Game Reviews

Heist: The Score

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Heist: The Score

The doors swing open and you stride into a grand lobby. Tommy gun in hand, you look on in silence as your mob companions apprise queuing customers and nonplussed tellers of the situation.

"Ladies and gentlemen, to allay your fears, this is indeed a robbery. Remain calm and no harm will come to you," says the Don, with polite criminal menace.

"Would you kindly lie down on the floor and place your hands over your heads?" He's barely finished when an alarm sounds, and suddenly the place is infested with trigger-happy coppers. Bullets begin to fly. The heist has begun.

Complete banker

As introductions go, Heist's is strikingly atmospheric. The familiar lingo, the excellent music, and the opulent surroundings all work to convincingly ground you in the period and place. It's an impressive, ambitious opener, but all this serves to cast the game's shortcomings and irritations in greater relief.

Voice-acting performances are so uneven as to be distracting, for instance, and you'll have noted Heist's control inadequacies even before you're done with the tutorial. The Xperia Play's thumb-pad - which many developers have struggled to implement effectively - is at its most skittishly inaccurate here.

Using the D-pad is a sluggish alternative, so you'll likely slide shut your handset just a few minutes into proceedings, opting instead for the standard touchscreen aiming controls.

The matter of the score

Heist may be unable to take advantage of the Play's unique hardware, but it's a very serviceable shooting gallery nonetheless.

Armed with pleasingly punchy period weaponry, you'll take on hordes of police, rival gangs, and one very upset bank manager across the course of a pulpy 'bank-job gone wrong' narrative.

It boasts little in the way of variety, and it's short - with a jarringly abrupt ending presumably intended to set up a sequel - but Heist offers a burst of atmospheric fun that doesn't outstay its welcome.

Anyone seeking longevity or complexity will be disappointed, but if you're looking for a throwaway confection you can bank on Heist.

Heist: The Score

Heist: The Score is an exciting shooting gallery while it lasts, but its abrupt ending and failure to take advantage of the Play's hardware make this a qualified recommendation
James Nouch
James Nouch's news editor 2012-2013