Modern Combat 5: Blackout
Good Side Modern Combat 5: Blackout has amazing graphics, an exciting storyline, and online multiplayer mode. The new class system has great customization options.
Bad Side You can’t play offline. Overpowered weapons in multiplayer can make matches one-sided. Touchscreen controls are not nearly as good as console or desktop setups.
Modern Combat 5: Blackout (iOS|Android) is the latest sequel from Gameloft’s popular first-person shooter franchise, and it’s the best FPS for mobile to date. Featuring both a single-player campaign and multiplayer game modes, it’s closely modeled after the Battlefield and Call of Duty games on consoles and PCs, but while it looks great and plays well, it still doesn’t live up to the games it emulates.
Is that a surprise? Not really. It’s incredibly difficult for a touchscreen FPS to compete with the precise control systems on consoles or keyboard-and-mouse setups. So one thing you need to know right away is you won’t have the tight control you might be used to in other FPS games you’ve played.
The other thing you need to know about Modern Combat 5: Blackout is you can’t play offline, so if you don’t have Internet connectivity, you can’t play even the single-player missions.
Sniper Fury plays out just like many stationary shooters that have come before it (Sniper X and Deer Hunter 2016 come to mind, though you could move a little in the latter). Instead of improving upon what worked for those games, Sniper Fury takes a big step to the side by just giving us more of the same.
Perched from pre-determined positions, players are tasked with picking off enemy units from varying distances. This scenario is nothing new for anyone who has recently picked up a mobile game with the word “sniper” in the title. The cookie-cutter experience involves staples like last-shot bullet time and a laughable physics engine. The final shots that each player makes before successfully completing the objective are slowed-down and tailed by the camera so that the player can ride the bullet into their target. This would be cool if the shots were impactful head-shots or chest shots that would drop the target with one hit. But when you’re riding the bullet into the enemy and it clips their hand and they fall over onto the ground limp, it really breaks the illusion that every one of your shots matter.
What ultimately matters is how much time you’re willing to put into the repetitive missions to be able to afford the gun upgrades that the game requires you to use. Players are stuck with a rigid upgrade system that locks you with having to pay to get from level to level. You have no choice: either you have enough currency to hit the “upgrade” button on your gun, or you’re stuck having to grind repetitive side missions to collect the currency you need for the upgrades. You’re further limited by an energy system, and a second-tier upgrade system that requires you to find parts that randomly drop after completing Assault side-missions. There’s just a lot holding you back from progressing.
Much as the problem was in Deer Hunter, in Sniper Fury the A.I. is just dreary. Enemies kneel down in the open and let you shoot them, for example. What doesn’t help are the lackluster scenarios that the game drops you into. One mission had me dropping runway workers on the tarmac of an airport. I was literally sniping unarmed men standing in the wide open runway holding little flashlights above their heads. Why? Apparently Delta squad needed me to kill those guys so they could get in the airport. Those stationary targets were just too difficult for Delta Force to handle on their own, it seems. Another mission had me killing construction workers just standing around. These are hardly exciting challenges that a game title like Sniper Fury alludes that I’ll be partaking in.
This really is a shame that they decided to open the game with these unexciting levels, as the trailer shows off some flashy scenarios that take place further into the game. I simply wasn’t willing to slog through the mediocre content to get there.
While Sniper Fury has far from the worst graphics that I’ve seen in a mobile game, it’s also far from the best. It’s on par with its contemporaries, I’d say. And a quick comparison to its screenshots here and the ones posted to the games I linked above can confirm that easily. If anything, Deer Hunter looks better thanks to it’s natural environments.
Sniper Fury appeals to players who enjoy seconds-long bouts of sniping, and those who get a rush watching a bullet fly through the air and into some poor guys head, belly, or little finger are going to have some decent time with Sniper Fury. As for everyone else, Sniper Fury just doesn’t offer enough interesting content upfront, and there are other games out there that do a better job at what Sniper Fury is doing. It’s not bad, but it could certainly be better.
