Do you want a third-person shooter on your shiny New 3DS? Enjoy!
VD-Dev's IronFall: Invasion comes at an interesting time for Nintendo. In Europe, this third-person shooter was part of their ''Nintendo 3DS Day'' line-up and the game received some backing as a result. While it is refreshing to see an indie title be part of something like this, that doesn't mean that IronFall: Invasion is anything too amazing.
I began my journey with the campaign, and this left a terrible first impression. The controls, in particular the C-stick, were either sensitive or didn't pack really a punch. I had to really toy around with the options in the pause menu to get it just right and this was a big pain. In the end, I did get it all figured out and got used to how the game is played. The button layout really kept the New Nintendo 3DS in mind. In just a few minutes, I was able to shoot, hide behind cover and move about. You can also opt to control the camera with the touchscreen, but I didn't really care for playing the game this way.
The first of eleven levels available was somewhat of a slow burner. The first half of it was mostly setup and tedious in the process. The story is about these aliens and you as a soldier will have to stop them. There is nothing more to it than that, though they do try to make it somewhat deeper. That being said, it was only when the various guns came into play that I started to enjoy myself. It helped that the missions grew more interesting as the game progressed and I wanted to keep playing. By completing one of these missions, you will unlock a variety of challenges that will put you in a certain part of a stage. It gave me compelling reasons to return to the campaign and try my luck at riskier endeavors.
The multiplayer portion uses the same mechanics as the campaign, though you will duke it out here against others (or bots if you choose Survival). These options take various rooms from the story mode, fills them with ammo and lets players experience an all out brawl. You can opt for a free for all or gun each other down in teams, which adds variety to the game. At any given time, you can play up to six players and that is certainly isn't bad for a game with so many inputs. By winning tons of matches, you can earn credits and it is here that problems begin to surface. Outside of increasing your rank, credits will net you nothing and there isn't really a reason for having them. This causes the multiplayer to not have overly much staying power, but regardless it’s good for some occasional fun.
IronFall: Invasion is quite a good looking game for the Nintendo 3DS. The models could have used a bit more work, but the overall presentation is solid and it all runs really smooth. When you’re playing alone, locally or online, the game manages to keep up and VD-Dev really deserves credit for that. The music isn't that special, but it sets the mood well enough and no tune really irritated me.
IronFall: Invasion is a solid game, but one with problems in its opening act. You will have to get used to the controls and toy around with the options to make it all work for you. Next to that, the level that you get for free isn't all that special and that makes the whole deal seem dodgy. If you find yourself able to bite the bullet, you will find yourself having a decent time. The story isn't anything too crazy, but the missions are solid and the extra challenges will keep you coming back for even more. The arena multiplayer battles are fun as well, though they lack an overall end goal outside of reaching a better rank. If you are unsure if you would like it, give the free options a shot and maybe Ironfall will hold you over until whatever is next in store for the Nintendo 3DS.