Baby, you make me wish I had three sticks.
Shoot anything that moves, and shoot anything that doesn’t. That’s the basic ethos behind Total Recoil. Eiconic games have brought their hit iOS game over to the Vita, and it reallyt benefits from the addition of the Vita’s controls and a bigger screen to use. If you have played the iOS version, then you haven’t seen anything, this looks and plays so much better.
What you have here is a twin stick shooter built around high scoring waves and you have 40 missions here to get through, with an obvious increase in difficulty. Each mission dossier will need to you complete a variety of waves before a face-off with a boss. Conceived during a bout of Call of Duty, Eiconic have developed the game around acquiring various weapon upgrades and kill streak upgrades, and killing enemies will build up the bonuses available to you. With your soldier starting of rather lightweight, as you complete missions and build up your cash – which is earner by blowing everything up – you can accumulate quite an arsenal of weapons and destructive killstreaks in your armoury.
Each mission is sensibly awarded stars, one for completing the mission, one for finishing all of the waves and a final star for finding all of the hidden medals within the level. The perfectionist in you will return to each mission aiming to perfect every level. Running alongside this is a challenge system, with three active challenges at a time and this will also earn you stars but these ones work towards your ranking, towards your aim of becoming a general. And if that wasn’t enough you can prestige too! Your rank affects what is actually available in the shop for you to purchase. It all adds up to some crazy replayability, and with each mission initially short and sweet, you’ll find the pick up and play aspect of the title very handy. And addictive.
If you are serious about progressing and amassing not only the highest scores possible, but also getting the best out of your kit, you will need to get up to speed with what is available. Among the weapons that you can unlock are your assault rifles, mini guns, flamethrowers and rocket launchers. Unlockable killstreaks include a variety of sentry guns, artillery strikes and bombers and a tank! You can also improve your equipment, health and speed among other aspects.
The left stick moves your unit as you would expect, and the right stick fires your weapon, which when available can be switched to another using the triangle. The other buttons come into play when you have health/shield/invincibility packs and these are controlled by the D-pad, and the killstreaks when earned are initiated by the face buttons, with a maximum of three in play during each playthrough. The game has a very simplistic but functional look and it suits the style of the game very well. It can very rarely restrict your view due to the camera angle but this is usually not too much of an issue.
My favourite bit of the game though is the survival modes. A variety of settings from the main campaign (with more unlocking as your rank increases) which see just you and your gun, and seeing how far you can get in the game. By far the easiest way to accumulate currency in the game, this mode is also extremely addictive. As the waves progress, the difficulty of the enemies and the intensity of the battles increase and it all adds to some crazy tension.
Priced at £1.99/$2.99 the game is very cheap,and features a lot of content for the price (but not as cost efficient as the iOS version…) and will keep you playing for a while. My biggest gripe with the game is a lack of leaderboards – I’d love to be able to see my efforts ranked alongside those of my friends, hopefully Eiconic can get something added in the future. In the meantime though, it’s another fun little title to occupy you and is well worth a little look.