fairly lengthy, taking anywhere between 10 and 15 seconds to load the game.  The bigger negative point of the presentation is in the frame-rate.  When you first start a stage, you will see a lot of frame-rate issues as you start firing off your weapons.  While it does smooth out a bit once you get going, those first few segments will have game-freezing slowdown and lag.  There were some scenarios where I thought the game was about to crash because the frames went to a standstill for a few seconds.

Summary

Warfare Shooter is another attempt at bringing shooting gameplay to PlayStation Mobile.  While the game does have some very nice visuals and shooting mechanics, it’s brought down by a lack of story and depth, no difficulty, long load times, frame issues, and difficult camera controls.  If you’re really itching for a shooting game on PlayStation Mobile, it is an option, but not one we would recommend. 

4/10