Overkill 3 isn’t going for any accolades for complicated storylines. It follows a very simple process: fire, cover, reload, repeat. In fact, the cover mechanic is the game’s mainstay, except for the odd level here and there when you’re handed a machine gun and enough ammo to mow down your enemies.
The only thing that really changes is your enemies and the weapons you have at your disposal. Grenades are limited but a handy way to clear your enemies. A rocket launcher can be pressed into service to eliminate a drone or aircraft.
At times, you’ll have to make a run for it, avoiding sniper fire. But you aren’t in control of the run; instead you have to swipe through targets as they appear on the screen so your character will roll and dodge the bullets. Fail to swipe and your character is cut down.
You can boost your firepower with upgrades. Add a flashlight or a tactical laser, a new grip or even just a fancy slogan; anything to help you take on the enemy. That will require game currency, which can be earned or bought – the in app purchase raises its head once more. Armour gives you better protection, obviously, and that can be upgraded as you progress through the game in a similar way.
Ultimately, the shoot and cover mechanic gets a bit old, but a couple of things save the game. First, there’s the fact that levels are reasonably short, so you can pick it up and put it down as you please. Secondly, there are goals to complete – some as simple as making it through the level, others will give you a $ amount to earn in a round. That gives you something to aim for, even if it seems insignificant at the time.
Yeah, it’s another game where you shoot zombies. Just accept it: these games are here to stay. What I can’t ask you to accept, though, are games that are so bogged down with trying to get you to buy things that it compromises itself in the process.
This is Unkilled from Madfinger Games. One of the key selling points that Madfinger Games is reinforcing about the game is the fact that Unkilled features some pretty stellar visuals, and while I wouldn’t say it’s the best looking mobile game I’ve played, it’s certainly an eye-catcher.
Depending on your device, though, these visuals do come with a bit of a performance hit. On my iPad Mini 2, the framerate fluctuated up and down from level to level. Some areas would run smooth as butter, and others would chug pretty seriously.
Thanks to Unkilled’s controls though, even with a lower framerate, I was still able to effectively slay zombies.
The default control scheme in Unkilled features an auto-fire mechanic that instantly starts shooting your gun as soon as your crosshairs pan over a zombie. At first I disliked it because I felt that it took the skill out of shooting, but as it turned out, this method is pretty effective and saved me the headache of having to time my shots during particularly laggy sequences.
Because you don’t need to tap a “shoot” button (unless you’re playing one of the sniper or machine gunner levels), this allows you to comfortably move and aim about using your thumbs. While plenty of mobile shooters have failed when trying to balance movement controls alongside aiming and shooting, Unkilled strides over this hurdle confidently. It’s a welcome change from the usual, clunky movement and aiming that I’ve found in previous mobile shooters.
But while Unkilled is nice to look at and the game’s controls very much benefit the gameplay experience as a whole, I found some of the monetization efforts very rigid.
Unkilled utilizes an energy system, which is something I’ve come to accept in mobile games. I have no problem with this method of nudging players enjoying the free game to pay a little to play some more. It comes with the territory.
What I do have a problem with is when Unkilled rewards my efforts with a timed exclusive that I only have a short time to use, but then I can’t use it in the next level because of a weapon requirement, and that weapon requirement requires an upgrade that takes time. So while I’m watching those two timers tick down, I’m also glancing at the timer that tells me when I can get enough energy to play again, and then the timer telling me how long stuff is on sale for that would help me skip through all these other timers much more easily.
Unkilled is also one of those games where it literally forces you to upgrade your items to continue. If your gun isn’t to a certain level, you are blocked from continuing any further.Unkilled is a nice looking zombie shooter with a solid control scheme that is held back by stale monetization methods. What is dead may never die, apparently.
