Originality is the only casualty as console gaming hits iOS

When Epic Games ported the Unreal Engine to iOS, inaugural app Infinity Blade proved both ambitious and technically impressive, gaining plaudits and opening eyes to the potential of iOS gaming. Madfinger Games has achieved a similar feat with Shadowgun, combining the console gameplay of Epic’s own Gears Of War, as well as its technical prowess, resulting in a slick third-person science fiction shooter.

Powered by the Unity engine, and as beautiful as anything we’ve seen on iOS to date – including Infinity Blade – Shadowgun features chunky weapons and cover mechanics that will feel familiar to console shooter fans, while the range of enemies and the placement of bosses and deformable cover echoes Epic’s trilogy.

To suggest that Gears Of War is an influence on Shadowgun would be an understatement, but what the game lacks in originality Madfinger has made up for with sheer polish; the colourful environments, lighting and animation are eye-popping, while the on-screen twin sticks controls, though not perfect, are intuitive enough, and the action is smooth and mostly satisfying.

The nature of the shooting gets a tad repetitive, but with new weapons and levels, there’s plenty of content in what could be the closest iOS has come to a console shooter.

Rated 4 out of 5

Almost worth it for the visuals alone, Shadowgun backs up its technical achievements with solid gameplay.