Warm Gun, the much-hyped futuristic western FPS title from Emotional Robots, is finally available from the app store. While many gamers were initially excited to get their multiplayer fragging on, excitement quickly dissipated into frustration as problem after problem reared its ugly head. Emotional Robots is on the case, already releasing one patch and surely working on additional fixes for the most egregious issues, but will it be enough to placate the vocal masses?
Warm Gun Pros:
- Great graphics and nice level design with lots of hiding places
- Unique characters and weaponry
- Multiplayer team deathmatch and offline bot-based option
Warm Gun Cons:
- Unusable control schemes
- Framerate issues and frequent crashing
- Braindead bot AI
- Several little issues that compound the frustrations
Warm Gun is a 2 vs. 2 deathmatch that can be played online against other gamers or offline against bots. Online mode requires you to sign up with Gamespy, which you can conceivably do right from the game itself, though our first attempt failed and crashed the app. There are 4 unique characters to choose from, and each has his own specific weapons that consist of a melee weapon for close combat, a beefy gun for a ranged attack, and some form of an explosive for long-range spread damage. You can duke it out across 5 different environments, as well. The locales are visually impressive, full of twisting paths and nooks to hide in. While the game looks really great and the premise is as solid as any of the competition, things start to unravel when you jump into the action.
The controls are the most notable stumbling block to success. Most TPS and FPS titles have adopted the setup used to great effect by Gameloft, where the left-side joypad moves the player, swiping the screen’s right side alters your viewpoint, and tapping or holding a right side fire button will discharge your weapon or unleash your attack. Warm Gun attempts to mix things up with a few control options, but none comes close to meeting the expectations set forth by the standard layout. The biggest issues stem from the viewpoint and fire controls, as the provided schemes want you to tap the screen to shoot once or hold a tiny button about halfway up the screen for sustained fire. The tapping and awkward button placement often result in misfirings that alert players to your position and waste ammo that results in lengthy reloads that can leave you a sitting duck.
There are also a number of framerate issues that are being actively worked on. At launch, it was reported that the framerate left the game nearly unplayable on all devices that weren’t an iPhone 3GS. Frequent crashes were also being reported. A quick update has led to some relief for owners of other devices, but it still doesn’t run as well as it should, resulting in a somewhat choppy experience. The offline AI bots are flatout braindead, leaving us feeling little difference between the shooting gallery that is Warm Gun: Carnival of Bullets and this mode. They stand around doing nothing, they stand several feet apart from each other and swing axes that have no effect, they run right past you like you aren’t even there. These are just a few of the annoyances that have led to backlash by the gaming community.
Emotional Robots, for their part, has been very receptive to the criticism and apologetic for the current state of the game, which was supposedly thoroughly beta tested. The dev team is fully committed to resolving all of these issues and delivering the type of game that players expected from the get-go. Some of the upcoming fixes/additions will include: additional control layouts with greater familiarity, UI improvements to clean up the cluttered menus, kill/death stats that are oddly absent, improved bot AI, and even some new game modes to enjoy. The devs want to create greater transparency of the development process and open a feedback dialogue with the gaming community so that our input helps to shape the game as it is created and modified. As an indie team, they don’t have the resources of a big development house, so the game they’ve created so far, though arguably not ready for prime time, is pretty impressive from that standpoint. Frequent updates will go a long way to fleshing out the experience, and the state of the game in a couple of months will hopefully be leaps and bounds from where we are today. Though some might pan this game for its rocky start, we see a solid core that requires a bit more TLC to make it something special. A universal app for $4.99, Warm Gun is a cautious 2.5-Dimple offering with a lot of potential.
Warm Gun Review,