You are our last chance of survival. All competent gun operators got killed yesterday, and your commanding officer gives you the order to defend the outpost. The premise is quite ridiculous, and the little story to be found is laughable. At some point in the development of Artillery Brigade someone gave up trying to make it a realistic game. Instead it turned into a 360 gallery shooter. For some reason someone else in the development process tried to keep it real. Needless to say the result is kind of a mashup of ideas.
The controls are straightforward. Swipe around the middle of the screen to move the reticule, and with it the entire turret. Press fire to spew bullets onto the advancing army. Zooming in and out is done by means of a control found in the lower right. To be able to hit enemies from far away you have to keep it zoomed in. On the other hand this means you have to swipe more to move. Touching the radar lets you zoom around quicker.
Enemies swarm from all directions, and this to me is a strange idea. How come an invading force even cares about a lone turret when they can simply walk around it? As some of the enemies attack from the rear they have already passed you. I am having some issues with this weird setting for the game. It is one thing when you defend something such as a city. Now you only defend your own tower.
There are three types of turrets in the game suitable for different kinds of enemies. You get machine guns for mowing down infantry, anti-tank guns for tank and AA-guns for the incoming aero planes. Switching between the turrets is easy with the on-screen buttons. Having the different enemy types and turrets gives the game a frantic pace. This is the best aspect of the game, and at times it gets crazy when you are surrounded.
There are two game modes: campaign and survival. As you progress through the story you unlock new turrets. There is also IAP turrets to come.
High scores, and achievements through OpenFeint interrupt the flow of the game. As soon as you unlock something it immediately reports the achievement, and the game stutters. The first hour of playing the game this is truly annoying. The more achievements you unlock the less interruptions you get. Finally I got a good reason to strive for achievements. If I had known that OpenFeint was so intrusive I would have switched it off right away.
The presentation is not that good, and especially the enemies feel uninspired and blocky. The sound effects are quite good for the different guns. Bombastic military music sets a scene of war. You can play your own music instead.
Artillery Brigade is an arcade gallery shooter that is truly intense when it gets going. A subpar presentation, strange setting and even weirder story make it less appealing to recommend. It also shows exactly how not to integrate achievements.
Artillery Brigade $0.99 Universal Binary