Heavy Fire: Afghanistan (PlayStation 3)

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Written by  :  Tony Denis (454)
Written on  :  Jul 10, 2017
Platform  :  PlayStation 3
Rating  :  0.67 Stars0.67 Stars0.67 Stars0.67 Stars0.67 Stars
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How not to do a rail shooter 101

The Good

+ Somewhat fun on a couple occasions

The Bad

- Poor analog controls - Choppy graphics - Comically bad voice acting and writing - Unrewarding gameplay and difficulty - May be unintentionally racist?

The Bottom Line

I don't mind the occasional rail shooter every now and then. Time Crisis and House of the Dead are really fun when you have a friend or two to play with and they can be challenging and tense when needed. But of course, there's average stragglers like Endgame and flat out bad rail shooters like Heavy Fire: Afghanistan. I found it for 2 bucks at a thrift store and well...I can safely say that I promptly gave up on it after two hours. Yeah, that fast.

In Heavy Fire Afghanistan, you play as Will, a Marine deployed in Afghanistan. You shoot at what's persumably Taliban soldiers across military bases, forests, decrepit towns and more. You are given five weapons - a pistol, three assault rifles and a light machine gun to mow down the Taliban, and you can use a mounted machine gun, tank and helicopter in certain moments. In certain parts of the game you can shoot at targets in the shooting range...and that's about it, really. While the game is fun during some moments, most of the time it's generic, uninspired crap. It tries to be a FPS game (no, really) with the visible weapons and hordes of terrorists to mow down. Heavy Fire tries to be rewarding and such on certain difficulties, but it's not a whole lot. It's too easy and it's too hard, and you're given nothing more but useless upgrades, samey weapons, and a lot of bragging rights in the end. Doesn't help that the controls are utter wank - while the game is obviously meant to be played with motion controllers, the analog control scheme is slippery, not well mapped out and just clunky. The left anolog stick is meant to aim; and it's so fast that it just jets across the screen. If this game wants to be played like an FPS title - shouldn't the aiming be on the right analog stick?

As for the visuals, it looks bad. Like, PS2 era bad. While Heavy Fire was intended for the Wii first and foremost it still looks really choppy for the PS3 and PC. Lighting is nonexistant, environmental effects are very basic and barely interactive and the entire game just looks like a sloppy port from the Wii without any polish. House of the Dead: Overkill did a better job with the porting than this game, and that's saying something. Heavy Fire: Afghanistan also suffers from the most corniest voice acting and writing I think I seen in a rail shooter. Cheap emotions and a general lack of enthusiasm, combined with lazy translation (the game was developed in Poland after all) and bizzare dialogue make for some fairly humorous moments. Also, the enemies in this game speak in gibberish. No, really. These are Taliban we're talking about here, and they sputter menacing, terrifying Arabic gibberish - and I thought sterotypical terrorists going "derka derka, Mohammad jihad" was funny.

Nevertheless, Heavy Fire Afghanistan is one of the worst rail shooters I've ever played. While it works, it's so dull, unrewarding, generic and ugly. Admittedly, I had some fun playing during a couple moments but they're short lived. I can call it one of the worst games I ever played, but it's ain't broken either. I kinda squeeze it between Foreign Legion: Multi Massacre and the Xbox port of Delta Force: Black Hawk Down, if any. Then again, it was two bucks. If I bought this full price when it released, I'd feel like a jackass.