GAME REVIEW: IRONFALL INVASION / DEVELOPER: VD-DEV / PUBLISHER: VD-DEV / PLATFORM: 3DS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
IronFall Invasion arrives via the 3DS eShop with much anticipation, not only because it's the first of its kind (a Third-Person Shooter) on the 3DS, but also because of the way it is distributed. You can download a small portion of the single player campaign and multi-player for free, and if you like it you can purchase the full thing. It's an interesting premise and a unique way to distribute the game reminiscent of shareware in the ‘90s.
VD-Dev is a team best known for their handheld work, and on the 3DS IronFall looks stunning. It is certainly a spectacle to behold on a handheld console and proves that other games of its kind could work and would be more than welcome on the 3DS console. The obvious comparison to make is Gears of War. If you have played Gears of War you will know what to expect from IronFall Invasion. You shoot, run in to cover, then pop out after shooting wave after wave of enemies. There are, however, other comparisons; the futuristic setting is reminiscent of Perfect Dark and the level design feels similar to the classic shooter, and that's the problem with the single player campaign. It feels like a game that's been ported from that era, and not ported all that well. It's occasionally clunky control wise, the detection isn't the best, and you may often find yourself getting stuck in cover.
The multiplayer, however, is where IronFall Invasion shines. In six player death matches IronFall is at its most fun, but it also brings up another flaw. You will need a Circle Pad Pro or New 3DS to play, as if you try to play it without these you will find it a very frustrating experience. The multi-player interface is well designed and (from this reviewer's experience) it was relatively easy to get a match.
The story of IronFall Invasion is fairly non-existent. You battle a race of aliens that look like a cross between the Cybermen of Doctor Who and the Cylons in Battlestar Galactica, and they never feel like worthy adversaries for your amour-wearing hero. The script is woeful and the voice acting is terrible. It's hard to tell if it is meant to be terrible (in a tongue-in-cheek way) or if it's just plain terrible. In 2015 we expect much more of storytelling in gaming, and the script and story in IronFall Invasion make it look amateurish.
IronFall Invasion doesn't do anything unique, apart from being fortunate enough to be the only shooter bar Resident Evil: Revelations available on Nintendo's handheld. It's really quite flawed, but it’s a fun multi-player experience and the unique pricing structure mean it’s worth giving it a blast for free anyway.
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