Setting aside the bells and whistles and the technology that powers it, The Shoot isn’t much different from the classic Duck Hunt, except the latter has personality largely in the form of a dog which never failed to mock you every time you let the duck escape. In The Shoot, this responsibility is taken up by the director, whom you’ll hardly notice on account of him being relegated to a tiny corner of the screen. But more on that later.
Not unlike the many games you must have played at the arcade, such as Time Crisis and Virtua Cop, The Shoot is an on-rails shooter where you play out four different scenes in five separate movies of different genres, ranging from a Western to a sci-fi action movie to a horror movie. As exciting as that may sound, you end up doing the same things across each and every level. That is a missed opportunity, since the variety in settings could have been exploited to create unique experiences. For example, the horror movie could have played out in the survival space rather than an all out action shooter that has your heart racing no more than it does in the Western or the sci-fi movie.
The lack of an “experience” is the core issue with the game. With its focus squarely on simple, family-friendly fun, gamers spoilt by painstakingly crafted game worlds and stories will not be impressed much by The Shoot, even though it does make some effort in staying true to its theme of being a movie set. The enemies are cardboard props with limited animation, and the larger set-pieces (literally!) are often shown suspended by chains and wires. The omni-present director makes his presence felt by his continuous commentary, showering the player with praise when he racks up the score multiplier, and urging him to focus when he starts missing his shots and shooting innocent bystanders.
The ingredients are all here, but they lack the depth to make it a worthwhile experience for anyone outside the casual gaming market. The career mode doesn’t last for more than two hours, and that is probably the amount of time you will be spending with the game before moving on. There are other modes, such as a Challenge mode, which unlocks once you collect all poster pieces in a movie; and a score attack mode, but outside of playing with a friend, they won’t have you revisiting the game. Graphically, the game retains its non-serious cartoonish look, but there are some poor textures and rough edges across the board, giving the game an unpolished look.
All this, however, does not mean that you won’t have any fun with The Shoot. While it lasts, it features some solid gameplay that makes good use of the motion sensing technology. The PlayStation Move maps on to the screen accurately, with no noticeable lag in the tracking of the reticule movement. Apart from the standard shooting, the gameplay also includes motion-sensitive abilities that set it apart from other on-rail shooters. For example, turning 360 degrees on the spot will trigger a showdown, another fancy addition to the long list of synonyms for bullet-time. Pointing the Move controller up and shooting will trigger rampage, which doesn’t allow the multiplier to fall even if you miss, and gives you a machine-gun like shooting ability. Earning these abilities requires the player to get consecutive kills without any misses or taking any damage.
That said, you won’t be taking much damage anyway. The game is extremely simple, with enemies taking forever to attack, giving you enough time to take them down before, and dodge any incoming attacks by moving left, right or down behind cover. There is some variety to the enemies, with certain enemies like robots and zombies taking more than one shot to go down, unless it is a head shot. You also encounter bosses through the game, and some of them, such as the ones in Robotomus Crime and Deep Peril are a lot of fun to take on.
Rs 1500 for a two-hour game? Unless you’re trying to get your girlfriend into gaming, it’s a pretty steep ask for a decidedly unpolished and shallow effort from Sony. As if being ridiculed by the dog wasn’t enough, The Shoot has left me with the feeling that maybe it’s not as much fun to be the star of an action movie as it is watching it.
Published Date: Nov 20, 2010 12:33 pm | Updated Date: Nov 20, 2010 12:33 pm