Heavy Weapon: Atomic Tank Review


It's not like an arcade shooter really needs a story, but for what it's worth, here's the Heavy Weapon set-up: the Red Star forces have rolled over the free-world and in desperation the Atomic Tank is sent in to save the day and the world. To accomplish this you basically shoot at everything that moves while dodging enemy fire and grabbing power-ups. Your tank moves along the ground from left to right using the right stick, and the left stick is used to fire your weapons in a 180 degree arc. Enemies come flying across the screen from both sides, drop a variety of bombs and missiles, and then disappear off of the other edge of the screen unless you manage to shoot them down. You'll occasionally have to deal with an enemy vehicle that comes along the ground, but for the most part this is a game of tank versus aircraft.

Each level in the game features different background graphics that range from arctic ice to forested mountains, but these are just window dressing. Each level plays out in pretty much the same way keep destroying enemies until you reach a showdown with a boss. Defeat the boss (which is a relatively easy endeavor in this game compared to other old-school style arcade shooters) and you complete the level.

Your tank starts out with a basic peashooter of a weapon, but there are upgrades aplenty to be had in the game. Some are temporary power-ups that are dropped from supply helicopters and others are permanent and are awarded for completing a level. Each weapon also has a super-weapon available that is added to your tank if you collect all of the pieces for it dropped by enemies, and, lastly, there is the weapon that puts the "atomic" in your "atomic tank." You'll occasionally be given access to a nuke that will wipeout every enemy on the screen (or do some extra damage to the boss you're battling).

That's all there is to the game. It features a nice cartoon-style look and is fun for a short while, but anything other than a short session with the game will soon begin to feel repetitive. This feeling of repetition is reinforced by the fact that half of the game's levels are repeats of the other half (including rematches with the same bosses), but with a few more enemies thrown at you. Complete the game and you unlock a boss-only mode, but this mode also throws a number of duplicate bosses your way. Add this to the fact that the bosses are not too challenging (or imaginative or interesting) and this mode becomes an anticlimactic reward for beating the game. The game also provides a survival mode in which the goal is simply to see how long you can last as enemies come at you in greater numbers and armed with more weapons. Although there is no real goal to this mode beyond delaying your eventual demise as long as possible, it's probably the most natural way to enjoy a game like this as odds are you'll die before you get bored. Some additional variety is added to the game in the form of a couple of online modes that are variants of the single player survival mode. Up to four players team up to see how long they can survive against the enemy onslaught, and again this mode is enjoyable enough in the short gameplay bursts it delivers.

So what you've got in Heavy Weapon is a simple, shoot-everything-that-moves style of game that is fun in short bursts, but that quickly grows repetitive. There's just not enough variety to the game and the uninspired and easy to beat bosses don't help matters at all. Because of this it's hard to recommend when there are other downloadable games that will give you more gameplay for your dollars than Heavy Weapon.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 58%. Heavy Weapon is fun in short bursts, but just doesn't give you enough bang for your buck.