Published on February 10th, 2016 | by Aliya Tyus-Barnwell0
Hot Trigger Review
Shooting games on Android are tricky to execute properly. And by properly, I mean in a way that doesn’t make the player want to hurl their phone across the room. Hot Trigger takes on this daunting task, touting control over time and space in a 3D first person shooter. Swift Apps did some things right with Hot Trigger: it’s one of the sharper Android shooters out there.
Hot Trigger uses numbered level structure, keeping it simple. Plot and character development are mentioned, then eschewed in favor of shiny graphics and responsive controls. If questions about the game’s plot come up, feign deafness.
At least Hot Trigger delivers on the promises of sweet eye-candy. Its structural hologram style is retro, but reads crispy and cleanly. The only problem with simple visuals is that they can come across as repetitive or over-simplified if there is little to no variation between levels. Sadly, that’s the problem with Hot Trigger.
As you make your way through the industrial corridors, you’ll encounter color coded baddies with AI so sluggish that they’re little more than automated range targets. As a matter of fact, Hot Trigger is vaguely reminiscent of a virtual reality mini game in a larger title. It’s part Metal Gear VR, part Max Payne: stop moving and time automatically slows down, allowing you to aim and watch the bullets tearing toward you. Move — or fire — and time speeds up again. The automatic bullet-time adds a layer of strategy to the headlong dash through levels. Later level designs play on this challenge with environmental elements that force you to move, like turrets or floods.
Hot Trigger is like French fries: delicious, but boring for every meal and totally devoid of nutrition. Without even the benefit of leader boards, HT has no substance beyond the satisfaction of seeing your enemies de-rez like Tron extras — granted, that’s pretty damn satisfying. Gray architectural sketches peopled by glowing enemies describes the entire world. While the mazes and the objectives within were different, the levels had too similar a feel.
In this time of shiny, vacuous Android games, you’d think giving the stages some range would be the easy part. Let’s hope future updates increase the variety there, because what Hot Trigger lacks in environmental variety, it makes up for with tight controls. The left analog is mapped to a specific spot, you can look around freely by swiping elsewhere on the screen, and the second stick is used to aim and fire. Hot Trigger succeeds at the more difficult aspect of first person shooters on Android: a tight control scheme. Though you can’t change the functions, you can adjust the sensitivity so you can really fine tune your aim.
The tight controls outweighed the redundancy of Hot Trigger’s world on the great scales of game judgement. In some cases, I’d like very much to read a book or watch a movie on my tablet; at other times, I’d like a game that requires little to no critical thought, and Hot Trigger is the latter. Respect is due to a game that ignores the fluff of narrative and goes straight for the button-smashing – or screen-tapping. That said, if score is all that’s on offer, it would be nice to have leaderboards.
With repetitiveness ruining its otherwise cool visuals and trying to hold back its tight control scheme, Hot Trigger is like a nerd that wears the same outfit every day but got a 2400 on his SATs. Those that want a compelling story or characters are looking in the wrong place. On the other hand, gamers that enjoy a sharp Android shooter will appreciate Hot Trigger’s smooth handling, dearth of sniping aside. Ditto for those that like games with short, punchy levels.
Summary: Hot Trigger's tight first-person shooting controls are great, but repetitive visuals hold it back.