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Shadowgun Review: Looks Pretty, Plays Pretty Ugly

Shadowgun.  It marks the arrival of an entirely new Unity engine that provides never before seen graphics on a mobile device.  And Shadowgun does a great job of demonstrating the new Unity engine, but that’s just about it.

Featuring a couple of guns, uninspiring, scripted enemy soldiers, and a repeatedly tap-to-kill type of gameplay, Shadowgun doesn’t give me anything to really praise other than the graphics.  Yeah, the gameplay is a bit more advanced compared to the likes of Rage, but the gameplay is still lacking a lot, especially compared to games such as Modern Combat 2 and NOVA.

It looks absolutely fantastic, but I don’t give a damn about looks when it’s boring.

Likes

Graphics: Like I mentioned before, the graphics are absolutely fantastic.  I will give credit where credit is due, and I must give props to the developers for some great graphics.  The shading, lighting, detail, and character models are unprecedented, and I think I can safely say that these are the best graphics I have seen on my iPhone.  

Universal: I’ve noticed that more and more developers are going with universal apps, and I cannot be more than happy with their decision.  And it’s good to see Madfinger Games joining that group of developers because I just love universal apps.  For any developers reading, be sure to take note.

Dislikes

Repetitive: If there’s one problem that I would point out with this game (which there aren’t), I would have to say that it’s its repetitiveness.  You’re doing the same thing in each level: shoot the enemies, reach the boss, rinse, and repeat.  There isn’t much variety, you gain new weapons much to slowly, and it isn’t all that difficult.  While it’s cool for the first five minutes, it tends to get boring really quickly.

Artificial Intelligence: The AI for Shadowgun is pitiful to say the least.  They’re all scripted to run behind certain barriers, and they don’t do a very convincing job of acting like they want to kill you.  On the normal difficulty, I seldom found them actually shooting; most of the time, they would be hiding behind pillars and barriers waiting for me to kill them.  The AI is unintelligent, for lack of a better word, and if you’re looking for a shooter similar to Modern Combat or even Brothers in Arms, you won’t find it here.

Shadowgun is a bit more than a tech demo, but it’s a lot less than an actual game.  You basically do the same thing for every level, with little variety or creation in the objectives, and I was bored after 15 minutes of play.  Like I said before, it looks absolutely fantastic.  But, looks aren’t everything in the App Store.

Shadowgun was developed by Madfinger Games, and I played through version 1.0.4 on my iPhone 4 and iPad 2.  The price is $4.99.



  1. Joe on Sunday 30, 2011

    Great to see you back doing reviews!

  2. Daniel on Sunday 30, 2011

    Thanks Joe! I’ve been busy the past couple of months, but hopefully I’ll be able to write more regularly again.

  3. Alden on Sunday 30, 2011

    Nice review. I love this kind of games and I want to give it a try. Thank you.

  4. Josh on Sunday 30, 2011

    Well thank you for saving me a dollar. Being repetitive is the ultimate sin in my eyes… Even if they get a couple of nice visuals beforehand.