So far, with the exception of Sports Champions, the launch lineup for the PlayStation Move has been a little weak. Okay, a lot weak. Games like Kung Fu Rider, Start the Party, High Velocity Bowling, Brunswick Pro Bowling and Racquet Sports have collectively failed to inspire confidence in Sony’s motion controller. The latest PlayStation Move release, The Shoot, looks to take aim at solving that problem.
The Shoot is a rail shooter that uses the PlayStation Move motion controller as a light gun. If you happen to have purchased the PlayStation Move shooting attachment, here’s a chance to put it to use. The Shoot is a much more family-friendly experience than other rail shooter franchises like Time Crisis or House of the Dead. You play a movie star who has been cast in the lead role in a series of blockbuster action films. The goal is to shoot and dodge your way through scenes from each movie with as much proficiency and style as possible in order to keep the director happy.
The score is the primary measure of your success. Even though you have unlimited ammo and you never have to reload your weapon, you still need to be as accurate as possible in order to increase your score multiplier and sequentially your score. Each time you hit a target, dodge an incoming object or perform a stylized move, your score multiplier increase. Conversely, every time you miss a target, shoot a civilian by mistake or take a hit, not only does your multiplier drop, you run the risk of the director cutting the scene and having to do another take. You get five takes before you have to re-shoot an entire scene but it’s highly unlikely you’ll need more than one or two; the game is that easy. Accumulate enough points by the end of the film and you’ll unlock the next movie.
There are three special attacks in the game: Showtime, Shockwave and Rampage. As you string together headshots you’ll fill up meters that unlock these special powers. Showtime is the most common one. You activate Showtime by spinning around 360 degrees (or you can perform a lasso motion above your head, but it’s terribly unresponsive). Showtime slows down time, allowing you to clear out multiple enemies and earn more headshots in order to unlock Shockwave or the considerably more potent Rampage ability.
Shockwave has a bomb-like effect that eliminates all onscreen enemies when you activate it by pointing the motion controller at the ground and pressing the trigger. Rampage is activated by pointing the motion controller up and pressing the trigger, and when activated it replaces your paltry pistol with a machinegun while temporarily making it so your score multiplier can only increase, even if you miss targets. A timely Rampage will triple or even quadruple your score in a matter of seconds as your multiplier skyrockets.
You’ll also use the motion controller to lean to one side or the other - by motioning the controller right or left - to avoid bombs, knives and other objects enemies happen to throw your way. At times you’ll need to point the controller towards the ground to duck behind cover and avoid fire from a Gatling gun or a tank. And if an enemy gets a little too close for comfort, you can pistol-whip them by thrusting the controller forward.
For the most part the motion controls work well. There’s a bit of lag with respect to the targeting system, particularly when smaller enemies move from one side of the screen to the other. You’ll find you need to aim slightly ahead of such targets. It’s also not uncommon to attempt to pull of one maneuver, such as activating Showtime, and instead perform something entirely different, like a pistol whip. There’s definitely an initial adjustment period.
The Career mode consists of five movies: a western, a sci-fi movie, a mobster film, a deep-sea adventure and a campy horror flick. They’re all whimsically designed and there’s a good deal of variety from movie to movie, not just in terms of the environments but enemies as well. The horror flick is populated with vampires that can only be killed when shot in the heart, bats that dart across the sky, and shambling zombies that are difficult to target let alone take out, while robots populate the sci-fi movie, mechanical beasts that generally take multiple hits to destroy unless you shoot them in designated areas. Each of the films also feature boss battles.
Most of the enemies are cardboard cutouts that splinter and break apart as you shoot them, and I like how you can see the wires that suspend “flying” targets. It keeps in tune with the B-grade movie theme, films that clearly have no budget for CGI effects. The only thing that bothered me from a presentation standpoint is the voice of the director. His constant, repetitive direction quickly becomes grating, but thankfully you can turn the commentary off. That and the loading times are atrociously long.
In addition to the Career mode, you also have Score Attack and Challenges modes. In order to access the Challenges you must first locate pieces of the movie poster for each of the films in the Career mode. Each film has its own Challenge associated with it. Score Attack allows you to replay a scene from a single scene or entire movies, after which your score is uploaded to online leaderboards. Both the Score Attack and Challenges modes support multiplayer. If you own a second PlayStaton Move motion controller you can invite a friend to join you. The Career mode is strictly for solo play.
The Shoot is an entertaining ride while it lasts. Problem is, it doesn’t last very long. Like most PlayStation Move launch titles it’s a pretty shallow experience. It takes but a few hours to run through all five movies in the Career mode and once you’ve done that, there’s little reason to return for a second screening. Admission to The Shoot is $40. It probably should have been $20. If you’re a fan of the genre or are looking for a fun PlayStation Move experience to share with your family, I recommend you check it out as a rental or wait for the price to drop.