Shattered Horizon Review

Futuremark. If that name sounds familiar to you, you have at least once tried their hit benchmark – 3D Mark. Yes, Futuremark definitely know how to squeeze the life out of  your computer. We all know that. So, it’s beyond me why they had to demonstrate it once again with their debut game – Shattered Horizon.

Shattered Horizon is a multiplayer first person shooter. If you are not astonished yet, i have just one quote for you: “zero gravity combat and effects”. Did i light your interest on fire? Yes, at a certain point, a lot of game engines support the feature of turning the gravitational field off and enjoying the flight. But this is actually the first game that turns this into an actual gameplay mechanic.

The story of Shattered Horizon is as clichéd as it can be, but no one expected a sci-fi FPS to win an Oscar. After a mining accident on the moon, the lunar sphere is shattered. The two affected space organizations–the International Space Agency and the Moon Mining Cooperative–are fighting for control and survival. As i said, nothing original. But the story of the game is just placed for a filling and to set the stage for the actual culmination of the game – the dynamic, brutal open battles in deep space. To help you with this is your trusty space suit with all it’s gadgets and features. This suit allows for several different possibilities. Aside from being a jetpack, it also has some fancy high tech stuff like an on-board computer(if you can call it that).

But your suit has a lot more to offer. First, it can “anchor” you to any solid field and allow you to move freely. This works for a more solid and stable way of shooting, but makes an easy target. It also allows you to spin freely. The suit also acts as a navigational GPS system, showing you important targets such as enemy users and mission objective locations. This unlocks a whole new possibility – stealth. When you turn off your suit, you will loose all it’s functions and move sluggishly. But by doing that you also eliminate the enemy’s ways of locating you through the GPS, allowing you to sneak on them. This is a very fresh and well placed idea and works perfectly. The controls of Shattered Horizon are as standardized as possible and if you’ve ever played another FPS you won’t have a problem orienting. Getting used to the zero gravity environment takes some time(and embarrassing deaths) but once you do get used to it you will find how much fun it is.

No matter how much fun Shattered Horizon is and how much i liked the experience, the game has it’s serious flaws. The first thing you might have noticed are the system requirements. If you don’t cover at least the recommended specs, stay away from this game. Unless you like playing slideshows. I don’t know why Futuremark came up with the idea that their game will run only on DirectX 10 and on Windows Vista, but this will destroy a large portion of the fanbase of the game who have been waiting for it. But i am willing to excuse this with the fact that the game looks astonishing. Realistic! Detailed! This game makes you feel like you’re in space even thought you’ve never seen it and have no idea how it’ll look. The deep space atmosphere is also helped by the traditional sci-fi noizes and sound effects. In one word – Shattered Horizon is one of the best looking video games of this year.

The far bigger problem that the game has is how limited it is. In terms of content. Repetitive maps and backgrounds, only one weapon(it has several fire modes, though), only one character model, boring and repetitive missions and objectives, just a few maps. This is where the otherwise great experience bends over to popular multiplayer shooters like Unreal Tournament and Modern Warfare. I’ve heard some promises from Futuremark to release free DLC’s in the future, though. But right now the game looks as empty as possible. To answer your questions:

Does Shattered Horizon live up to it’s expectations and money you’ve spend on it – yes.
Can it compete with the dominating games – nope. Not right now.

[xrr rating=3.5/5]

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