Heavy Fire Shattered Spear Xbox 360 User Review
There's a very good reason why nobody is talking about the recent release of Heavy Fire: Shattered Spear. The game, released on January 29, 2013, simply isn't that good. By all accounts, the gameplay is maddening and ridiculous, the animations are stiff and give a last-generation feel, and the user interface is counter-intuitive and frustrating.
The Official Xbox Magazine was one of the first reviewers to get to the game, and their review seems to reflect the many player reviews of the game to be found all around the internet. Xbox Magazine complains that this 'budget' game (available for only $20) is wasted money which would be far better spent on DLC (downloadable content) for a different game, or perhaps an older shooter that you missed out on. They score it a measly 2.5/10, showing that they were distinctly unimpressed.
Heavy Fire: Shattered Spear is a lightgun 'rail' shooter, meaning you can't actually move your character as you play, except to aim in different directions. Instead, you are taken along a set path from one fighting area to the next. Occasionally areas will offer different 'screens,' which are essentially just different directions to face. The trend of late for such games has been to use a gun-type controller, but this game doesn't support anything but the original Xbox 360 controller. The entire game can be completed in less than 90 minutes of playing time, although doing so does unlock another difficulty level if you'd like to replay the same game with more frustration.
The frustration arises through the simple fact that you're always being shot. Even when ducking into cover, you are sometimes being hit from three different directions, occasionally by enemies that you can't actually shoot back at without switching to a different 'screen.' The visuals for the game are an extreme disappointment and look as if they came from the last-generation of console video games; this game would have been more appropriate visually for the original Xbox. The animations make poor use of physics and are awkward. The textures in the game are sadly unrealistic.
Despite being an arcade-type on-the-rails shooter, Heavy Fire: Shattered Spear doesn't give an arcade-y feel to the gameplay. Even for the low price, Shattered Spear simply doesn't have a whole lot of fun to offer. The user interface reverses the traditional type of control you have over your character, using the left analog stick to manipulate your targeting reticule and the right analog stick used to duck into occasional available cover. There is also no option to switch or change the default control setup.
Although there has historically been several very fun lightgun arcade-type shooters available, this simply isn't one of them. Despite the cheap price, the 90 minutes of awkward gameplay, poor graphics and counter-intuitive controls probably isn't worth the money you'd spend on the budget game. Heavy Fire: Shattered Spear disappoints on nearly every level, and it is obvious that it was created for impulse buys. Save your money.