Many games attempt to make the player feel like the star of a big-budget action movie, but very few deliver on the promise. One delivers in a big way and truly feels very cinematic. The main theme throughout One is rage, and after playing through the difficult shooter, the theme really begins to dig in. The result is an action-packed game with nonstop destruction from beginning to end.
Enter the title screen, with the main character uttering these simple words: "I made a mistake." You awaken on the floor, with a gun in place of one of your arms, no memory, and police helicopters shooting missiles through your window. After smashing your way out of this predicament, you hop across rooftops and shimmy along ledges until you make your final escape. Then it's on to plot your revenge and ultimately find out your true identity. The game draws you into the feeling of paranoia and rage with its constant reminders that you are on the run.... Every once in a while you'll hear the crackling of police radios, which spout short phrases like "we've lost him" and "target reacquired," which sets the mood for this action-packed shoot fest.
The lighting effects in One are really superb, with impressive explosions and awesome firepower - most notably the sight of the flamethrower roasting enemies. The music is very good, and it suits the game well. The sound effects are good also, with the voice-overs, gun, and explosion sounds fitting in just right.
The control in One is good (and it's even better with the dual analog controller), and although the jumping may be difficult at first, once you master the jumps on the second level, you should find that it's much easier to make the jumps in the later levels. Most enemies are best taken out with your rapid-fire machine gun arm, with its infinite ammo and increasing power (from killing and destroying, which increase your rage meter); it will dispose of most baddies fairly easily. If the scoundrels get too close, you can always whale on the O button, which results in a flurry of punches and kicks that will dispose of anything in close range. This is often useful if a group of enemies charges in at you. Most of the bosses in One can't be killed by direct shooting, an interesting change from most action games. Instead, they require you to shoot structures or drop things onto them to cause damage.
Something that should be noted is the difficulty factor. While the second level is fairly difficult the first time through, the third level was actually easier, and the fourth level can be considered downright easy. However, the last two levels do offer a good challenge, and the end boss may take some time to figure out. Although the level difficulties are rather uneven, it's a nice change of pace to be able to plow through a level for once, and not worry about the tedious jumping.
Fans of fast-action shooters should not pass up the chance to play One. Although there are only six levels, they are all very long and offer a good challenge. There are a few parts in the game that require careful jumping, so those who despise hopping around may be rubbed the wrong way. Overall, One is a terrific game from beginning to end.