Review: Heavy Fire: Red Shadow (PS4)

Review: Heavy Fire: Red Shadow (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • PC
  • Oculus Rift
  • HTC Vive

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • PlayStation VR Optional (DLC)
  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
  • PS VR Aim Controller None
Title: Heavy Fire: Red Shadow
Format: PSN (1.9 GB)
Release Date: October 16, 2018
Publisher: Mastiff
Developer: Mastiff
Original MSRP: $19.99 (US)
ESRB Rating: T
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

When I took the review for Heavy Fire: Red Shadow I thought it was a PS VR compatible game. Everything from the icon to the PlayStation Store description sold it as such. I was disappointed to find out it required an additional purchase of a VR add-on to unlock that functionality.

Since then the icon and text have changed to make it clear this is just a PS4 game, but is it a good game and would you be tempted into buying the VR add-on?

Gameplay:
Heavy Fire: Red Shadow begins with a video about rising tensions between the United States and the newly unified North and South Korea escalating into war.

There are four levels, each with a day and night variant, split into several stages. Each stage consists of a few waves of troops being deployed from boats and ships, some vehicles, and even just troops running toward the gun emplacement.

The first level is on a nondescript beach and most enemies come from the seafaring craft. However, some spill out from the sides and even behind, from the dunes. I’m not sure what you’re protecting if they’re coming at you from all sides.

You’re not alone in this fight – you can call in support and supply drops. It could be some health or rocket ammo, some infantry troops, even an attack helicopter, all of which do little to help. I thought this was going to be a tough game as I failed just near the end of the first level. I then noticed the upgrades menu when I paused the game. Apparently, I had been promoted a few times without my knowledge.

Review: Heavy Fire: Red Shadow (PS4) Review: Heavy Fire: Red Shadow (PS4)

You can spend my promotion points on health upgrades, improving your gun and pointless rocket launcher. Once I had beefed up my gun I sailed through the game. In one sitting I had reached the penultimate level and been promoted enough to unlock infinite ammo, which meant no more reloading. I also unlocked a skill where killing enemies restores health. Combined with the skill that automatically regenerates health over time, it essentially makes you invincible.

It becomes too easy. I didn’t even need to fire my weak rockets. I just kept my finger on the virtual trigger, moving the turret left and right, decimating the enemy waves. It was boring, so boring that I’m not even going to mention the various stages and enemy types as they all blend together and become very forgettable.

This game is so dull I don’t even want to mention the absurd random challenges that pop-up like getting three headshots within a short amount of time. Headshots, with a machine gun that seems to have almost no accuracy. The challenges appear almost constantly and sometimes I was able to complete them but it doesn’t really matter either way.

Enemies and their vehicles often get stuck on the scenery, which isn’t that bad unless they happen to be behind a far off building, meaning you’ll be stuck, hoping the game will give up and end the current wave. I had one crazed bomb-vest psycho get stuck in my turret and I was unable to end its miserable existence. Instead, I just had to sit and listen to their endless screaming until I quit the game.

There is an Endless mode for the few who manage to dredge through the tedious Campaign. Trophy hunters need to look elsewhere for a Platinum and I pity the fool who wants to go for the others as a few will take some of your precious time and probably your sanity along with them.

Review: Heavy Fire: Red Shadow (PS4) Review: Heavy Fire: Red Shadow (PS4)

I generally avoid writing about functionality that I’m not reviewing but I feel like I should mention my concerns on the VR add-on and the main reason why I will not purchase it. The amount I would need to turn my head and body during most levels is a big concern. On several occasions, it can be a full one-hundred and eighty degrees which can be problematic with wires and general disorientation.

That the amount of turning just doesn’t seem like fun, even when altering the field of view. Then we have all of the other issues, which don’t go away with this laughably expensive add-on. I know the extra costs involved need to be recouped when adding VR functionality but I would have preferred a separate game that was designed with the headset in mind instead of this money grab.

Visuals:
Heavy Fire: Red Shadow has passable graphics with moments where I could easily be fooled into thinking it was a PS3 game.

Audio:
The audio is annoying and repetitive, especially when the game glitches and all you can hear are the insane cries of incoming suicide bombers who never appear or detonate their explosives.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is one player only and features no online component.

Review: Heavy Fire: Red Shadow (PS4) Review: Heavy Fire: Red Shadow (PS4)

Conclusion:
Heavy Fire: Red Shadow is a wasted few hours. The game did lock up on me a few times and the suicide bombers became invisible in the last two levels, not by design I can assure you. To top it all off the game is just plain dull. Avoid this game and the embarrassingly expensive VR add-on.

Score:
2.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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