N.O.V.A 3 Freedom Edition
One of the things that we like the most when it comes to shooters is that they provide some of the best graphics on the market. Of course, this is mostly true for the desktop version of such games, but the reality is that mobile games can also receive such graphic detail as well, with the N.O.V.A. 3: Freedom Edition game being the prime example.
N.O.V.A. 3: Freedom Edition is basically the ad-based edition of the N.O.V.A. 3 title from Gameloft, which renounces the price but instead brings ads and keeps the in-app purchases. But what is N.O.V.A. 3 really? Well, this Android game is an action-packed shooter for your mobile phone or tablet where you play the role of an army man who comes back to our planet just to find out that it is invaded by aliens. This is an unwelcoming sign for him, and as you would expect, this leads to a wide range of missions and intense gameplay moments that you need to overcome in order to find out the truth and save our planet.
As you play, you will be able to explore the beautifully designed locations and kill all the enemies that gets in your way. There are multiple types of opponents that you need to engage, and you also have various ways to kill them. Alongside the normal on-foot attacks, you can also engage in battle with the help of mechs, or you can sometimes man the weapons you can find on top of the trucks located in this massive game world.
When it comes to weapons, you need to know that there are multiple types available, and you will have to use the currency you acquire from killing enemies in order to purchase new ones. Depending on how well you work and engage in a game, you will be able to find better results in the end, with multiple weapons at your helm. This particular mechanics is rewarding and highly appealing, and it’s one of the main incentives for playing the game over and over.
Controls in N.O.V.A. 3: Freedom Edition can be a little weary and they do require some time to get accustomed to, although they do are quite intuitive. From start to finish, you will definitely appreciate how responsive these touch controls actually are.
This Android game comes with some impressive visual effects, and the overall graphics here are just spectacular. Enemies look really well, and overall, everything just seems designed in order to bring you a realistic depiction of an alien invasion. The game is colorful, but the overall idea you get is of realism, which is a plus.
Sounds are also quite good too, with numerous interesting tunes to listen to while you kill enemies, and some great voice acting that you can hear when you talk with non-playable characters (NPCs).
Overall, we found N.O.V.A. 3: Freedom Edition to be an interesting, captivating and exciting first-person shooter (FPS). This is by far one of the most graphically appealing titles that you can find on mobile, and playing it will seem pretty much like the experience you get from the Mass Effect series. This is one game experience that you don’t want to miss, so we encourage you to check it out.
Dead Trigger 2
Madfinger has recently released Dead Trigger 2, and while it is a great improvement over the original in almost every way, there are still some issues, most of which existed in the first game as well.
After an unskippable and fairly boring video which introduces you to the very basic backstory (that serves as little more than to warrant being another game with zombies, really), you begin in the grand ole U.S. of A. Eventually you’ll trek to another continent, where, surprise surprise, the same thing is happening.
One of the biggest new features is auto-firing. Upon starting the game, this method is defaulted. You don’t aim and shoot at zombies, you just aim, and your weapon will fire automatically. I have zero clue as to why this control scheme was implemented, much less used by default. It’s easy enough to swap to a normal control scheme, but the question of why is still lingering.
Just like the original game, Dead Trigger 2 is graphically very nice, and just as bloody and gory. There are finer details too, such as walking under a leaking spout and having water droplets fall in your vision. Madfinger has also baked in gamepad support, so if you’re the type who enjoys these games with a controller of some sort, you’ll be able to.
The sound throughout the game is decent, from the firing of your gun to the satisfying thwack of knocking some geek in the back of the head. Atmospheric effects are what you’d expect, as is the voice acting; there isn’t a lot of it, but they all sound chipper, considering the situation, which doesn’t fit with the environment they’re trying to create.
Throughout the course of the game, you’ll get to take on zombies that come with a bit more variety this time around, making the world feel a little more alive (hah) than in the previous game. And you’ll be killing these new zombies in new mission types. You’ll have to escort people, or locate items, while still having some of the original mission structures to contend with (kill x amount or survive x amount of time). It’s definitely a nice change of pace. You’ll also be able to control turrets, and go up against super zombies on your mission to save mankind until the next forthcoming zombie apocalypse. Luckily this time around, there is no energy meter that might deter your progress, and you’re free to play to your heart’s content.
