App Reviewed on: iPad 2, iPhone 4
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Warm Gun is an Unreal Engine 3 FPS for the iPhone and iPad, and despite its amazing looks, it doesn't quite measure up to some of the best shooters the App Store has to offer. The first-person shooter genre has never quite been able to grasp me on iOS, typically by failing to control well enough to play for any extended period of time or extreme issues with lagging online. The developers at Emotional Robots seem to have tried to work around both of these issues, but unfortunately the controls, while not terrible, just don't do the game justice. On top of that, the online experience worked relatively well for me on the iPad 2, but the game was unplayable on the iPhone 4.
Warm Gun takes a few elements of the competitive console FPS and throws out all the rest, an issue which might not have been so negative if the one mode the game offered was a bit more polished. There is only one mode: deathmatch (online and offline). There are four character classes to choose from, each with three distinct weapons of their own: pistols, machine guns, grenades, and instant-kill melee weapons, to name a few. Shooting from a distance is very tricky, especially opponents are on the move, but the levels are do size up rather nicely to make sure everyone stays within a reasonable range of each other. Once close enough, your character locks on to the nearest enemy, ensuring that getting a jump on others will give you an advantage. Were there more to do with this fairly wide variety of characters and weapons, Warm Gun might have risen above its numerous problems. Unfortunately, that's just not the case.
The levels are gorgeous. I am not sure when the shock of Unreal Engine graphics on the iOS platform will wear off, but it's certainly not today. The steampunk-western environments are fleshed out and beautifully detailed. Each of the five levels has its own distinct style, giving life to this war-torn world. Sadly, the stuttering issues on the iPhone 4 caused the game to come to a standstill often enough to detract from the experience.
Like any twin-stick iOS shooter, the controls are not perfect. I certainly got comfortable with them after about an hour with the game, but running around corners or swinging around 180 degrees to confront foes just isn't as easy as it could be.
If you are in the market for a new portable FPS, Warm Gun isn't your best choice. Each character class has its own strengths and weaknesses, each level has a host of hidden contraptions with which to cause chaos, and every weapon packs a powerful punch, but the control issues - coupled with the graphical stuttering and lack of gameplay variety - just don't equate to much replay value.