OnFace Games disappoints first-person shooter fans with Red Dot: Front Line. It’s marketed as a “NEW fast-paced FPS thrilled with exciting game modes, clean graphics and simple controls.” In reality, it is the vague outline of an action shooter with choppy gameplay, terrible controls and no personality. I am repulsed by the lack of thought and ingenuity that went into this game. For an app that uses 4GB of storage, I expected much more.
“Exciting Game Modes”
Players can play Team Deathmatch, Sniper Mode or Search and Destroy.
Red Dot’s Team Deathmatch is the standard PvP game mode in which two teams navigate around a map to kill each other. Oddly enough, matches aren’t decided by scoring a set number of kills, as in standard FPS titles. Instead, there is only a five-minute time limit; whichever team has the most kills within five minutes wins. Every time a player dies, they respawn and are able to fight again. Unlike most TDM games, however, the spawn location does not change. Each team has a designated respawn spot; one team’s is furthest south, and the other’s is furthest north. If an enemy makes their way to the other team’s side, they can camp the respawn location, easily killing players moments after they come back to life. While players are invincible for a few seconds after respawn, this hardly prevents spawn kills. Spawn kills are the norm.
Other than spawn kills, the matches are easy. Red Dot fills each multiplayer match with computer bots. Some are decent, but most AI take a few steps, stop and aim at the ceiling on repeat. And if you use a sniper, you can camp on top of buildings and pick enemies off with ease. The computer bots do not switch weapon classes to adapt to your long-range battle style like an angry teenager would. They spray and pray from the other side of the map. Occasionally an actual player joins who puts up a good fight, but this is unfortunately rare.
Takes up Storage and Doesn’t Work
Sniper Mode has a lot of potential, but the developers’ lack of creativity and imagination result in a dismal disappointment. Before each round begins, a drop-down mugshot of your targets appears with the same generic, unoriginal mission directions: kill the terrorists. Players wait on top of a building for the terrorists to appear on-screen and snipe them with no resistance. Stealth is not required because when one target drops dead, the others continue walking—oblivious to the fact that one of their comrades has taken a bullet to the chest and is drowning in a pool of green blood. Yes, the blood is green. And yes, if you aim at the terrorists’ heads, the death cutscene always shows the bullet penetrate their chests.
Search and Destroy might be Red Dot’s silver lining if you could actually play it. Players perpetually wait on the matchmaking screen due to reasons unknown. It’s possible that not enough players play S&D, but TDM is riddled with bots, so there’s no reason S&D can’t be as well.
Backdropping all these letdowns are Red Dot‘s controls. The screen is split in half. You use the left half to move forward and back. You use the right to navigate left and right, and look up and down. The button to shoot is in the middle of the right screen, so as soon as you start firing, you can only look around while firing. Once you engage in the “fast-paced,” close combat, you must spray bullets everywhere as the enemy moves around. Perhaps this doesn’t sound so bad but add to this the fact that there is no way to accurately aim unless you’re using a sniper. There are no sight attachments, the recoil for nearly every other gun is atrocious and moving around itself is choppy. Shooting hip-fire from medium distances with an assault rifle? Practically impossible. Playing this game and enjoying a single feature it has to offer? Impossible.
A Cookie Cutter Without Cookie Dough
I wish I could go back and choose another game to review. Playing Red Dot: Front Line was a complete waste of my time. It will also be a waste of yours. The developers put more thought into marketing the app than they did creating it. It has the outline of a first-person shooter, but it lacks substance, consequence and anything worth a moment of your attention.
Is it Hardcore?
If you consider taking the trash out hardcore, then yes, it is, because that’s where this game belongs.