Another new feature in this installment is the hideout, where you can build workstations and upgrade items. You can craft medical supplies and explosives, to name but a couple. Each item you craft requires time to produce. This adds a new dimension to the game, as each upgrade increases efficiency, which makes you a faster, better killer of the undead, but because Dead Trigger 2 is a freemium game, you can expect to either spend hours grinding for the necessary cash and parts (such as blueprints, which are random drops), or spending some real money.
The IAP is pretty much the same as in the original, where you can buy gold and cash. You aren’t harassed to buy any either, however, nor are any aspects of the game behind a forced paywall.
Oddly, the game requires an internet connection. For a game with no multiplayer (yet) and no worthwhile online component, this seems an odd choice.At the end of the day, while Dead Trigger 2 is a nice improvement, it’s still overly repetitive. The new variety of enemies and different mission options are nice, however, the basic structure is still the same, and if you found yourself getting bored quickly with the first one, you probably will with this one.
I am extremely conflicted about Hitman: Sniper [$1.99]. It’s a great game, a legitimately fantastic mobile title. It’s a game that takes a simple premise of sniping and turns it into a complex puzzle game, where you have to learn how your weapons and abilities work to piece together sequences of actions to get the most points possible, through becoming really good at the game. Seriously, Square Enix Montreal has made an absurdly clever game. It may be more ‘traditional’ than their previous Hitman Go [$1.99] was, but it shows the same sparks of clever creativity that made that game special. I just wish that there was more than one level to play over and over again!
See, I kind of understand why Hitman: Sniper has one level. It’s one big, intricate scenario. You’re Agent 47, and you’re staking out a house party, completing a mission where you have to take out a particular target. There’s a total of ten high-value targets, guards, and the occasion civilians, and your missions usually involve killing one of those targets, along with a secondary objective. Say, for example, disposing of two bodies while being extracted, as you have ten seconds after the key target is dead to get out of Dodge. The missions get more and more complex, but the game does a great job through the missions of teaching you how the game works: you’ll learn how to execute a domino kill, which is worth a lot of points.
And that’s the thing with having one big scenario: you have to learn it. I can learn the ins and outs, knowing which spots are ideal at certain times. I know early on you get one quick shot at the elusive Tuulia Hernandez, if you want. There’s a guard that can be shot right off of a ledge without anyone noticing. I know when I can get an explosive double-kill not long in. Everyone moves in predictable ways, but is affected by the actions you undertake. And as you play more and more, you start to figure out just how everything works. And it’s an amazing feeling when just by instinct, you go from one shot to another, confident that you know what will happen. Constant repetition teaches you how the game works, and the new missions keep challenging you to hone your skills and try new things. Soon, a mission like getting a double headshot will be no big deal because you know when exactly that will happen.
The scenario is also kind of cool because there’s a story there that you’re not getting. There’s the two lovers who wind up dancing in the dark. That’s not a euphemism, that’s what they’re doing. Why are those three targets talking to one another? Who is that rogue agent? Why is Tuulia Hernandez trying to snipe that one guy? You get only the faintest details once in the narration, otherwise you’re observing from a distance…and shooting them in the head. To be fair, they’re all the biggest idiots ever. Some dude just fell on top of another one after a loud gunshot, and you want to go back to partying because hey, see no evil? You’re morally-empty cretins. Except for you, dude on the toilet who had nothing to do with all this. I only killed you because I got points for it.
