What does Shadowgun have going for it?
For my tastes Shadowgun has in spades, what most iOS TPS/action games lack:
It has a cohesive and engaging storyline. Not only is the story cohesive, but the antagonist and protagonist have a genuine conflict, where the player wants to see the entire plot through.
In addition to the narrative being cohesive and engaging, I find it to be highly entertaining. The plot is excellently voiced, believably suited for the cast of characters encompassed in the game's universe.
There are elements to the levels, while at their core having simple formulaic directional elements (levers, gates, etc), the levels are expanded in scope and work harmoniously to drive progress forward. You're never handheld, nor lost on the objective at hand, nor is control clunky and unrefined. The cover mechanic, is by far, the most balanced and well implemented on the iOS platform.
There are also hidden items, decoding puzzles and the like, which add tasty elements to simple things like opening a set of doors. The icing on the cake, are the well designed and thought out boss encounters.
Shadowgun has visceral atmosphere and a wonderful display of graphical prowess. There are few titles on iOS which can match the technology and acumen on display here.
To discredit the overall immersion these visuals add, is to relegate that visuals overall have little to no impact.
Bone pick moment:
It's hypocrisy, to boast about the visuals, Hodapp and then blatantly discredit them to make a case. You have to take the visuals into account and the entire level of graphical finesse delivered by the game - not as a sole being, but as an added asset, which few other games on the platform have.
It adds a believability, an atmosphere, a level of immersion which enhances an entire experience, that elevates each element of the game onto a higher level. Graphics do not make a game - but they do enhance a game, on more than a single note.
If Apple products were hideous looking, would they be looked at and considered differently than they are?
The fact is, they are elegant and visually pleasing. Therefore, the wow factor makes them desirable, while at their core they're quite rudimentary machines.
Consider anything visual:
Architecture, paintings, video games, houses, spouses...humans are visual creatures. Visuals do matter, when the technology shows capable people increasingly expect it as a standard.
People would not buy an XBox 360 for NES style games.
I did not buy iPad 2, after having an O.G. iPad, for rudimentary touch based games.
I bought it on the promise of GOF 2 FHD, Shadowgun, Infinity Blade, Dark Meadow, Cordy, March of Heroes
, Bladeslinger, etc.
The tech moves forward and these graphics should be the minimum standard now as far as I'm concerned.
On iOS as a whole, they are NOT. Therefore you cannot discredit a driving factor that elevates many decent elements of a game, into outstanding, jaw dropping ones.
I disagree that the game is below standard.
I find the game to be excellent in a lot of ways.
It is by no means perfect, but it's not deserving of the black eye you're giving it.