Reader Review: Shattered Horizon

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Brendan does, as he barrel rolls his way through this space sim shooter.

Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

And thanks to the very kind chaps at Madman Entertainment, purveyor of all kinds of cool, indie and esoteric film, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD releases.

This review was submitted by Brendan Bennett. If you’ve played Shattered Horizon, or just want to ask Brendan more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Shattered Horizon (PC)

Shattered Horizon, from Futuremark Studios, is a realistic space combat experience that combines strategic first person shooting with 360 degrees of movement. Following a cataclysmic explosion on the moon involving human refineries; the survivors must fight amongst a broken for what little supplies and aid are left.

Loved

360* of Freedom: Shattered Horizon manages to take fighting from any angle and make it work. Spin, strafe, barrel roll and attach to surfaces with the use of one mouse button and one key; it takes an hour or two to get used to, but it works perfectly.

Environments: Although the levels are limited in number – five with DLC on the way – they are quite large and you can tackle them from any direction, giving you limitless combat scenarios. Each and every environment is richly detailed with amazing backdrops; Ruptured space stations, an arc of shattered moon, and a massive satellite almost split in two are only a few of the unique and amazing locations you will visit

Combat: When Shattered Horizon gets going, fire-fights are frenetic and tense. Being constantly aware of your surroundings, looking at scenarios from different angles for the best cover and thinking strategically about your attacks all work in your favour, with ice, EMP and explosive grenades adding a nice bit of havoc to the game.

Hated

One gun: Your standard gun triples as your machine gun, sniper rifle and grenade launcher, but even with that, the range of weaponry in the game is still limited. It fits the realistic vibe they were going for, but a little more variety would not have gone astray; how about a shotgun mode, surveillance equipment, or proximity/remote mines?

In space, no one can hear you talk: Simply put, the game has no native voice chat support of any kind, killing a lot of the potential fun to be had with strategic battles.

Shattered Horizon is a title that dares to be different. It succeeds in being the realistic space combat experience they were aiming for, and does a great job of it, but for the same reasons might dissuade many who attempt to play it. For $20 on Steam, Shattered Horizon is well worth your money if you are looking for a shooter that requires a bit of patience, but offers an experience like no other on the market.

Reviewed by: Brendan Bennett

You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 300 words - yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.


Comments

    Well this seems to have gotten no advertising, but it looks quite interesting, one thing though, what weapons? You mentioned that there is only 1 gun with 3 modes and EMP, but is there anything else?

    How's the online AU community these days. I bought it at launch and found it quite fun but went back a couple of weeks later and couldn't find anyone online bar a few players on overseas servers. Haven't checked since.

    Also I've never understood peoples objections to lack of weapon variety. Focused gameplay is a good thing in my book, okay maybe a shotgun wouldn't have been bad. But people complained about the same thing in l4d, where you had shotgun/assault rifle/sniper rifle, anything else would have just been minor variants on those anyway...

      Oh yeah. That didn't occur to me, i'd like to know this before i spend my hard earned money points. Unless the game has some good singleplayer or LAN.

    Loving how these reader reviews introduce me to something new that i never would've heard of before.

    Shame about the lack of dx9 support, a lot of people still have old graphics cards and thats really going to cut the market on a game which has recieved little advertisement.

    Anyway, game looks really awesome.

    i'm quite intrigued by this game - although still not quite yet convinced.
    The gameplay from the trailers i have seem look to be very chaotic.
    How well does combat flow?
    What's the learning curve like?
    Does the novelty last?

    The combat flows really nicely. If you care killed, you spawn on the outskirts of the map, and are launched in at great speed. This lets you get a view of the entire level, and lets you know exactly where you should be heading. Combine that with your thrusters makes short work of any distance that needs covering.

    The learning curve is only 2-3 hours, but the very fact that doorways and things like printed text on crates and walls will appear sideways/upsidedown makes your brain automatically go "wait, something isn't right here". The key is looking at levels from a more geometry based perspective, rather than object based.

    Yes, there is only one gun. But like I said, it triples as a machine gun, sniper and grenade launcher. The gun is extremely fun to learn though, with a lot of intricacies paid to using all modes while anchored and not, with appropriate recoil and feedback. It's one gun, but it packs in a lot of diversity.

    The Australian community isn't as good as it could be, admittedly, but I find more servers than I do for Left4Dead2. I'm always able to see at least 3-4 available games whenever I go on; ping 30-150.

    The novelty does last. If you want space combat that is fun and frenetic, there is plenty to come back for.

    Hopefully with the coming levels and native voice support, maybe coupled with some new weapons and with a lower price, will open the game up to a few more people who are hesitant about dropping the cash on this.

    It really is a great game that is extremely polished and well balanced.

    Also if you are thinking about buying this, please note that you will need Windows Vista or Windows 7 to support it's DirectX version.

    Thanks to Kotaku for the featured review and good luck to everyone in the contest!

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