Emotional Robots’ UDK powered shooter is not a smoking hot gun, or an ice cold gun… It’s a warm gun!
It still amazes me the amount of first person shooters on iOS systems, and how popular they are. It’s not that iOS is not capable, but who would have thought that devices without physical controls would offer up so much choice in this genre.
Gameloft seem to own this space right now, what with two NOVAs and two Modern Combats under their belt (with another on its way very soon). These games all offer solid single player experiences, but it’s their online offerings that have the most legs. Both of these titles have borrowed heavily from Halo and Modern Warfare of course, but despite their lack of originality, they offer the best and most robust online multiplayer thus far.
Some developers take a different tack and focus only on the multiplayer, we’ve had some good results here too. NGMOCO’s Eliminate was huge, offering up a fast and frantic shooter experience within tight and compact arenas, echoing the likes of Quake 3 arena and Unreal Tournament.
The game utilises the Unreal Engine to power the graphics, and it does a pretty good job. There are six arenas in all, each with their own look and feel, but with an overarching setting similar in tone to RAGE’s western-meets-post-apocalypse. These arenas aren’t massive, but offer up well crafted environments in which to seek out, or hide from your opponents.
There is a reason for the smaller size though, which brings me to the game’s first letdown. Warm gun only offers up four player bouts at a time. Now, a few years ago, this would have been acceptable. But in a world of high speed wifi and data networks, and the power of handheld devices to rival some consoles, we’ve come to expect, and demand more… And that more is more players!
Even in these smaller arenas, four player death matches feels shallow and antiquated. And death match is all you get in Warm Gun, there’s not a single other mode to be found. No team bouts, no capture the flag, nothing.
The characters classes at least offer some spark of creativity, but there are only four to choose from. Each has it’s own weapon set up: you have the Preacher with his rifle, twin pistols and whiskey bomb; the 49′er with a shotgun, pistol and petrol bomb; the shaman with an assault rifle, energy wand and another bottle bomb; and finally you have the blacksmith, with his railgun, axe and mines. Most are evenly matched, apart from the blacksmith who is slow moving… but he does have the most powerful primary weapon.
For the first time in a multiplayer game (or the first I’ve seen), the matches are hosted server-side using Gamespy. Say what you will about Game Center, but it’s a little odd not to utilise the huge community, and instead requires registration with Gamespy to play. It has the unfortunate side effect that means hardly anyone is playing it. You can’t invite friends to play, or set up your own custom match. Something that all modern multiplayer games should offer.
If you are lucky enough to get into a game (many times the game would just hang), you’ll experience a pretty laggy game. Offline, with bots, it runs as smooth as butter. But get online and it’s different story. I’d like to say it was my connection speed, but I’m on 100Mb speeds, so any lag will be server side. All the above grumbles I can live with, but when the main selling point of the game is laggy-at-best multiplayer, then I’m afraid it’s game over.
Warm Gun is a real let down. The game does looks great, controls well if you select single-stick mode (a la Gameloft shooters), and when it works without connection issues you’ll have a fun shootout. However, with very limited options (death match only), only four players (3 plus you) and an inconsistent, lag infested, online experience, there is little in the way of a game to recommend right now. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like my shooters luke warm. This game really needs to go back into the oven until golden brown and steamy hot.