Whenever a new gaming innovation comes along there are some titles that push the industry forward with fresh thinking and then there are the rest trying desperately to cling on to the bandwagon. The Shoot belongs squarely in that second group.
- Simple enough for anyone to play
- About as family-friendly as a shooting game can be
- Has multiplayer
- Incredibly simplistic
- Painfully slow load times
- Very short, with minimal incentive to replay
Gaming peripherals are no good without games to utilize them. Gamers know that. Developers know that. Publishers know that. In the rush to fill shelves and give early adopters early options some simplistic titles slip through. The Shoot is one of those games, bringing little to the Move and indeed the classic light gun genre other than some extreme family-friendliness and a pretty, glowy controller.
The story of The Shoot is that you’re a hired gun, a sort of sharpshooter stuntman who has to go through various scenes in various movies and basically shoot bad things to bits. These bad things come in many shapes and sizes, but the vast majority are two-dimensional – and not in the sense that they don’t make for compelling dinner conversation. Most of the enemies in the game are cardboard cutouts made to move across the screen, either suspended on posts or strung charmingly from polygonal strings.
The idea, obviously, was to make things look quaint and silly, but even the least cynical of players will realize that this must have been done at least in part to save time: a character who can’t move is an awful lot easier to animate than one who can. So, you’ll be taking down corrugated cowboys, blowing the heads off of poster zombies, and popping holes in plywood robots.
Not all the enemies are so static; there are some fully animated, fully rendered baddies for you to point your lollipop at. Most of these are bosses, and all of those are introduced with a little guide telling you exactly how to kill them, tips that say things like “avoid the missiles” or “shoot when the shields are down.” You know, factoids that anyone who has ever played a videogame before will already know.
“Fun” for the Whole Family
If you fail to dodge those missiles (by moving the Move baton left or right), or if you shoot too many of the non-evil cardboard cutouts caught in the fray, you’ll make the virtual director mad. Anger him enough and he’ll call cut and, eventually, you’ll have to start over. There’s no concept of “life” here and if you get hit by a thrown axe or lobbed wrench you don’t get hurt, you just raise the director’s blood pressure. It’s all about keeping him happy.
Sadly, he’ll do nothing to return the favor, constantly and incessantly babbling about this or that. Get him excited and one of his favorite and most meaningless phrases is “this is the dawning of awesome,” which he often follows up with a simple “awesome” as if to prove his point. If you thought the announcer in the Ridge Racer games was annoying, he has nothing on this dude.
Audio otherwise is hit or miss. Some of the tunes here are actually quite good, but are dry and predictable, and so too are the various sound effects, along with the levels you’ll hear them in. Robots? Check. Zombies? Check. Random crime goons? Yeah.
What is surprising is the outrageous delay that you’ll have to sit through as each level loads. Given the simplistic, cookie-cutter content you’d think each section would spring to life nearly instantly, but that’s not the case, and with no option to install the game you’re stuck waiting. That does at least help to add to the longevity of things, which most will conquer in a single sitting of two hours or less. And, once done, there’s little reason to go back through again – unless you really need those trophies.
In terms of controls the game plays well enough, with the Move offering plenty of accuracy. However, we found that if you calibrate the controller from one spot on the couch and, say, move over to let a friend join you, you’ll often need to re-calibrate it to ensure proper precision. Also, some of the special moves you need to execute are way too difficult to pull off. For example, a 360 degree spin is required to trigger one powerup, while not a single button on the controller other than the trigger is used.
Shoot and a Miss
As a light gun game The Shoot is simple and, occasionally, a little fun. As a downloadable title from the PSN for $15 or so it’d be a solid addition to your portfolio of Move demonstration games when friends ask “What the heck are those glowing lollipop things?” However, as a Blu-ray release, even a discounted one, it’s a hard sell. There’s little replayability, minimal gameplay, and zero innovation. It’s a simple cash grab for gamers desperate for Move games, and you’d be better off spending that cash elsewhere.