Developer: Chillingo Ltd
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
A dual-stick shooter on the App Store? What a novel concept. Seriously though, Lock 'n' Load is a game that we have all seen before. However, thanks to its high production value courtesy of Chillingo, it is better than many games we have seen before.
Before the action even begins though, players will notice the attention given to the game's plot. An evil little girl has flooded the world with an army of monsters and it’s up to the player to stop them. The main character's gruff voice and Jason Voorhees mask may suggest a slasher movie tone but in reality the game is more in the Tim Burton realm of horror. What really sells the cute but average script however is the full voice acting. It's as least as good as an average Saturday morning cartoon.
However, the horror aesthetic really shines in the game's 16 levels. Each of them is huge and filled with a surprising amount of twisting paths and simple environmental puzzles. One memorable sequence has the player fleeing from a giant pumpkin monster, just one of the numerous enemy types. Yet, despite there being so many of these large stages, each one manages to have a distinct theme whether it’s evil garden or haunted asylum and they all look great. The 3D graphics are vibrant, varied, and crystal clear.
The actual gameplay itself is fine but just lacks a defining hook. There are plenty of things to unlock like new weapons and skins, although the game expects players to use real money to get most of them, and there are challenges and harder settings to make the already substantial game even more content-rich. Also, the game has a nice amount of control options, including an auto-aim, but certain sections, like the ring of fire, require analog movement far too precise for a touch screen to handle. Beyond that though it’s about as good as this genre gets.
At its core, Lock 'n' Load is an average dual-stick shooter. However, it's executed in such an above-average way that complaints like that cease to matter. Plus, in one section players control a grandma with guns strapped to her wheelchair. Who wouldn't want to play that?