STAFF REVIEW of Heavy Fire: Red Shadow (Xbox One)

Tuesday, December 18, 2018.
by Kirsten Naughton

Heavy Fire: Red Shadow Box art When I got the chance to review Heavy Fire: Red Shadow, I was anticipating a fantastic gun fight, hordes of enemies, decent graphics and some challenge. I have to be honest though; I don't have much experience with FPS video game titles, however I am a consistent player of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and I'd like to think I'm pretty decent at it.

I will be giving you my input on developer Mastiff's latest game as a gamer that has never played any Heavy Fire's prior to this release. My first impressions of Heavy Fire: Red Shadow were not exactly what I was expecting from an FPS Arcade genre game though.

The old school story in the campaign is slightly engaging. I get the feeling that you're in some form of war with North and South Korea and the narrative is decent and is relatively easy to follow along. You are immediately thrown into a tutorial with a narrator, and one who is full on Drill Sergeant that teaches you the ins and outs of gameplay.

You have a big turret gun (I know very little about guns, bare with me). You are able to move the turret gun a complete 360 degrees, which is nice because enemies can approach you at every angle at their discretion.

You can request a supply drop at certain times, when prompted, that allows you to acquire more health. The humans with green bars above their heads are on your allies, the yellow bar enemies are about to turn from allies to enemies and the red enemies are well... your enemies. There's not really too much more where learning the “tricks” of Heavy Fire: Red Shadow.

After the tutorial, you are able to proceed to the next level and try your luck with all that you've learned. As you stand on your turret gun you'll notice something strange; that you are in fact, stationery. That's right. You can't move a muscle as the waves upon waves of enemies approach your turret. All that can move is your turret gun. I find this my biggest issue with Heavy Fire: Red Shadow. I have never been a fan of staying in one spot playing any shooter. I might as well have a giant sign on my back that says “Hey, shoot me, I can't move!”.

As you stand in the middle of what looks like a beach, several enemies will run toward you from many different points of origin. Now, this is the part where you are supposed to rotate your turret gun and start shooting. The plus here is that you don't have to be very accurate. You'll take down your enemy even if you shoot right beside them. That's great for those of us who can't aim to save our lives.

But for those who want a challenge, the only real one is staying alive as enemies come at you from every angle as you turn and shoot. I found myself dying quite a bit because I couldn't shoot enemies fast enough; however, I was determined to give Heavy Fire: Red Shadow a fair chance, so I kept playing. I made it through about five levels before I felt the experience didn't have any variance other than the background going from day to night.

Each level was pretty much the same as I've mentioned above. At one point, I went on a shooting spree and moved my turret gun in a complete 360 degree circle while shooting, and unfortunately that's about the most fun I had. The overall gameplay is rather flat and tiresome, as I like video games with action and engagement. I like video games that have me running around finding my targets.

The only notable positive I had with Heavy Fire: Red Shadow was the fact that the graphics and sounds were decent. I quite enjoyed the scenery, the day and night cycle and the sounds of the guns. It doesn't blow me away, but it's all up to your personal preference.

If you like arcade types of games where you're standing in one place and basically on a shooting spree, by all means this is your type of game. However, if you're looking for an action packed, heart racing, engaging FPS, I don't feel Heavy Fire: Red Shadow is right for you. Sorry to say, I'll be aborting this mission.

Overall: 4.0 / 10
Gameplay: 4.0 / 10
Visuals: 6.0 / 10
Sound: 6.0 / 10


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