After playing the original Destiny pretty consistently for three years since its day one release, initially it feels a little odd not to be able to jump or crouch, but after a handful of missions it’s quickly forgotten, and a concession I’m happy to live with, as the rest of what’s on offer here is very more-ish.
Keep in mind these are very early impressions, and I’ll continue to build on them over the next few weeks as my Shadowgun ranks up and the full game reveals itself.
The social hub and a couple of easy tutorial-style missions help ease your newly created character into Shadowgun’s universe, and ranking up a few times opens up the hub’s weapons, armour, and crafting shops, PvP (called Wargames), a bar, and even a Casino. Yes, an actual Casino in which you can feed your hard-earned mission credits into slot machines for a chance to lose them. Can’t say I’m thrilled about this aspect but different strokes for different folks, and it’s this kind of addition that gives Shadowgun Legends the looser swagger that its trying to use to differentiate itself from Bungie’s offering.
The essential gameplay loop of heading out on missions, earning credits, collecting loot, getting back to the hub to equip, sell, allocate skill points and do it all over again was what kept me going for three years in Destiny, and I can already feel that pull in Shadowguns. It’s that pleasing sense of constant improvement, upgrading, and levelling all serving to stroke your endorphins into a satisfactory glow and keeping you wanting more, all wrapped up in a very playable package.
Even in just the small amount of missions I’ve completed so far in the campaign, enemies seem nicely varied and well designed, with great looking environments that I’d encourage you to explore as there are hidden chests to be found with bonus loot within.
Shadowgun Legends requires a controller for play on Apple TV, and mechanically its a solid shooter. Okay, it’s not Destiny-solid, but it does a very nice job.
Owners of the fourth-generation Apple TV need not fear, as the graphical settings scale appropriate to the device you’re playing on, and you can also change them manually if you wish. Speaking of devices, Madfinger has included iCloud saving as well, so you can play and develop your character across iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. Very nice.
The single-player campaign has a lot to offer, with Madfinger boasting over 200 missions across four planets in the App Store description, with a promise of more content for years to come. Lets just hope the studio continues its support of the Apple TV version for those years to come. There’s already been an Easter update of the mobile version, which is still active at this time of the Apple TV release. I’m not sure how much longer the event will last, but players currently get loot-drops of eggs which can be redeemed at Pedro’s store for yet more loot.
I can’t comment on the multiplayer at this stage, as I joined the queue to enter a Duel – a 1v1 match – but after a few minutes of waiting in the hub decided to head back out on a solo mission. I’ll try again on day two. (Maybe a large portion of the player-base has been lured by the siren song of Fortnite, which just recently saw a mobile release).
Shadowgun Legends offers co-op raids and co-op wave modes as well once you’re ranked up enough to unlock them, and this will be something I’ll need to check back in on as well.
From what I can tell so far, real-world dollars can be spent on cosmetic additions to customise your character, as well as additional backpack slots for inventory, so the free-to-play economy at first glance seems benign, but again, this will be something that needs further exploration.
There’s a lot to delve into, and the Apple TV platform has been starved of this kind of fully-featured sci-fi MMO shooter, so it’s a bit like being a kid in a candy store at this early stage, with an intriguing skill-tree to explore, and a large chunk of game to open up.
Am I keen to jump back in? Has what I’ve seen so far left me wanting more?