Game Reviews

Heavy Gunner 3D

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| Heavy Gunner 3D
Heavy Gunner 3D
| Heavy Gunner 3D

If all it took to be a good shot was to pull the trigger, there would be little thrill in shooting.

Of course, a bad gun can make a sharpshooter a crap shot. Becoming an expert shot requires skill that comes through experience, but if your weapons isn't up to the task at hand you're sure to misfire.

Heavy Gunner pulls the trigger on non-stop shooting action, though a lack of quality control undermines the gameplay. There's little joy in defending the world from alien attack when merely aiming at your target feels like an ordeal.

Taking control of two gun turrets, your job is to take out a seemingly neverending assault of alien craft. Your actions are restricted to two, fairly obvious, activities: finding targets and then firing at them.

Plain ol' heavy

There are two ways of doing this. Using the default control scheme, you use the accelerometer to adjust the camera angle, while two thumbsticks control both the aiming and firing of your guns.

It's the most workable set-up, although trying to reverse the Y-axis is fairly fruitless. For some reason, every time I attempted to do this, the game became unresponsive and unplayable in parts.

The touch controls offer an alternative in which touching and dragging a finger out from the middle of the screen moves your view. Similar to the tilt set-up, though, none of this is especially responsive or quick.

With two thumbs already engaged in the shooting, it's not especially easy, either. With aliens heading towards you at all angles, any sense of delay whatsoever simply isn't acceptable.

Heavy Gunner, therefore, fumbles with control.

It's frustrating, because there's much to enjoy in the early levels. The difficulty is kept at a reasonable level and the sense of repetition that so grips stages later on has yet to materialise. Heavy Gunner has the feel of something epic and the impressive visuals only support that notion.

Aiming sky high

Like riding the same rollercoaster over and over again, that rush soon fades and shooting at the same enemies becomes tiring. Though the scenery may change - there are a whopping 35 stages all available to play, at three different difficulty levels, no less - Heavy Gunner has rather a limited shelf life.

Points won from successful stages can be spent on weapons upgrades. These help you boost firearms to deal with the ever-stiffening task of taking out inbound aliens, yet the incentive to accumulate points for such upgrades diminishes as the repetitiveness sets in.

Such sterility in a shooter can be forgiven, but dodgy controls can't. While Heavy Gunner shows much promise, it needs a little tuning up before it can offer up any kind of meaningful defense.

Heavy Gunner 3D

Stifled by tricky controls, Heavy Gunner is visually striking but too repetitive to live up to its epic billing
Keith Andrew
Keith Andrew
With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font. He's also Pocket Gamer's resident football gaming expert and, thanks to his work on, monitors the market share of all mobile OSes on a daily basis.