The Shoot - Review

   01/11/2010 at 08:07       Phil May       0 COMMENTS. - Score 3/5
 - The Shoot, Cohort Studios, Sony, Playstation 3, Move Controllers

Arcades are shambling dinosaurs really good for only two types of videogaming experience. One, the sit-down-cabinet racing game – the other, the overblown light gun game. Finding a well maintained and vaguely accurate Crisis Zone cabinet in an arcade is a bit like finding out that your cute female next door neighbour not only fancies you but hasn’t popped her cherry yet.

Perhaps I exaggerate, but I’ve had a long-standing love affair with light gun games so when two dropped through my clanky letterbox, courtesy of Sir Hairy of Arse, I felt extremely lucky.

First up though I’m going to tackle a game that’s been lined up alongside Sony’s Move Motion Controller launch. The Shoot is certainly one of the oddest setups you’ll encounter in an on-rails shooter, that’s for sure. Pitching you as an upcoming action movie star, the game’s presented in a rather peculiar graphical style. Not lacking in polish or charm, but feeling slightly jarring because the waves and waves of enemies you’ll take on are all two-dimensional wooden cutouts. Apt then that this game’s meant to represent the average Hollywood film shoot.

Sadly, with no Keanu or Gerard Butler in evidence, you get to shoot your way across five different movie lots, each containing several action sequences.

Go through the motions

Setting the Move controller up is extremely easy – just point the thing at the Eyecam, shoot four targets to lock your aim in, Robocop style, then you’re off and running.

Several players have expressed concerns about the Move controller’s ability to track a pointer or target reticule but I’ve never had any problems with it, either standing up or slobbing out in my favourite comfortable gaming chair, shooting from the hip. The Shoot can be absolutely pinpoint accurate but getting your Eyecam positioned absolutely spot on will help get the sort of accuracy levels a game like this demands.

Once you’ve got your eye in, it’s time to start shooting the crap out of everything. Here’s where the rot sets in slightly because unlike most games you don’t get to reload and the cover dynamic is a bit hit and miss. Not only that, developers Cohort Studios have fallen down the same gaping hole that early Wii developers often did. At the expense of fun, Cohort have included several “special moves” into the game. Shoot enough targets and each move is unlocked allowing you to perform an action stunt that will completely trash your enemies.

The first of these involves spinning around 360 degrees on the spot while holding the controller, to trigger slow motion mode. In theory this sounds awesome fun and probably is when you’re playing this with a bunch of drunken friends. In practice it’s a pain in the arse and even opting for the alt method of triggering this action (whirling the Move controller around your head, lasso style) makes this move fiddly and difficult to pull off at a pinch.

Other special moves aren’t quite as bad but one thing all Move developers need to do early on in the controller’s lifespan is reign in all that stupid fannyarsing about with the controller. Either use it to manipulate objects on screen or use it to point and click, don’t get carried away with the daft stuff unless it’s for really daft games.

What in tarnation….?

Rant over, back on set and the first movie world is a Western theme, which is actually rather well done. If you can get over the bizarre 2D enemies you’ll soon get into the swing of blatting through multiple enemies and slowing down for the occasional quick draw (these sections need work but they’re quite fun, though the meanies could’ve bundled the game with a plastic holster for the authentic quick draw effect).

You’ll pass through Science Fiction themed levels, a face off against a bunch of weird gas-mask-wearing Mafia thugs, and also a great homage to classic horror movies.

Teaming up with other players turns this slightly mediocre game into a good laugh though so it’s worth noting that as a solo experience you’ll blast through all there is to see in record time. There are a few hidden challenges to work through in career mode but all the belly laughs and chuckles are had when you go shoulder to shoulder with a mate and either compete or co-op your way through movieland.

Eat, Shoot, Leave

With a handy demo of The Shoot available for free download on the PSN store, you can take a look at the game before you splash your hard earned cash on it. In summary, it does feel more like a PSN Arcade Download than a full-priced boxed title but that’s not to say that it’s not without its charms, and certainly shows that the Move controller is versatile enough to be used as a replacement for your old G-Cons if you’ve still got them rattling around the house gathering dust.

Like all light gun games, it’s ultimately a fairly shallow experience and one you’ll probably only return to when you’re looking for something to wheel out when a bunch of mates descend on you to find out what you’ve been wasting your money on lately. By no means an essential purchase but definitely more fun than I thought it would be and certainly a fairly novel take on the tired old rail-shooting genre.

Stars
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