Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: Coded Arms: Assault

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Electronic Theatre Image            Since the arrival of the original Coded Arms back in 2005, fans garnered from the release have been keen on news of a sequel. E3 2006 brought news of not one, but two instalments in development for Konami’s first ever First-Person Shooter series, and yet more anticipation was harvested. Since then, the rumblings have been pretty quiet. An updated trailer for Coded Arms: Assault, the PLAYSTATION3 release, appeared at TGS 2006 – albeit, showing very little that hadn’t already been seen – and current speculation puts the title at around sixty-percent completion. But what about the PlayStation Portable follow-up? Enter Coded Arms: Contagion, available now in Europe.

            Originally suggested as the third entrant in the series, Coded Arms:Electronic Theatre Image Contagion presumably arrives on shop shelves earlier than it’s PLAYSTATION3 counterpart due to delays in the production of the high-end release, as opposed to an extended development period for the PlayStation Portable outing as, unfortunately, Coded Arms: Contagion doesn’t seem to have progressed too much since it’s original E3 2006 debut.

            An unwelcoming storyline concerning cyber-terrorists taking control of your training program is evident and largely preposterous. The Maps are limited to purely interior stages – all of which remain incredibly similar throughout. The lack of variety isn’t helped by a distinctly unwavering set of objectives. Walking through a Map, defeating enemies, collecting Upgrades and Hacking Turrets across thirteen Levels isn’t the most enticing prospect. The Hacking Mini-Game is enjoyable to begin with – a nod to BioShock, perhaps – but soon becomes tiresome.

            Needless to say, the enemies compliment the lack of diversity well. After two or three Levels, enemies may appear with different colours, and take a few more hits to down. The Upgrade System is perhaps the best feature of the game. Throughout the title, various Upgrade Points can be collected – as well as awarded – and spent to upgrade Weaponry or Armour. While having an obvious effect within game, the harsh demands required for each stage simply doesn’t warrant the trudge through the Single-Player Campaign.

            The Control System is an improvement on the first title – perhaps the only one evident. While being based on largely the same set-up, the adjustments that can be made are far slighter, and a complimentary Lock-On using Up on the D-Pad adds some accessibility.

            The title’s Multi-Player features are plentiful – both Ad Hoc and Infrastructure options are available – with five Maps and ten Weapons to select from, but there’s simply no substance to the gameplay; if you can find a game.

            Coded Arms: Contagion doesn’t exactly win any awards in the looks department, either. While it’s clearly a decent Electronic Theatre Imagestandard for the PlayStation Portable system, the lack of variety would demand a much greater benchmark to be hit. The players weaponry is obviously the most detailed feature, but most of the enemies simply look identical. The sound quality is good, but a lacking range of sound bytes sees every enemies emit the same shriek upon being bested, and while the music attempts to increase tempo for combat, many areas will be cleared before it hits its’ stride.

            Coded Arms: Contagion simply isn’t the game it should be. While not being broken, akin to the likes of Hour Of Victory or Turning Point: Fall Of Liberty, the gameplay is shallow, the aesthetic is basic and the Multi-Player is entirely soulless. The innovation from the first title hasn’t been harnessed, but instead disposed-of. Coded Arms: Contagion has, quite simply, failed, Coded Arms: Assault on PLAYSTATION3  – if remaining an active title within Konami, has a lot to prove if the series is going to survive.Electronic Theatre Image




















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