by Derk Bil
reviewed on PC
This is my gun, there are many like it, but this one is mine
There is only one gun in the game and it canít be upgraded. I know, that doesnít seem like a whole lot does it? Then again, if it does the job it is really all you will ever need. There is no chasing after power-ups or more powerful weapons. You are good to go from the moment that you enter the map and can dive straight into the action.
That doesnít mean there is no room for variety. Using the gunís standard bayonet you can simply stick it to your foe when you accidentally bump into him. Better yet, your spacesuit features a Ďsilent running modeí that allows you to creep up on anyone from behind which is a perfect moment to apply that overgrown toothpick. With the sniper scope you can fire powerful bursts over long distances. The result is very satisfying indeed but I did find sniping to be quite challenging. The gun isnít very steady, even when you are standing on solid ground so you can imagine how hard it will be floating through space. The gunís regular firing-mode is most effective when fired in short bursts as successive shooting decreases its accuracy rather fast.
Your gun has one more trick up its sleeve: it is capable of launching grenades. This too takes some degree of skill. The longer you hold your firing button pressed, the further the grenade will travel before it triggers. As your opponents will usually be in mid-air, there is no floor to trigger the grenade to go off, so you will either have to hit your enemy or hold your fire just long enough for the grenade to get near to your intended target.
That being said, grenades do little to no damage at all. They are used to obtain a tactical advantage over the other player(s) rather than deliver the killing blow. Grenades come in three types: ICE, EMP and MPR. An ICE grenade is basically a smoke grenade that disrupts the sight of anyone caught in or behind it. An MPR is a concussion grenade that does a little damage but will knock back whoever gets hit by it, sending them flying through space. My personal favorite is the EMP grenade as it causes the suits of anyone caught in the blast to reboot. During that time, the player will be close to helpless, barely able to control their movement due to the lack of thrusters.
Easy to learn, hard to master
There are currently four maps available and each level comes with its own objectives. These will help towards your teamís score but generally the team that has the most kills has the best chance of winning. Map objectives always involve securing control points, though on some you may find one team in control of all points right from the start. In those cases, one team has the order to defend while the opposing team will be trying to pry the control points from the first teamís cold, dead hands.
Shattered Horizon is a hoot to play but does lack content. With just four maps it does not take long for the game to feel like it is running a thin on substance even if its budget-friendly pricing makes up for that quite a bit. Futuremark has promised to release free downloadable content after the gameís release so these concerns may be a moot point in the near future anyways.
Graphically stunning, zero-gravity brings a very refreshing twist to the genre.
Some levels seem too large and have you spend more time looking for a fight than actually fighting.