John Kannon is a man on a mission, and that mission is to shoot the same four gangster models over and over again. Sometimes in slow motion.
That's the basic premise of 9mm, Gameloft's homage to the Max Payne series, and whilst it tries to call on the gruff and gritty spirit of its inspiration it ends up a bit of a mess.Kannon fob-off
The game is a third-person shooter that leads you through the grimy underbelly of LA drug culture. Kannon is a cop on the edge who shoots first and asks questions with his fists later.
Subtlety is cast off in the very first mission, which sees you infiltrating a drug dealer's house by leaping through a skylight. From there you leave a trail of corpses in your search for justice and an end to drug crime.
The combat is fast and furious, but there's no depth to it. A blast from a shotgun does the same damage as a round from your pistol.
Your only tactic is your bullet-time, which lets you dive around in slo-mo, but doesn't last long enough to be really useful.Loose, Kannon, far too loose
There are some hideous difficulty spikes thrown into the mix as well, where the pace of the game changes and you're surrounded and left to fend for yourself. Quick-time event chases and interrogations break up the bullet spraying, but to no real avail.
The Xperia Play's slide-out controller makes the game easy enough to pick and play, with the shoulder buttons handling your shooting and bullet-time and the analogue nubs your movement. There's a multiplayer mode as well, which lets you duke it out in 12-player gun battles.
But none of this is enough to save 9mm from the doldrums. Unintentionally hilarious dialogue, clunky and repetitive mechanics, and an unpleasant underlying current add up to make a game that's difficult to like, let alone recommend.