You may feel like a bit of a psychopath while playing this game. But then you find the easter eggs on the map and feel better. It’s seriously a dense and complex scenario, and Hitman: Sniper gets the most possible out of it.But here’s the problem: this game is really repetitive because the one scenario presented is all you get. To be fair, I kind of get it, and I can lose a lot of time to this game. But I can’t help but feel like if there was just a bit more variety, if I had other ways to test my skills, I’d like this game a lot more. The one level gets a bit old after a while, and making a man fall on another man shouldn’t feel rote. But yet it does. I imagine creating another scenario to play would be tough, and again, the one you get is dense. But I can’t help but feel like Hitman: Sniper could have been more.
Hitman: Sniper is a game that has five-star potential: it’s just that brilliant. It’s a smart, clever, and even darkly funny game that works incredibly well. But that one level…it shouldn’t bother me as much as it does, because the one level is great, but I can’t help but think, what if there was more to do? What if I could rediscover the thrills of figuring out how a level works in a brand new scenario? I want to believe there’s more you could do with Hitman: Sniper‘s setup here. What it does is top-notch, but I don’t think it does enough. That’s what keeps it from being an absolute must-have: the lingering feeling that maybe this game hasn’t quite reached its full potential.
Terminator Genisys: Revolution
Probably the most interesting thing about the Terminator movies was the idea of an unstoppable killing machine being dropped in our time and rampaging through innocents in order to kill one highly important target. Recently, there has been a push in the movies to go forward in time, when Skynet has already taken over the world and fielded its army of robots against the last remnants of humanity. There is a problem inherent in this setting; it dramatically reduces the lethality of the Terminator. In this setting, the horrifying killing machine that single-handedly murders an entire police station in the first movie becomes a simple foot soldier that you shoot in the head and it falls over.
Terminator Genisys: Revolution is set in this Skynet-dominated future. You play as a soldier of the resistance, and your primary goal is to kill terminators. Killing terminators, as it turns out, is not that hard. All you really know how to do is squeeze the trigger of a gun until they blast apart into a million pieces. There are a few cool RPG-like elements in the game that twist the formula of the run-and-gun nature of play. Most of it has to do with weapon-customization. Each mission you complete leaves you with a bit of loot to spend on your guns, and certain missions actually require that you upgrade your stuff before heading in. While collecting money and adding bells and whistles to your firearms can be slightly addicting, there is a sense that this game really doesn’t need the Terminator license attached to it at all.
When it comes right down to it, there isn’t anything particularly Terminator about the game. Sure, they are there, but they are kind of like zombies or orcs. They’ve lost the mystique and have become some kind of stock villain that only seem to zerg-rush and get killed in literal droves. The bigger enemies like Hunter-Killers and gun turrets prove a little bit more of a threat, as they can blast away your cover and expose you to enemy fire, but they aren’t that much of a problem if you know how to utilize your explosives or prioritize your killing.
The way that you move through the game isn’t particularly inspired, either. You pick from battle zones on a map and you go in and get the monorail run-and-gun treatment. Think of the arcade game with the plastic gun controllers that you played at the movie theater in the late nineties. Your character moves automatically, settles behind some cover, you shoot everything in sight and then when you’re done killing everything, the character moves to another bit of cover and you repeat what you did before.This kind of gameplay wouldn’t be so bad if it were occasionally broken by something, perhaps anything, else. But the lack of variety and the monotony of the game cause it go stale quickly. Even pouring money into your guns to make them shoot faster or reload quicker is not enough to vary the content.
With such a bland play-style, it becomes very obvious that the game is banking on the novelty of the setting and license to get you to keep playing. However, the Terminator I know is set in the eighties or nineties, before the Skynet takeover with the Terminator disguised as a person and a human populace that is totally unprepared to deal with it. Again, it’s this rather simple premise that made the series such a unique science-fiction story. Take away all of that, and the game becomes a generic science-fiction shooting gallery that gets tiring very fast.
You are Alex Murphy, a good cop and even better lover who was terribly injured and then six-million-dollar-man’d into a futuristic cyborg cop ready to police a world in which robot violence has become commonplace. And though it would probably be sweet if the city of Detroit just let you out on your own to, y’know, slay criminals, you’re going to have to train via a series of incredibly lifelike simulations to hone your coppin’ and killin’ skills before you do any of that.
