May 26, 2011
Murdering has been a part of gaming history ever since the first Space Invader invaded our space and was sent packing with a pixel sized bullet where the sun don’t shine. Ever since then, shooting digital things has become second nature to generations of well balanced, level headed children.
Following in that great, shooty, tradition, is Contract Killer, the new game from Glu Mobile. It casts you in the role of a deadly marksman, with a city to clean up and a small amount of bullets to do it in. To that end, you shoot your way through a variety of levels, taking out different targets for money, XP and the sheer hell of it.
The game is a first person, fixed point snipe-em-up. You start each level at a vantage point and from there have to find and execute your target. There are bodyguards and civilians thrown in for good measure, and it’s perfectly possible that if you miss your intended victim a few times, they’ll just run away, leading to a mission failure. Each kill earns you XP and money that you can use to buy new weapons and ammo, health upgrades and any number of other murdering accoutrements.
The game is pretty impressive looking, with some of the best graphics I’ve seen in an Android game. The music and sound effects too are of a pretty high quality, giving the whole package a highly polished sheen that sets it apart from the rest of the crowd.
Unfortunately, the gameplay doesn’t quite match the aesthetic experience. The sniping elements all work well, and there’s a depth to the game that similar titles are lacking, but quite often you’re just stood there getting shot by people, and that’s not a particularly enjoyable thing to do.
Contract Killer is a bit of a strange one, then. It tries to add something extra to a type of game that is, to all intents and purposes, a one trick pony; and it manages admirably. The problem is that it goes too far, adding more and more features to make the game exciting, but making it less enjoyable in the process. There’s fun to be had here, but not as much as there should be.