View Full Version : Coded Arms review

October 1st, 2005, 00:56
To be honest, I had rather high expectations with this one. But from the very start, i could tell this wouldn't be fun.

Let me start by saying this - I am an FPS enthusiast, and try to play all of them i can. From the abysmal Trespasser to the incredible Painkiller, i love to play the genre. FPS eye candy on the PSP's hardware and it's beautiful screen seemed like it would be wonderful. While the graphics indeed, were up to expectations, it was the gameplay that hurt Coded Arms.

First, let's talk eye candy. Coded Arms has a LOT of it - from the many computer effects that aid the 'virtual' setting, such as rooms building on the fly, and the visual indicators of the to the well-rendered weapon models, there is lots here - however, there are a few problems. First off, there's a grand total of THREE tilesets. More on this later. Also, because the game takes place in boxy rooms and corridors, there's not much to show for draw distance. Again, this goes into gameplay, so we'll talk about this more further down.

Second off, the sound. Coded Arms delivers in it's computer themed sounds and music. You can hear a somewhat matrixy sound as things build themselves, and there's some nice, fast paced technoey music to set the mood as you blow stuff up. This area is as it should be, although there's no music you would want to listen to out of game.

Now, we go into the darker part of Coded Arms - The gameplay. Until now, It's sounded like a pretty good game. This is where it goes down.
First, the levels are all generated randomly. On paper, this is a nice way to add replayability. In practice, it's a well meaning but ultimately limiting gimmick that after a while makes it seem like you're playing the same poorly designed level over and over again. In addition, it essentially makes all the levels small and boxy, and overall falls into a trap. Levels are littered with boxes and corridors, and
You also have weak weapons to start out with. So weak, in fact, that many common enemies will stand up to far too many bullets than they should. I'm not asking for realism, but when one of the enemies in a first-episode level(the temple) takes a total of 30-50 hits before dying, there's a problem
There is, as i said, only 3 tilesets. This makes it feel very much like repetition at times, with the same tileset over and over..

I really want to love this game - It has a slight "Pokemon" aspect with the weapon types and level ups, and should by the out-of-game design, be good for replayability - unfortunately, these flaws, as well as the inability to access the basic level manager short of leaving behind all level progress - keep it from being the great portable FPS it could be. In short, it's developers have increased replayability and forgotten to add in the basic playability. It proves that great FPSes are possible on the PSP, but in itself is not that FPS. To put it simply, my earlier thought expresses this well: "I'd rather be playing Daikatana, least it had levels showing some semblance of design or originality"

I dislike number scores, and prefer to let the text speak for itself. But in short, I do not recommend this game.

(little question, would you mind if i reviewed Tony Hawk's Underground 2 Remix? there's already a review, but i'd love to do my own review of it)

October 1st, 2005, 04:58
nice review buddy! Be sure to check out mine!