For a film series that is, for all intents and purposes, over the top and god-awful, RoboCop is oddly beloved. As such, most of the buzz we’ve heard about the upcoming reboot has been negative and/or bewildered, but despite this and the obvious B-movie air with which the films carry themselves, trailers for the upcoming action flick look pretty damn cool. Sadly, this level of high-quality action set-pieces meets bazonkers plot doesn’t translate so well into a game so clearly rushed to release in order to capitalize on the possible success of the film.
Admittedly, the gritty, urban environments found within RoboCop are not bad. Certainly there are more beautiful games to behold, but for its stand-and-shoot mechanics, the look and feel of each area serves its purpose well. These are some of the better lighting effects and detailed character models to be found within the App Store’s 3D shooter stable, and it is undeniably satisfying to line up and execute a headshot on some bespectacled (seriously, a lot of these dudes have glasses) enemies. RoboCop himself looks pretty detailed, but what kind of world are we living in when the hero of a game seems to have had more development attention than gameplay? I guess that this is actually not all that uncommon, but still…it’s weird.
Controls are mapped to two virtual buttons, though even this is a generous statement. You’re always passively snapped to some form of cover utilizing a swipe and hold of the left side of the screen to survey the area, and a swipe and hold of the right to aim and shoot. Shooting is accomplished automatically once you’ve aimed the crosshair over an enemy, and the lack of a dedicated means by which to choose when to shoot is appalling. This sloppy mechanic is made even worse by adding the bane of any gamer’s existence into the mix: guns that overheat.
So picture, if you will: RoboCop crouches behind cover until standing up and motionlessly firing a gun that quickly overheats at some truly weak AI. Yikes. From time to time, arrows pop up on the sides of the screen that allow for transition to other cover, but given the lore behind the franchise, a control scheme that provides minimal movement is kind of sad. RoboCopis supposed to be nearly indestructible, and it would have been cool to run into the fray at will and unleash his badassery. You’ll be given access to focus mode which allows you to slow time and mark up to three targets for a one-shot kill, as well as an unmanned drone for thinning out crowds, but traversal options would have gone a long way to proving this game is more than a cash grab.
Fortunately, through a system of surprisingly deep upgrades you can augment just about everything from gun type, firing time and cooldown, armor, and more. If we think of these skill trees as a sort of a meta game, the overall package becomes a bit more acceptable. Yes, this is where microtransactions come in as certain upgrade “nodes” that are only accessible through an in-game auxiliary form of currency, where the player is given a percentage-based chance of unlocking the next node. The percentage is higher the more you bet, and don’t worry about it if you lose the gamble, because you can totally pay real money for more of this currency.
Between missions, one of two talking heads who we can only assume are actors from the upcoming movie will pop up to talk with you about what you’re doing and what kinds of simulations/missions you can expect. The woman is nice and totally believes in you, RoboCop. The dude, on the other hand, is kind of a jerk, and given his tone he probably doesn’t believe in cyborg police projects and totally wants you to fail so he can then tell the president of the company or the mayor of Detroit or whoever else that the whole thing just needs to be scrapped.
This dynamic gets old so fast, and lengthy dialog just gets in the way of blasting fools. As bad as this is, it’s nothing compared to the utterly forgettable music that wouldn’t be out of place on a compilation album called something like, “Action Movie Music That Won’t Get in the Way.” Certainly there was someone somewhere who demanded that the game’s soundtrack be the same as the film, and while we’re no strangers to synergy and don’t really have a better suggestion, we think it’s only fair to give you a heads up that there will be no Grammys awarded.
