9mm is Gameloft’s boldest and most aggressive game yet. With consistent swear words, bountiful drug references, and riddled with gritty gang culture, it follows a cop tasked with patrolling the city’s most dangerous and malignant suburbs. But despite the alarming change in tone compared to other Gameloft titles, it weaves a well-told and followable story. Its 3rd person cover-based shooter perspective plays beautifully, continuing to be enjoyable all the way through. It may not be pitch-perfect, but it’s the most complete story-driven shooter I’ve ever seen from Gameloft.
I have commented many times in the past about Gameloft’s inability to tell a good story. Take a glance at Eternal Legacy, Fast Five The Movie: Official Game or Dungeon Hunter Alliance and you’ll see what I mean. In 9mm, everything changes. Your action-packed tale of torment and anger is well written and, most importantly, well voice acted. It seems the developers hired some good voice talent for this game, and it pays off. The characters don’t seem like emotionless robots, and this really adds to the atmosphere.
Along with the great voice acting comes improved graphics. Character models look more realistic (but nothing sensational) and don’t have that stiffness previously seen in some of Gameloft’s iPhone ports to the Mac.
This added realism is put to great use in intense cutscenes and cinematic quicktime events where you’re interrogating a drug dealer, or chasing down a child snatcher. These scenes are brilliant at moving on the story and adding variety to the gameplay. The gunplay is satisfying, but can be a little basic. Shooting at the head is a one-hit kill, and enemies add challenge, but are by no means smart. You have the ability to slow-down time Max Payne style to take out a bunch of enemies at once which is cool, but it more of a gimmick than a worthwhile feature.
One downside to all this is that the story is short, very, very short. It jumps from location to location, twist after twist. But it’s hard not to complete the whole of the campaign in one or two sittings. Even on the hardest setting, the game is still reasonably easy. Additionally, it does have a few performance issues, especially when you first load up the game.
Thankfully, gameplay doesn’t stop there. While you can go back and replay the campaign, the multiplayer is the main draw for long-term enjoyment. Unfortunately for now, there is no-one online. It is such a shame, because you have huge, promising maps with tons of potential, but no-one to play them with.
Money you earn in the campaign can be spent on new weapons, upgrades and special abilities in the multiplayer. If you’re desperate for better gear you can buy in-game money using real world cash through in-app purchases. This can skew online matches to those who have paid the most dough, but it still is a lot of fun… if there were people to play with.
In all, 9mm is worth it for the asking price if you are looking for a creative and diverse campaign. The multiplayer is a great addition, but too new to be of any value in its current state. It’s moody, it’s brash and it’s Gameloft’s most impressive Mac narrative yet.
Price: $6.99 (£4.99)
Description: A Gritty Third-Person Shooter
Pros: Diverse and interesting campaign, satisfying gunplay, great voice acting.
Cons: No-one on multiplayer, short campaign, a little easy.