PSN Review – Heavy Weapon

August 24, 2009 Written by Draisey

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Heavy Weapon is the latest PlayStation Network title from PopCap Games and Sony Online Entertainment. It’s a simplistic arcade shooter that puts the player in control of an army tank, asking them to shoot down an insane number of aircraft as the environment serenely scrolls by. That’s really all there is to it. There’s no story, only a handful of levels, and even the levels themselves are just flat pieces of ground with a repeating backdrop. The developer definitely tried to add some variety into the gameplay, but crafting various modes around one boring concept doesn’t make for great gaming.

The Local modes include Mission Mode, Survival Mode, and Boss Blitz, which is unlocked after beating Mission Mode. Survival Mode offers some mindless fun if you have friends with you, as going through it solo gets boring very quickly. And Boss Blitz is actually pretty cool in that it allows you to fight every single boss from the game in one sitting. Multiplayer however is just a variant of Survival Mode, and though there are two options to choose from, War Party and Arms Race, they spin around the same concept. Shoot everything that flies overhead, and don’t get hit.

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Mission Mode takes place on a fictitious continent that has everything from bright deserts to spooky deserts, and war torn cities to war torn military bases. Your enemies are members of the Red Star army, who pilot various ground vehicles, helicopters, fighter jets, bombers, and even satellites. You’re given three lives at the start of each level, and the goal is survive long enough to fight the boss at the end. The ambulance helicopter is the only ally you can depend on, and their random appearances are both fleeting and beneficial. They’ll drop both powerups and shield upgrades, as well as the occasional nuke. And you have to be careful not to shoot them (though i often did, but only after i got my upgrades).

The difficulty level starts off incredibly easy, and ratchets up through sheer force. The difficulty level of this game depends entirely on how many enemies you have to face off against at any given time. To cut things short, the first four levels were very easy, the fifth level hit the sweet spot, and everything was downhill from there. The levels are actually just sidescrolling backdrops with random waves of enemies, and it eventually becomes nearly impossible to complete the levels since there’s simply too many lasers and cluster bombs to shoot down or avoid. And even with shield upgrades, one wrong move can lead to instant death.

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