Heatseeker (Wii) Review

By James Hobbs 05.06.2007 4

Review for Heatseeker on Wii

Heatseeker is yet another one of those Wii games that has, perhaps unfortunately, been ported to the console from the PlayStation 2, as many other Wii titles have. We would love to be able to say that it's not obvious, but rather sadly it's all too clear that Heatseeker started off life as a PS2 title, and was quickly adapted to suit the Wii platform. All the vestigial elements are there – blocky textures, an overall lack of detail on the most part, some of the worst-modelled trucks we've ever seen, and a general feeling that somehow somebody didn't really put as much effort in as they should. Graphically, Heatseeker is a bit of a disappointment.

That's before you start really getting into it, though. Heatseeker, whilst undoubtedly and unashamedly a port, has just enough going for it to completely absorb you in the gameplay. It doesn't matter if a truck looks terrible if you're raining down missiles from 2000 feet above it – you're too busy grinning like an idiot and trying to dodge fire from other fighters. Once you get into the game it becomes so ridiculously intense that it's almost impossible to even think about some of the ropey graphics – you're busy trying to stay alive.

The game itself revolves round a fictional world conflict, mainly set in the Pacific. As such, the majority of the game sees you cruising over oceans and islands, allowing the developers plenty of empty space in which to throw wave upon wave of enemy fighters at you. This they do, and the dogfights, in general, are very well executed and excellent fun. There's a plethora of planes to choose from, and each one handles slightly differently and can be equipped with different weapons, including air to air missiles and ground attack weapons. All of these weapons are used at some point during most missions, and it feels incredibly involving to simultaneously have to balance weapon selection, altitude, angle of attack, and gun fire all at once. Despite the arcade nature of the game, it's bloody hard.

The control system doesn't help matters greatly. The Wii remote is used to control the attitude of the plane, with the nunchuck used to control acceleration. This works fairly well, but rather strangely the developers chose to implement an on-screen pointer as well having the Wii remote simulate a yoke – in other words, you have to constantly have the remote pointed at the screen. It gets a bit annoying, and all too often we found ourselves smashing into the sea or the ground because we got a bit carried away and pointed too far out of range. These blips aren't too frequent, but if it happens before a checkpoint it's incredibly annoying.

Screenshot for Heatseeker on Wii

Another problem is the apparent lack of buttons on the Wii remote and nunchuck. Due to the complex nature of the game, many buttons are mapped twice with controls, making it very easy to accidentally reverse the viewpoint instead of send an order to your wingman. This has been a concern of mine before with Wii, and it's personified here. It takes some getting used to before you can competently fly a jet in the game, and even more before you're capable of taking on some of the harder missions.

Once you get the hang of the controls, however, it feels great. An 'impact cam' shows your best kills in slow motion as you play, and it looks and feels great to be cruising through the skies at over 800 miles per hour. The frame rate is consistent throughout, and as such it's generally a pleasure to play, unless you crash due to a control glitch. There's a variety of enemies to fight against, including submarines, tanks, jeeps, assault boats, enemy fighter jets, and more, and each one requires a slightly different strategy to take out. For such a seemingly arcade-inspired game, there's a surprising amount of depth and strategy required, even if the gameplay is repetitive.

The audio is of fairly decent quality, with the explosions featuring small details like breaking glass and roaring flames. It's particularly good fun to play the game with the sound ramped right up, although the terrible voice acting begins to grate against your skull after a while.

Screenshot for Heatseeker on Wii

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

If you're looking for a game that proves flight is possible on Wii (that sure as hell isn't Wing Island), then Heatseeker will certainly tick your flyboy boxes.

Developer

IR Gurus

Publisher

Codemasters

Genre

Simulation

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (2 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

From what I've played of the game I reckon it's much better than most of the first crop of Wii Third Party offerings...true it's a shame about it being a port, but still it's really fun.

I do agree about the lack of multiplayer being a crying shame! Perhaps a sequel will emerge at some point...

Welcome to the team, by the way, James :Smilie Good review!

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Cheers Adam :Smilie

I really do hope they make a sequel with some multiplayer, more diverse missions, and maybe some kind of free-roaming aspect too.

Typical, you give the new guy the crap games Smilie. Nice review, but I think the only fighter jet things I'm going to be going near for the foreseeable future will be Topgun (the movie).

Somebody's stuck in the 80s, haha.

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