As if making a Gears of War-style third-person shooter on Nintendo 3DS wasn't already a difficult enough undertaking, the French developers of VD-DEV wanted to complicate their lives by completing the job with a staff of only three elements: an exceptional achievement from a technical point of view, but which unfortunately brings with it unpleasant consequences on a strictly videogame level. While wanting to grant the team all the extenuating circumstances of the case, IronFall: Invasion is a mediocre product, which ends up being crushed in the fatal grip between its triple A title ambitions and a realization simply not up to par.
The invasion of robot aliens
That something is wrong in IronFall: Invasion is understood from the beginning, since the game is based on a confused, sketchy and generic plot: the protagonist is Jim, super-soldier in the service of no one knows who, who must reject the invasion of an army of robot aliens from no one knows where. Even if taken to the extreme synthesis, this is really the disheartening background of a story clearly developed only to act as a glue between the various levels, but on whose absolute poverty it is really difficult to overlook. Just as it is difficult to digest a design devoid of the slightest bit of originality: the hero is a (bad) carbon copy of Marcus Fenix, the enemies are robots that seem to come directly from a title of the early 90s and the scenarios they are based on trite clichés.
Unfortunately things do not improve in terms of pure and simple gameplay, despite the developers of VD-DEV have tried to imitate Gears of War really in all respects: the three-quarter view, the cover and fire system, the active reload mechanism, even the animations and camera movement that accompany the protagonist's shot are taken from the Epic series. There is nothing to crucify an independent team of only three elements, if it were not that absolutely non-original ideas are combined with an almost always insufficient realization. To begin with, the level design is a boring succession of rooms and corridors, with only the trivial puzzles to break the monotony of a canvas that always involves reaching an area, eliminating all the enemies and moving on to the next to repeat the same procedure. The artificial intelligence of the robots then borders on absolute zero and contributes to further numb the action, characterized by a low level of challenge that undergoes sporadic (and annoying) surges only in some sections in which you take command of another character .
It will certainly not be IronFall: Invasion to mark a new course for third-person shooters
One would think that in a globally mediocre title like IronFall: Invasion the 3D effect is also below the standards, and instead it is one of the most successful aspects of the product: with the slider at maximum the feeling of depth is really convincing. and well done, even if to enjoy all this you have to pay the price of a frame rate literally halved.
I don't know how to control myself
Even presented during a Nintendo Direct as one of the first titles to natively support the C-Stick of the New Nintendo 3DS, IronFall: Invasion unfortunately also misses this target, offering an unsatisfactory control system due to the poor accuracy of the second analog as an input to manage the aim: Even working on the camera sensitivity settings, holding the reticle stably on a moving enemy (especially at close range) becomes prohibitive, taking further fun out of a title that already didn't offer much from the start. The software also includes a setting to play using the stylus, but it is an incredibly uncomfortable and underperforming solution, which eliminates from the potential catchment area of IronFall: Invasion all those who do not have the latest version of the Nintendo laptop. However, it would be ungenerous to say that the entire work done by VD-DEV is to be thrown away, especially if you consider that a team of only three people managed to come up with a respectable graphic design:
the environments are quite vast, the polygonal models appear full-bodied, the lighting effects are not lacking and the screen update is fixed stably at 60 frames per second, at least with the 3D effect disabled. The game's sales system is also interesting: you can download a demo for free that allows you to tackle the first level, and then you can buy the single player campaign and the multiplayer component separately for the sum of € 9,90 for each package. Speaking precisely of this last mode, IronFall: Invasion once again demonstrates good will but poor performance: it is therefore possible to try your hand in deathmatch free-for-all or divided into teams, online or locally, even being able to bet with the in-game currency on the match winner. Too bad that the persistent control problems are added to the scarce number of maps and modes and that there are very evident imbalances in the effectiveness of weapons weapons and in the management of respawns, elements that make the multiplayer games of IronFall: Invasion confusing battles destined to get bored really in a short time.
CommentTested version Nintendo 3DS Digital Delivery Nintendo eShop Resources4Gaming.com
While appreciating VD-DEV's attempt to bring to Nintendo 3DS an exponent of a genre traditionally disliked by the Nintendo laptop (however, with very few means), it is really difficult to find something to save in IronFall: Invasion. Both the campaign and the multiplayer component suffer from obvious defects, and the control system sadly confirms the inadequacy of the C-Stick to perform precision tasks, with even worse results in the case of using the stylus for those who do not own a New Nintendo. 3DS. A remarkable graphic layout is unfortunately not enough to revive a title that, in addition to a total lack of originality, shows too many design gaps.
- Respectable graphics
- Adequate content
- Interesting sales model
- Control system unsatisfactory
- Design leaks all over the place
- Boring and bite-free