WarMen starts off with a promising introduction. In a slick, lengthy cutscene we are warned of a government takeover plotted by that most nefarious of institutions’” the dreaded United Nations! Ok, so maybe it’s not exactly SPECTRE or Cobra Command, but so far we’re interested. The UN has traded in its light blue helmets for crazy heavy-mech suits straight out of Fallout, but these stormtroopers aren’t wearing anything that can stop a short burst of Uzi fire.
Your character, Marco, is one of the resistance fighters facing down this New World Order, and you’ll receive occasional radio contacts from your fellow team members as you mow down enemies and destroy radio jammers. You perform these tasks by hitting a “forward” button to advance from location to location, tapping the screen to shoot while hiding behind cover. Marco’s meager story fizzles out very quickly, though, despite one much-needed adrenaline boost when you encounter your first giant, fire-breathing mutant bug.
This is about to get ugly.
Marco is equipped with an Uzi with unlimited ammunition, and a rocket launcher. The rocket launcher is not quite as fun as it sounds, though. Enemies don’t explode dramatically, instead just disappearing in a puff of smoke and spewing a few pixels of virtual blood. It’s the opposite of the Noisy Cricket gun from the movie Men in Black: Marco’s rocket launcher is a huge, showy gun that creates an unsatisfying blast.
The understated action isn’t just limited to the weaponry. The human enemies are generic and dumb as bricks. If you stay in cover, you’re practically invincible, and the only harm comes if you accidentally advance Marco before killing all nearby enemies. Since you have to wait to see if the coast is clear before hitting “forward”, the game will punish you for being impatient, and constant lulls in the action caused us to lose our patience fast.
Look out, barber. This is the last bad haircut you’ll ever give.
At least the lulls don’t last long, because the game is over after five very short chapters. You’ll probably burn through WarMen in about an hour, and with no extra difficulty modes and very limited variety, there’s no reason to go back for a second run-through. The end titles promise a sequel, but we’d rather see this game updated to include more content before we shell out again for chapter two.
WarMen needs some work to become a true action hero. It should take more cues from cover shooters like the Time Crisis arcade series, or the Terminator Salvation iPhone game. We expected WarMen to ratchet up the intensity and excitement, or add more variety as you move along, but the game barely has a pulse. Don’t bother joining the resistance; UN baby blue is a fine color for our flag.