Review: The Shoot

The PlayStation 3's drop into motion gaming had a surprising side effect: A return of the on-rails light gun game. The Shoot is one of two PlayStation Move games hitting just this week.

Instead of going for realism, The Shoot blends the aesthetics of old carnival shooting galleries with the addictive nature of arcade classics like Hogan's Alley. The one- or two-player game includes five locations, each with four levels, and a number of unlockables and challenges. You can play it without the fancy shooting attachment that turns your Move controller into a gun, but where's the fun in that?

Ideal Player

Fans of light gun games who don't mind trading the typically dead-on, lightning fast reaction of a true light gun game for the ability to play at home without the need for quarters. People who enjoy casual gaming with friends. This is a great party title.

Why You Should Care

The PlayStation Move still hasn't really delivered a single game that makes the controller a must buy. So every new title is worth checking out if you own the add-on. Also, The Shoot—along with Namco's Time Crisis: Razing Storm—gives us our first chance to check out how Sony's motion controller handles light gun-style games in the home.

Is The Shoot just a shooting gallery? Essentially, yes. The premise behind the game is that you're an action star in a movie and you need to shoot as many enemies as possible to keep the director happy. Get him angry enough by missing or getting hurt and you'll have to do a retake. Do enough retakes and you're kicked out of the movie. The premise and the way it is presented through the use of wobbly wooden enemies and fragile props is what makes the game so much fun to shoot your way through.

How is this different then something like Hogan's Alley? Like Hogan's Alley, the bad guys and occasional good guys are depicted as flat wooden cut-outs that float, swing or wobble their way toward you on tracks and wires. But the presentation is well beyond anything Nintendo's classic arcade shooter could have delivered. And the five different movie themes add a lot to the experience.

Right: The PlayStation Move Shooting Attachment will run you an extra $US20. But it's worth it.

What are the movies? The game opens up in a western with cowboys and miners for you to gun down as you work your way through the prop town. There is also a robot-themed movie, a gangster movie, an underwater setting and, by far the best, a monster flick.

What's so great about the monster movie? Zombies. Yes, I know that's become a popular gaming trope, but these zombies are made of wood and very cleverly designed. Shoot them anywhere but the head and you won't stop the cut-out from its ambling attack. I've even missed enough shots to face a disembodied zombie head on the end of a wooden stick. The boss of this final movie is also the best.

What about those moves you can perform in the game? Right, an important distinction. Your bonus modifier goes up as you hit targets without any missed shots. Hit enough in a row and you start to unlock special moves. The game has three of them. You can slow down time by spinning around while holding the gun. You can clear the screen of enemies by shooting straight down at the ground and you can activate a sort of sub-machine gun mode by shooting straight up. Keep in mind you have to earn these power-ups, but using them is the only way you can rack up the scores needed to unlock new movies.

Is the plastic gun worth buying for the game? You don't need to, but you're probably going to want to because it helps quite a bit in recapturing the feel of playing those old light gun games. Unfortunately, the controls themselves don't help. While I enjoyed my time playing through and replaying through the game to unlock new movies, there was always a slight delay in the cross hair, making me feel like I was playing Hogan's Alley dipped in molasses.

Five movies, four levels, in a light gun game? That sounds short. It is short. Each movie took me about 30 minutes to complete. If you're doing the maths you might think that means only two hours of gameplay. But you'd be wrong. All of the movies' levels are packed with Easter eggs and ways to rack up a higher score, making re-playability not just fun, but a must. The Shoot isn't the sort of game you play through and put away, it's the sort of game you play to perfection.

The Shoot In Action

The Shoot's first "movie" is a western. It's also one of my favourites.

The Shoot's gangster level was another great movie in the game.

The Shoot's underwater level is a visual feast.

Zombies... made of wood... wooden zombies!!! This is the best level of the game by far.

The robot-themed movie was packed with plenty of flying mechanisms and mini-boss battles.

Here's a closer look at the PS3 Move Shooting Attachment you can pick up for an extra $20 or so.

The Bottom Line

The Shoot is the sort of quick and easy take on shooters that the PS3 has long lacked. The fun visuals, clever enemy design and trio of power-ups combine to make this particular light gun game fun to play without weighing it down with unnecessary depth, story or clutter. But The Shoot's sometimes sluggish controls becomes an annoyance as players get past the initial discovery of the levels and try to master the game.

The Shoot was developed by Cohort Studios and published by Sony Computer Entertainment America for the PlayStation 3, released on October 19. Retails for $US39.99, requires Move controller and PlayStation Eye camera. It works with the PS3 Move Shooting attachment, which isn't required. A copy of the game and the attachment was given to us by the publisher for reviewing purposes. Played through the career mode, collected puzzle pieces, tried out score attack.


    "A return of the on-rails light gun game"

    What about all those games on Wii?

    OOOOOH, you meant on PSthreeeeee.

      Meh. We've been playing perfectly good on-rails shooters for YEARS... and we have many examples where its been done without the controls being sluggish.

      I wouldn't call the return to on-rails as a 'surprise' for the PS3. I'd call it absolutely predictable.

    I remember trying to demo when I first got the Move and the game play had no reticle and felt laggy. It was SO annoying. Also my arm hurt after playing this for 5 minutes.

    Still not seeing anything that justifies Move's existence...

    I'd rather an HD port of House of the Dead: Overkill. That game was awesome.

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