Published on December 30th, 2009 | by prime0
Shattered Horizon – Review
Summary: Futuremark Studios created a shooter experience which is fun and rewarding, but also faithfully emulates space combat in a way that we’ve rarely seen before.
First-person shooters have been into space before and they are usually the worst sections of any campaign or multiplayer. It isn’t that zero gravity combat isn’t ripe for the genre; it’s just that most of the time developers never give the various nuances the respect they deserve. Instead of feeling like you are floating around in the coldness of space, it usually just feels like somebody has haphazardly enabled no clip.
Futuremark Studios feel the same way and they’ve created a shooter experience which is fun and rewarding, but also faithfully emulates space combat in a way that we’ve rarely seen before. As a multiplayer-focused game there isn’t any single-player to speak of, but the good news here though, is that this has allowed the small Finnish studio to polish the multiplayer to a near-mirror shine.
As expected from the company that brought you 3DMark, the visuals in Shattered Horizon look gorgeous throughout. All of the maps take full advantage of the space setting and you’ll be fighting over backdrops of the planet Earth, asteroid belts and even the International Space Station. There’s a story behind it all too, with the plot being set in the near future, but it only provides a reason for the ensuing skirmishes, and isn’t ever explained further than introductory blurbs during loading.
The only problem that we could find is a slight lack of gameplay variation on offer. Four maps and three different game modes means that content is a little on the light side, even for a budget title. As you’d expect from a first-person shoot-em-up, the Deathmatch option is the standard affair, while Battle involves capturing checkpoints and Assault Splits has each team either defending or attacking key objectives.
If you think the genre has gotten stale and you’re looking for something refreshingly different, you shouldn’t wait to give this a try. As debuts go, this one really is a beauty.