The F2P part certainly doesn’t hurt RoboCop‘s chances, but unless you’re a mega-fan, it’s hard to justify even spending the time. Everything from the boring shooting to the lack of any real control just reeks of a rush job. RoboCop might be a great time-killer, but even its eerily addictive upgrade system can’t save it from the sheer mediocrity at play. Checking out the upcoming film might be something fun to do, playing the game, however, is not.
Deer Hunter 2016
I grew up in a very small town in Florida where people love their guns and hunting almost as much as they love cheap beer and their trucks. Even though I’ve never shot a gun in my life, I’m no stranger to the hunting lifestyle and the individuals who have made the Deer Hunter franchise one of the most popular casual game franchises in history.
For eighteen years the Deer Hunter franchise has grown into a collection of over twenty titles, while the franchise itself has exchanged hands a few times. Currently, Glu Games holds the Deer Hunter license and has been focused on releasing games for mobile gamers to enjoy on Android and iOS devices.
With Deer Hunter 2016, I took my first shot in the world of Deer Hunter. Surprisingly, or not-so-surprisingly now that I think about it, I found that Deer Hunter 2016 played out a lot like Glu’s previous titles, Frontline Commando: WWII and Dino Hunter: Deadly Shores. Players are given a preliminary task for a particular level, (kill 3 deer, kill 2 bears, and so on) which they must complete to collect the level’s rewards and progress onto the next level. Additional weapons are then bought and upgraded with those earnings, or players can opt to spend some of their own cash to upgrade their weapons all at once, or buy other weapons entirely.
Deer Hunter 2016 utilizes an energy meter, but it’s a generous one compared to most other freemium games of this variety. Levels cost one energy bar to attempt, and with a default 10 energy bars when full, I had no problem always having enough energy during my play sessions with the game over the weekend. Deer Hunter 2016 also rewards players with additional energy when they level up (which occurs often at the beginning), a free energy bar by watching an ad, random refills during predesignated time windows throughout the day, and the first full energy refill is free. Alternatively, a $4.99 Starter Pack is available that, apart from including some gold and a cool assault rifle, increases the maximum energy by 2 (to 12 total), which I thought is a clever idea to give players a bit extra content every time they play the game.
But with as well as Glu handles it, the energy bar system in Deer Hunter 2016 won’t really matter if players get bored with the game early on. Having reached level 7, completed the first 30-mission campaign in Alaska, and completed the first fantasy campaign to hunt a legendary elk, I really have no motivation to keep playing the game. It was a drag to get this far, and it all comes down to the fact that the game is just too easy.
The biggest challenge in the game isn’t actually killing the animals (which can typically be done in one shot), but it’s getting the cash you need to upgrade your gun so that you can advance through the campaigns. Secondary missions cost the same energy as regular campaign missions, and are always available regardless of your weapon quality. Unless you’re looking to shell up some cash, you’ll be grinding these secondary missions over and over again to collect the money you need to advance through the main campaign. While I don’t mind having to grind a little bit to keep the experience affordable, when I get the same mission over and over, I’m just going to lose interest with each and every attempt.Especially when the missions are mindlessly easy.
There was one repeating secondary mission (pictured above) that I just dreaded because it was so painfully easy. It was in a snowy forest, and the objective was to kill a couple of moose. The moose herd would run up over a hill, and down the other side, right at me. Two shots per moose…level over. I’m pretty sure that by the third time I could have done it with my eyes closed. Deer Hunter 2016 certainly could have benefited from a randomly generated animal spawn system. Then later, in the fantasy campaign I played through, the legendary stag that I had just tracked down was propped up on a rock, doing his best Lion King impression. I promptly shot him in the eyeball.
Deer Hunter 2016 isn’t a bad game, and its chief flaw is largely a product of the environment (no pun intended): animals are kind of dumb, and when you’re equipped with guns that can easily puncture through their skins, getting a one-shot-kill is understandably easy. But when levels play out in the exact same manner, and I’m required to play them multiple times, the problem shifts from animals being too easy to kill to the game doing a poor job handling variety.