Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Raph determines whether Shattered Horizon is a successful launch, or an Apollo 13.
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This review was submitted by Raph Byrne. If you’ve played Shattered Horizon, or just want to ask Raph more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Shattered Horizon is Futuremark’s first attempt at making a true game rather than just benchmarking tool. It puts you in Earth orbit as one of two rival faction vying for supremacy of the pieces of the recently exploded moon now scattered above our planet.
Their capture of how an infantry battle in space would actually work is remarkably complete. All the motion is spot on from what you would expect for flying around with a jetpack in space. Also I just plain love the strategic options that open up when you can attack a position from not just left, right or above but below, as well as every possible direction inbetween.
The Dark Side of the Moon
The way light works in this game creates the best stealth system I’ve ever seen in a multiplayer game. When using your jetpack you emit rather a lot of light, even more when boosting but if you just drift through space, no light. In addition you can powerdown your suit allowing you to hide from the enemies radar but leaving you without a HUD and sluggish movement. You can obscure yourself further by hiding in the shadows of floating moon rock and installations. This all creates, what I think is a very natural and fun stealth system that can be incredibly satisfying when used appropriately.
The game looks fantastic, light rays cascade around the chunks of moon, and installations floating around you and the art all fits together. It also scales well, performing sufficiently even on my rather modest system. Futuremark certainly knows how to render space.
Nothing But Moon Rocks
Although the movement and basic combat of the game is decent enough there’s really not enough there to keep you playing. For starters, there is only one gun in the game, though it can shoot grenades (of 3 types) and has an alternate firing mode for sniping. The grenades are emp, impulse and ice a.k.a. stun, frag and smoke but there are some subtle differences, like the impulse grenade doesn’t really damage you it just creates a large force. Despite this, barring your choice of attack vector there’s not much else in the way of gameplay decisions. Also the ranking system seems totally superfluous. It only functions to track your success in the game, there are no rewards, achievements or unlocks for ranking up, at least that’s how it was when I was playing it. If future patches add more content it could be a much better game.
In the end this is a decent effort from Futuremark. The game runs ok, there’s no real major glitches that I noticed and although the community is relatively small in Australia it’s enough to get a few good games in. It’s fun to play but will get boring quickly. Ultimately it’s one small step for FPS and one giant leap for Futuremark.
Reviewed by: Raph Byrne
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