When you think of 3DS, the last type of game you’d imagine you’d end up playing on it is a remake of a light gun game from WiiWare. Heavy Fire: Special Operations 3D, however, works surpsingsly well on 3DS.
Let’s get one thing out of the way first, the story isn’t even important with this game, although Teyon have squeezed one in for the sake of completeness. It’s your standard war driven storyline; you’re part of an American crack team that’s sent to the Middle East to dish out violent justice to terrorists, so at least you’re given a reason to go in an kill everything in site.
Gameplay wise, it’s your standard light gun fare, er, except that instead of a light gun, you use the stylus instead to move the crosshairs around on the top screen. It actually works surprisingly well and in situations where it was getting pretty frantic, swishing the stylus from one end of the screen to the other was more than substantial to take down those ruddy terrorists. One complaint we did have though is that after a long play session, your hand will start to cramp up a bit, although we doubt many will play this for hours on end in a straight sitting. It’s much better suited to short bursts.
One problem we did find is that the game is pretty difficult, even on the first mission. To start off with, you’re only given a simple pistol compared to the AK47′s that your masked enemies are using. It’s at these times that it gets really hectic. Again though, because of the ability to use the stylus, you can get a headshot every time which is at least something. It’s certainly got a learning curve to it, and as you progress in the game and complete the mission, you can buy better guns rather than using your puny pistol all the way through the game (although feel free to do so if you’re a gluten for punishment).
To add some extra life into the game, the developers have added three classes to it, allowing you to choose between better armour, the ability to carry more ammo or to have faster load times. It may not sound like much, but it helps to add a nice little twist to what is in essence a small download game. Thankfully, they’ve even included a mission list in the game so that you don’t need to play through the whole thing if you’re mowed down in your prime (this happened to us a lot). It’s little touches like this that turn what is a pretty tough game into something that you’ll want to revisit later on.
If we had one major complaint though, it would be the sound effects. It’s most likely due to the capabilities of the 3DS, but they just didn’t sound all that great. The same goes for the death cries of your fallen enemies. Perhaps we’ve just been spoiled by the cries of pain from the guards in Goldeneye, but we had hoped it would have sounded realistic here. The 3D is a bit so so too, and it adds nothing to the gameplay at all. Just a little nudge on the slider is nice at times, though.
With Heavy Fire you know what you’re getting from the off; a mental, off the wall lightgun experience. 3DS may seem an unusual fit for this genre, but it’s surprisingly good, and the snack sized levels are the perfect fit for the train ride home. It’s definitely worth a download, especially at under a fiver. Just don’t make your own ‘pow-pow’ noises, you’ll probably get booted off the train for that.