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Heavy Weapon (PlayStation 3) artwork

Heavy Weapon (PlayStation 3) review


"Heavy Weapon is yet another downloadable game that debuted on XBLA long before PSN, giving PS3 owners pretty much the same game that Xboxers have been able to buy and play for a long time. This isn’t always a bad thing, and it’s still a title of worth so long as you’ve not already got the previous copy snuggled away on your 360’s hard drive and you’re a fan of a screen full of explosions."



Heavy Weapon is yet another downloadable game that debuted on XBLA long before PSN, giving PS3 owners pretty much the same game that Xboxers have been able to buy and play for a long time. This isn’t always a bad thing, and it’s still a title of worth so long as you’ve not already got the previous copy snuggled away on your 360’s hard drive and you’re a fan of a screen full of explosions.

In the game, you play as the Atomic Tank, a sentient weapon‘s platform that you drive across levels, shooting planes, jeeps and giant, screen-filling bosses. Barely a moment goes by when the screen isn't filled with rockets and balls of plasma, making the game look much more difficult than it is. To stay alive, you need to shoot the rockets out of the sky using your own upgradeable guns. An offensive defence is essential if you're going to avoid exploding into very small pieces of sentient tank.

You can up your arsenal in two ways: by collecting power-ups and by upgrading between levels. Power-ups are dropped by enemies and friendly helicopters, the latter of which you MUST AVOID SHOOTING and will drop anything from shield upgrades (which will allow you take one hit without dying) to gun upgrades (spread shot, rapid fire, etc). The other kind of power-up, parts of the Megalaser, are dropped by slaughtered enemies. There are four pieces that drop in order, and you must collect them before they hit the ground, as they'll explode when they touch down.

The other way of upgrading, which is actually called upgrading, you do between levels. There are six upgrades, things like homing rockets or a ball of plasma that orbits around your tank blocking projectiles. At the end of every level you’re awarded skill points that you can put into one of the six upgrades. The first time you allocate a point into a skill it starts playing; each subsequent upgrade makes it more efficant, maybe with more damage or more rockets. The systems work well

The bosses are quite inventive once you get past the first two or three, consisting of things like a giant gorilla-like machine called Kommie Kong and the Eyebot, a large floating mecha that shoots energy cannons from its eye. They're quite amusing, even if you're too busy shooting them to consider that you're shooting a massive monkey robot.

The biggest problem we had with Heavy Weapon wasn't what you might expect from a game in which the screen tends to be permanently filled with rockets that can't wait to blow you into pieces: it's too easy. It's actually very surprising just how easy it is. We got through the first six levels or so without dying once, despite having never played it beforehand. The upshot to this is that it's easy to pick up and play for pretty much anybody who can hold a controller, but the problem with this is that things tend to drag when playing through the campaign.

Luckily, there are some more modes. There's boss rush, which is exactly what you would expect – battle through the bosses and quickly and least-dyingly as you can, then there's survival, which starts off easy and gets harder, challenging you to, well, survive. There's also online co-op, in which up to four people can play through survival together, hopefully developing manly relationships that rival those in Army of Two. There's local co-op too, if you're wondering (which you were -- we say so).

Overall, Heavy Weapon is pretty good. It's a little bit too easy, but the survival mode fixes that rather well and co-op is always great fun. If you already own it on the 360, however, there’s no reason in picking it up again unless you really want to play some co-op with your PS3ing buddies.

Rating: 6/10

Gamoc's avatar
Freelance review by Gareth Chadwick (October 20, 2009)

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zippdementia posted October 20, 2009:

Damn good review. I've been watching your stuff improve since you started here. This is definitely a level up. Good job.

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