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Saturday, April 4, 2015

Review: IronFall Invasion Campaign Mode

The indestructible space marine is strong w- wait a second...
After playing Resident Evil: Revelations and exposing myself to the third person shooter genre, I was very much interested in expanding my experience in the genre. Fast-forward to now: I haven't done much more research, aside from a title called Resident Evil 4 (we'll get to that someday). However, In between then and now, a game called IronFall was announced as an eShop exclusive taking full advantage of the systems specs. Then it was never heard from again.

Because it became IronFall Invasion and it's out on the 3DS now.


PROS:

-Technically impressive

-There's a level where you get to snipe a bunch of stuff

-Utilizes the capabilities of the 3DS in surprising ways.

CONS:

-Little artistic flair

-The voice acting leaves a lot to be desired.

-Abrupt ending. Stay tuned for IronFall 2!

THOUGHTS:

IronFall is a game with lofty goals based purely on its technical prowess. What it does, considering the limitations of the 3DS, it does very well. But you will rarely take the time to stop and appreciate these things because everything else is insanely dull. It's a shame, because when you look at the whole package, it's pretty impressive. The campaign is pretty lengthy and features an extensive challenge mode with Streetpass support. It has touchscreen mini games during many sections that are intuitive and fun. There's even a few sections where you play as another character with less health and a powerful pistol. The game pulls off some impressive visuals with a steady framerate and decent mechanics lovingly ripped from Gears of War. Beyond that, however, there's little fun to be had.

The voice acting in this game is so atrociously bad, it's amusing. The half-bored delivery of a number of lines and the already poor script make the whole experience slightly campy, as if ripped from an N64-era title because of its brevity and focus on odd detail. The story isn't captivating. At one point, the other playable character remarks that the enemy forces are targeting you because you're somehow different than every other threat (AKA you know how to use chest-high-walls). This is never spoken of again. There's multiple threads about a scientist who you have retrieved that has worked with the enemy, bombs planted fucking EVERYWHERE, and some arbitrary goals and information, but it never feels cohesive- rather, it just takes you from one technically sound set piece to the next.

And the game does run quite smoothly, except for specific instances. The problem is, IronFall relies on getting so much juice out of its engine that the developers decided to go for realism over a distinct art style, so while the material that's going on is impressive for the abilities of the 3DS, it's never all that visually engaging. It's just generic, and that's the last thing any Independent Developer should be putting out.

However, the pricing model for the game alleviates this somewhat. You get so play through a demo of single player and multiplayer by downloading for free. But the single player campaign's high points aren't exactly on display in the demo mission. It's fun in its own ways, but the gameplay thankfully does get more interesting. But again, I can see the developers wanting to stray away from spoiling what little plot the game has.

What else is there to say about IronFall Invasion? Nothing, really. It acts as a serviceable third person shooter on a system devoid of such content, and if you can get past the lame dialogue and uninspired visuals, you'll probably enjoy the game. I did. There's sniper rifles, weird alien tech, and more. The specialty weapons like grenade launchers, shotguns, and rocket launchers have pitiful amount of ammo strewn throughout the missions, but they are satisfying to use. If anything, you owe it to yourself to download the demo, as it's unlimited and it will sway you on whether or not you'll find this title worth playing.

Final Verdict: While it's no revolutionary masterpiece, IronFall Invasion is a serviceable third person shooter that draws from the successful elements of the genre to function properly on the 3DS. If you're dying to play this type of game, you can download the demo. However, there's better TPS on the 3DS, and that's saying something, since there really are very few. It just lacks the visual consistency that puts a higher level of polish on most games.

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