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iPhone App Video Review: Warm Gun + Carnival of Bullets

by Andrew Koziara

Warm Gun is a new first person shooter from Emotional Robots. It’s a gorgeous looking game running in the Unreal Engine that is unfortunately riddled with more bugs and issues than your enemies are riddled with bullets. Still, the game has massive potential.

What we have here is a class based shooter that looks and feels like a cross of Team Fortress 2 and Borderlands. The premise is a post-apocalyptic future in which the old west makes a comeback, except now it’s all steam punk-like. There are four classes with three unique weapons each, though they don’t feel all that different. There’s the 49er, with his powerful shotgun and revolver, the Shaman with his rifle and one-hit-kills-all shock staff, the Preacher with his dual pistols and ranged shotgun, and the Heavy- err, Blacksmith, with his minigun and deadly hammer of Thor. Each class also has their own kind of grenade/Molotov cocktail thrown explosive, which mostly feel the same. In terms of controls, you can play with one, two, or three virtual sticks. Even when I was using the three stick configuration, I still just swiped and tapped the screen to look around and shoot anyway.

The game is multiplayer only, and comes with an offline mode against bots, and an online mode. There are five maps to choose from, each of which is fairly well designed. Multiplayer is handled through GameSpy, which I was never a big fan of, but I was able to dust off my old account and hop on. Trying to register a new account led to unknown errors, unfortunately, so you’ll have to remember your old password or create a new account at their website. Online play ranged from smooth and functional to completely unplayable. Make sure you reset your device after installing the game, or it probably won’t work at all. There is some aim assist auto targeting kind of stuff to help compensate for the difficulty of fast paced movement and shooting on a phone, and it works pretty well most of the time. The online is pretty bare bones in the first place, and there isn’t much in the way of stat tracking or a rewards system of any kind.

This is a very cool game with decent gameplay and a lot of potential, but all of these issues need to be fixed. Aside from what I’ve mentioned, there’s no back button on several screens, which is just mildly annoying. The game would automatically shut down every time I finished an offline match, and to top it all off, it crashes constantly. The game worked much better on my iPad than on my iPhone 4, but it was still a mess.

If you don’t want to commit to a purchase, there is a separate demo version of the game called Warm Gun: Carnival of Bullets. In this mode, you get to test out the Preacher in a specially designed carnival level. You roam from game to game, a mix of different kinds of shooting galleries, testing out the look and feel of the shooting mechanics. It’s a very cool alternative to a lite version of the game. It’s just a shame that the carnival map is more colorful and interesting than the five maps that went into the full game.

The excellent visuals of the Unreal Engine shine through here. The western-themed music that always plays is excellent too. When the game works, it works pretty well, but the developers need to fix all of these issues. They’ve already released several minor updates, and are working hard to fix everything, so I have hope for this game’s future. Both Carnival and the main game are iOS universal, and the game is five dollars. You should probably wait for more updates to download it, but if you love shooters, go ahead and give this one a chance.

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