The Shoot Review (PS3)

The Shoot should be exactly the kind of game the PlayStation Move was made for - fast-paced blasting action that focuses more on the actual shooting than such trivial things as health or ducking into cover. This is a game about letting loose on cardboard cutouts, racking up the points and discovering plenty of secrets along the way.

For the first hour, it feels as though The Shoot has got your gun-wielding needs covered. That's before the dull level design and annoying combo-building start to kick, removing the rose-tinted spectacles firmly from your eyes, leaving you with a rather average shoot-a-thon. It all ends shortly afterwards - mercifully, you could say, and perhaps in the game's favour - and you're left with the feeling that, if only those first 60 minutes could have been properly built on, we'd have a great shoot-em-up on our hands.

One of the game's main boss battles. It's a bit dull

The Shoot's premise is a simple one - you are the actor in a movie, and each level has you moving through a film set with the cameras rolling, capturing your various shoot-outs. As you do a good job, killing carboard baddies and saving the civilians, the director in the corner of the screen will get all excited and jump around like a lunatic. Make his shot look bad, however, and you'll have to redo the scene.

There are a number of methods to keeping the loud-mouthed wretch relatively happy. String together a combo of shots without missing a single bad guy, and your score will rocket, as will his arse out of the director's chair. Shooting various scenery like gas canisters and other things that go boom will also put a smile on his face. However, shoot one of the many ladies who love to run out at the most inconvenient of times, and his frown will begin to emerge.

As a concept, it's pretty solid. His constant barking can become a little irritating over time, but in general it's a well implemented idea and gives the game a great deal of personality, rather than being your usual 'shoot these guys, move on' style ordeal.

Five movies in total are yours for the shooting, each that little bit more tricky than the last. Unfortunately, it's this difficulty curve that inevitably kills The Shoot dead. The first couple of movies are good fun to play through, as it's all about quick reactions and not missing a single baddie. However, later levels require you shoot each cardboard cut out multiple times, which can play havoc on your combo multiplier - especially given that shooting cutouts in certain areas can cause one hit kills!

The baddies are made of cardboard, but can still fire back! The mind boggles!

Picture the scene (no pun intended) - you've got a nice multiplier going, then six baddies appear on screen. You shoot twice at one of them and kill it, then move onto the next. You shoot this one twice as well, however the game decides that you've hit the sweet spot with your first shot and explodes in one hit - hence your second shot ends the combo, and you're left very frustrated indeed.

The Shoot needed to veer off in one of two directions - either go for the all out blaster, with no silly combos to build up and just plenty of shooting action - or it should have been a more slow-paced, tactical shooter. Instead, it all feels a little 'some from column A, some from column B' and this setup just did not work for us at all.

Apart from combo-building, there are also three special moves to obtain and use. Shockwave and Rampage are the two more powerful weapons, the former destroying every baddie on screen and the latter putting the action into Rampage mode, allowing you to hold down the trigger without any worry about breaking your combo. Both these moves are very easy to activate and are enjoyable to play with.

The most common special move, Showtime, is less so. It is used to slow down time, and is activated by spinning on the spot - a movement which does not exactly go well with aiming at the screen. Apparently it can also be activated by moving the Move controller in a lasso motion above your head, but after spinning it around in the air wildly for a while with no success, we eventually gave up and left the Showtime counter to fill up without using it.

What we're trying to say is that if you plotted a graph of enjoyment gathered from a game of The Shoot against time spent playing it, you'd have a rather steep mountain-side to ski down. That first movie is so promising, which makes the dullness of the rest of the game just that bit more disappointing. It's a huge shame too, as there are so many secret collectables to find and 'deleted scenes' to unlock.

A grave situation

As you'd expect, it's more enjoyable with a friend - take The Shoot for a spin with a partner in crime, and you'll most likely be able to salvage that initial great feeling for another hour or so - however, after that you'll then have two irritated people instead of just the one. Fortunately it's a pretty short game - you'll have seen everything available within a few hours - so perhaps the two of you will be able to remember the game for the good times rather than the very bad.

The Shoot has the makings of a great Playstation Move blast-em-up, but requires plenty of fine-tuning before we can even consider recommending it. With more variation and a more concentrated shooting experience, this would easily be one of our Move party games of choice. Hopefully we'll see the ideas on show here shift and blossom into something brilliant in the future.

The Shoot is now available to buy for Playstation 3, and requires a Move controller.

Top Game Moment: Blasting cowboys in the Wild West with a friend.