The Shoot Review
The Shoot is another on-rails point-and-shoot title, designed to show off the PlayStation Move controller. Cleverly titled, the game is set around different film locations, giving the opportunity to base the five available levels on varying themes and “Shoot” a movie across four scenes. Unfortunately, anyone expecting this to break the genre mould is going to be disappointed, despite a couple of unique features, the game does little different to any gun-toting title in the past.
Before any of this is available, it’s necessary to calibrate the Move controller, as is usual for all the games that make use of it. Similarly to Time Crisis Razing Storm, this is a very easy process, simply pointing at the Eye and then firing at a few targets on screen to work out the boundary limits. In the demo, targeting seemed a little bit off, something that appears to be fixed for the full game, as it was never an issue at all throughout the combat.
Once at the title screen, options are fairly limited. There is the career mode, score attack and challenges. The first option takes the player through the different levels, each of which will take around twenty to thirty minutes to complete. The others are much quicker events, good for a short blast but nothing more. Competitive multiplayer is also available, and this can be a blast to play through with a mate, but the scope is still limited to same levels and play-style. Working through career mode is the fastest way of racking up trophies, with plenty of bronze and sliver awards available for different feats, such as shooting X number of enemies or racking up impressive multipliers.
The first of the levels available is set around the Wild West, and is the one available in the demo on the PSN Store. All themes in the game follow a similar look-and-feel – the idea is the player is on a film set, so enemies and locales are very bright, colourful and purposely shaped. For this particular film studio, budgets are clearly limited as the enemies are mostly on wires that rapidly appear for the player to destroy. Other levels feature rampaging robots, streams of gangsters, shivers of sharks and demons and werewolves.
The environments, through which the player is automatically guided through by the game, are 3D with flat 2D enemies that are scaled-up as they move closer to the front of the screen, and as a result start to look quite blocky. This does seem to be in keeping with the fun-and-jolly look of things, though the game doesn’t always manage to keep a solid frame-rate, particularly when the player triggers one of the game’s set pieces. Scattered about the levels are various destructible elements, some that just react to being hit by bullets and others that explode in a ball of flames. Looking out for these can be handy for destroying groups of enemies at a time, or for prompting level events that boost the score nicely.
Whilst much of the action is point-and-fire, The Shoot has a few special moves up its sleeves that allow the player to boost their score a little higher and make fighting the bandits easier. These bonus actions are earned by getting kill streaks; these kick in at five, ten and twenty hits in a row and give the player Slow Time, Shockwave and Rampage.
Rampage allows the player to go a bit mental, massacre style, with a rapid fire machine gun, unlimited ammo and no losses in kill-multipliers. Shockwave, activated by pointing the controller at the floor and firing, destroys all enemies on screen. The Slow Time feature is triggered by spinning around 360 degrees, or by swinging the controller behind your head – a feat that doesn’t always seem to register one hundred percent of the time, annoyingly so as this turns out to be the most useful of the three. One further element to the gameplay is that of dodging; at some points enemies will fire rockets, throw dynamite, wrenches, fire bombs and all other manner of death – as with many a shooter, it’s possible to blow them out of the sky using bullets, but the player can also dodge thrown weapons by leaning left or right – an action that will garner bonuses in the final totals.
Getting high-scores is important as certain point requirements are needed to unlock further scenarios in the game. This also represents a bit of a bug-bear, as missing the criteria means playing through the same level again until you can hit it; and the score needed increases the further into the levels you get. There seems no reason to prevent the player from selecting whatever location they’d like to play, other than artificially trying to lengthen the game time. It’s a choice that has the alternate effect, given having to go through the exact same thing, with the exact same enemy patterns again and again gets a little tedious.
Although there are some nice touches to The Shoot, such as the kill-streak bonuses and the themed environments which are nice looking and interesting, this sadly doesn’t save it from the poor design choices of locking away levels, and the fairly mediocre gameplay which remains the same throughout. The Shoot doesn’t make a convincing reason to purchase the Move controller, and if you’re after a game in this genre it might be worth checking out Time Crisis Razing Storm first.