It's shattered alright, but this unique multiplayer shooter still shines as a whole.
Goyoshi12 wrote this review on .
Space is the place to be in this sci-fi epic game that boasts great scale and great action. The guns are typical first person shooter guns which are good so that you get the feel of the game but it's also bad because it seems that developer Futuremark decided on sticking with shooter strengths instead of attempting its own gun for the game. It's not necessarily a bad thing since the guns are still powerful and you get a kick out of it but with some guns that are pretty worthless in combat it seems like a missed opportunity. The action is tense in Shattered Horizon as players are whizzing around you due to zero gravity…yes, zero gravity. For the first time in shooter history a game has given us zero gravity and in the most realistic and unique way possible. Players fly around in their space jetpacks shooting at anything that moves and that is the color yellow or blue, you take on the role of the MMC or Moon Mining Corporation and must fight the ISA or International Space Agency. Of course there is a small little tale to be told, all in all colonizing on the moon is not a good thing especially when so many games have depicted that it will eventually go boom. Now the ISA must fight the MMC and destroy them for their destruction and corruption to Earth. The story is pretty clichéd and lacks any interesting plot points but it really isn't meant to be anything more than just the back bone and an excuse to shoot people in the head.
In multiplayer only shooters everything isn't riding on some weak backboned story, but on the game play and how engaging it can be. Shattered Horizon certainly is engaging alright; guns feel great to use and have enough oomph in them to make you feel like you're the boss. Gun play is also pretty smooth but shallow as it is like a simple FPS game so if you played Call of Duty once in your life you'll pretty much get the gist of it…or any other FPS for that matter. There really is no strategy to the game because you can almost make all weapons work out, although with great flexibility and power comes great flaws. There are some weapons in the game that when put to the test just seem worthless in Zero Gravity space and these are the weapons that will get no use or small usage but utterly fail in combat. One weapon is the simple melee weapon which is a mining pick and it's apparently the melee weapon for everyone so if you were hoping for your own melee attacks and weapons then think again. Melee is good to any FPS as it gives you a chance to run up and knock your opponent down to the ground but can you really get in a good whack or two on an enemy when he's zooming around in space? It's hard and it seems that the only players to get this attack might just be the AFK players. Melee is still good if you can get it in as it is an instant death attack if your enemy or you are not careful. Melee balances out but there is not many of these moments where you can actually attack your target head on while he/she is not zooming around space and not shooting you.
Another useless weapon is sniper rifles and it's once again because you're in space. Targets don't stand still so it's never easy to get in a head shot and what's worse is that the sniper is a slow gun, it isn't fast and powerful like the machine guns so you can get one or two rounds on the enemy before he notices and aims his machine gun at you and turns you into Swiss cheese. It's a little sad that snipers are useless in space but the forgettable weapons sadly don't stop there; instead of chucking it, you are now given a grenade gun to shoot grenades at enemies. It's an interesting mechanic but this can backfire on you if you're not careful. You have to get the power so that the grenade goes the distance you want it to and blows up at the right spot. Sadly, you can't really guess well with the gun so it ends up just being a trial and error gun that can cause teammate's grief and enemy's laughs.
If you think that because of these flaws it diminishes the core action of Shattered Horizon then you my friends are very wrong. The action is straight forward zooming and gunning but it doesn't matter as the guns sound superb and the tense action all around you will always have you doing something. The objectives are simple and the game play is simple but the many factors added on to these mechanics make the game all the better. It gets tense in a firefight as your enemy is raining bullets down on you and you use your rockets to get out of the way and fire back but he does the same thing that you did. The fights get tense and it gets incredibly fun after you killed someone and it's especially rewarding to think of how hard it was given the fact that there was no gravity. Shattered Horizon has you doing so much and makes you work hard and work fast as you could be capturing an objective and the next minute faced with your corpse careening out into space indicating your death. At first this fast and chaotic system isn't at all fun and it makes the game seem hard but you'll soon be able to adapt quickly to the chaos and score in some headshots while playing a match or two. The chaos system is simply a blast as there is never nothing to do in the game and it also makes you feel pressure and a simple little nervous shake that not many games can do.
The game also has stealth in it as well but it handles this differently than the other mechanics. With a jetpack on your back it's pretty hard to be sneaky but that's where you're wrong; by disabling your suits power you drop off enemy's radars and can sneak up behind them and deliver maybe a melee to the head or rat-a-tat-tat them to death. The system is interesting and it does have advantages such as allowing you to sneak up and get in a free kill but it does have its drawbacks. You can land on asteroids and other surfaces so you don't have to be drifting off into space but there is a problem, your suit powers your gravity boots. The gravity bots allow you to land pretty much anywhere which certainly helps stop the spinning feeling of zooming around, but without power they don't work. Turning off all power basically means you have no radar, no read outs on ammo or injuries, no jetpack power, and no way of staying still. Not only that but if you lose power and need power back the computer takes a while to turn back on and by the time it clicks on you've just been shot by someone who came up from behind you. It's a good thing that the shooting is a big draw in because stealth is sadly a bit of a drawback. As for the rest there really isn't much to say, you have standard FPS guns that shoot well and sound great and you have stealth and other useless mechanics, but luckily the good can overcome the bad in this impressive shooter.
