Game Reviews

Shooter: The Official Movie Game

Star onStar onStar onStar halfStar off
Shooter: The Official Movie Game

Anyone who has fired a gun knows that the more powerful it is the more kickback it gives. A high-powered rifle, for example, recoils hard into your shoulder when fired. Shooter is just like that, unloading strong action-packed gameplay that unfortunately kicks back with an amplified difficulty curve and mediocre presentation.

Bob Lee Swagger takes the starring role in Shooter, his super sniping skills putting him one step ahead of a far-reaching government conspiracy. The game follows the plot of the movie, beginning with Swagger's early days in the special forces stationed in Ethiopia to his present predicament running from the same authorities he used to work with.

Swagger doesn't do much running, though; his escapes involve lots of shooting, which makes for some nice action-packed gameplay.

Shooter concentrates on gunplay, with levels consisting mainly of first-person action stages. Akin to shooting galleries, these stages have you taking aim at enemies from a stationary position. Usually you snipe Swagger's foes, but there are a few confrontations that make use of other firearms.

Tilting your handset allows you to position your rifle's reticle or adjust the iron sights on another gun. Firing a shot is a matter of tapping a button in the lower-right corner. When sniping, you can have Swagger hold his breath to steady his aim by hitting another button in the lower-left corner.

A gauge running along the left side of your rifle's scope signifies how long he can hold his breath, naturally refilling when not in use.

The poor guy must have an incredible pair of lungs considering how much you need to rely on his ability to hold his breath. Zeroing in on enemies is a tough task due to Swagger's natural movements, enemy movement, and additional factors like the wind.

You tend to fight Swagger's sway more than anything else, though. The further you advance, the greater your ability to counter the effect.

This doesn't mean Shooter becomes easier as you go along. In fact, the game grows much harder. Enemies move about more quickly, take cover or drop to the ground at the sound of gunfire, and even fire back.

Stronger winds influence bullet paths and even the vantage points Swagger takes such as a tipping boat complicate the simple task of shooting.

Dealing with these factors wouldn't be a problem if it weren't for the unnecessary time limits placed on each stage. It puts pressure where there's already plenty, placing an already challenging game at the edge of being too difficult.

Puzzle stages fortunately provide a reprieve from the stress of shooting. Simple tasks such as compiling objects to match a silhouette or touchscreen mini-games are plain, but a good effort to mix things up.

The same attention provided to gameplay needed to have been given to the presentation. Shooter fires blanks with its atrocious voice-overs and visual mediocrity.

While the game looks decent enough and the interface is quite nice, it appears more like a widescreen mobile game than sophisticated iPhone shooter. The ridiculous voice acting fuels that perception.

Shooter fires off plenty of satisfying action, even if it is slightly too difficult. The presentation could be better, as well as the mini-games that sandwich the shooting stages, yet these shortcomings aren't enough for the game to backfire.

Shooter: The Official Movie Game

Shooter locks in action-packed gameplay, but is unfortunately loaded down by a mediocre presentation and steep difficulty curve