One thing that Shattered Horizon has that so many other shooters don't have is a style. Most shooters are just boring and bland with realism colors but Shattered Horizon knows this and makes sure to balance out semi realism with stunning art direction. This mostly comes from the jetpacks of your teammates and enemies, as you and others fly around the different colors of the jetpacks light up the battlefield making it simply a beauty to behold. Majestic and vibrant blues and yellows light up the space sky and in cramped corridors it splashes its colors onto the background. Don't be fooled though as the background colors are also vivid and vibrant pallets of red's and orange and so much more. Shattered Horizon also has the sun to thank for its amazing looks as well; the sun in the distance casts light onto surfaces and casts shadows onto everything behind it. This beauty does come with some price as the high requirements for a PC might make you cringe rather than look on in awestruck. Luckily for me, the computer had all the requirements so it didn't affect me but it still can affect people behind the times of machines. Everything in Shattered Horizon just bursts with vivid colors so while the shooting is intense the backgrounds will make all those fears wash away in the bright sun and bursting jetpacks. And although they aren't really useful unless you have pinpoint accuracy, the blasts from grenades also hold a stunner to behold in the visual department. The only problem in visual design though is that it can sometimes mess with your head in the heat of battle. With so many blue jet packs flying around and yellow jet packs it can get confusing and you can end up mistaking a team member and hurting them. Other than that though the visuals are strong, crisp, clear, and have a vivacious spirit in them so that they stand out the most in this whimsical space battle ground.
The multiplayer component is also pretty good as it stands on the strong backbone of the game play but it too has some annoyances. When joining make a wise selection from the weapons that you are given because once you choose those weapons you won't be able to switch them out. In most shooters dying can give you a chance to change your class and weapons, in Shattered Horizon you only get weapon choices and even when you die you can't change them to something with more power and flexible. So if you're someone with a sniper and you want to change it then you better make use of the gun because it won't change. This system makes you think of which gun could be good for different scenario's but sadly if you don't know the scenario and choose the wrong gun then you're screwed. As for the multiplayer options there isn't anything really groundbreaking, simple capture and defend objectives and death match but combined with zero gravity and amazing shoot outs it's at least enjoyable. An interesting concept that Shattered Horizon brings to the multiplayer table is the inclusion of turning off team voice chat. This is especially helpful when your's or the enemy's team mates start ranting off and cursing the other team and so you can turn them and the rest off. Although this has problems too, you can only turn them off one by one instead of selecting an option such as turn off all voice chats which is tiring. What's even more stupid is that to do this your guy must use his computer in his wrist to do this. Doing makes you vulnerable as the menu gets in your way the game. It would be fine if words were blocking your view because you can see behind them and see enemies but the wrist blocks the entire screen which makes it a pain to see your guy die from someone right in front of your face. These are small aggravations to the multiplayer component and they really aren't that big of a deal; the core action and sound captivate your attention towards fun rather than foul play. Another bad thing to note might be the fact that there are really not many maps for you to explore and fly around in, only four of them. Still don't worry because while there isn't a lot they are big in size and will have you exploring every inch of the map to find hidden secrets or spots to just stare at awe at how amazing the game's visuals look.
The good outweighs the bad by a hefty margin, the action is intense and chaotic, the guns are amazingly powerful and sound great, your suit's system and the effect of being shot also sounds cool, and the fun is defiantly in here
-Breath taking visuals
-Superb sound design of guns and suits
-Guns feel smooth and fire with accuracy and power
-Large map sizes
-Simple but fun objectives
-The sun does wonders to everything
-Allows you to turn off voice chat without muting the game
-Gravity boots allow you to walk anywhere
-Interesting stealth mechanic
-Grenades have a good oomph never before seen
-A lot of useless weapons
-You need good accuracy with the grenade gun
-Stealth means instant death if you don't hurry the system up
-Noobies stay away; chaos will ruin your day
-Only four maps
-You can't turn them off voice chat all at once
-Menu blocks view
-No switching weapons even when you die
Shattered Horizon does have faults, but if you can look past those faults and useless weaponry; an enchanting piece of visual and sound creation awaits you in this incredibly unique, innovative, amazing multiplayer shooter.