Heavy Fire: Afghanistan review

  • Tight motion controls
  • Four-player co-op
  • That good ol’ arcade nostalgia
  • Crappy sound design
  • PowerPoint presentations… err, mission briefings
  • Another Call of Duty wannabe

Typically, we here at GamesRadar want to root for those underdog budget games that manage to make it to retail with all the other big boys in the industry. So you have to believe us when we say that we take absolutely no pleasure in tearing apart games like Heavy Fire: Afghanistan.

The plot is pretty much what you’d expect – ever since he was just a boy, our homegrown all-American protagonist has only ever dreamed of shooting at Middle-Eastern terrorists and he’s finally gotten into the Marines. That’s… pretty much it. From there, you navigate a menagerie of static screens sporting absurd walls of text while a disinterested voice actor reads everything to you. This PowerPoint-inspired mess rears its ugly head between every single one of the game’s twenty-four missions. 

As this is another game clinging desperately to the success of the Modern Warfare franchise, you can expect to be hitting up all of the familiar locales – riding shotgun in an Apache helicopter, unloading from behind a mounted machinegun on a Humvee, and advancing through war-torn cities with your brothers-in-arms. The game also carries over most of the tropes you’d expect from the on-rail shooter genre – a perpetually unending force of enemy soldiers ready to die, glowing ammo/health boxes that you need to shoot in order to pick up, etc. Unfortunately, the sound design for HFA is some of the worst we’ve ever heard. Enemy firearms sound distant and muted (regardless of how close they are to you). Likewise, your own weapons come across as underwhelming and ineffectual (a high-powered ACR shouldn’t sound like a paintball gun).

HFR’s greatest sin, however, is that the game is simply way too easy. While every enemy that pops onto the screen is firing directly at you, you’ll only receive damage if a terrorist has a flashing red exclamation point above his head. We literally left the game unpaused and our marine completely exposed while we walked off for twenty seconds to grab a cup of coffee and returned to find ourselves still at full health even with three armed terrorists firing directly at us. The four-player co-op merely exacerbates the difficulty issue as the enemy AI isn’t even equipped to deal with one player, let alone four.

To its credit, HFR features some incredibly tight controls thanks to the PlayStation Move’s accurate motion sensor. The instances in which we’d have to pause the action to recalibrate our controller were few and far between. That being said, actually setting up multiple Move/Navi controllers still sucks and, considering what HFR has to offer you, really not worth the effort.

Heavy Fire: Afghanistan is a game that really wants to be Call of Duty on rails, but it simply lacks the budget and creative license to pull any of it off. The game is just a cheap cash grab in every sense of the word. Even the most hardened on-rails gamers will find little to show for their tour in Afghanistan other than a severe case of PTSD. 

More Info

Available Platforms: PS3
Genre: Shooter
Published by: Mastiff


  • jim-scott - January 4, 2013 5:53 p.m.

    As a US Army veteran my biggest grip with Heavy Fire: Afghanistan is that the story calls your character a Marine (and the in game rank structure is that of the USMC) yet every visual is US Army. Your "Marine" characters are all wearing Army Combat Uniforms in our (admittedly ugly) Universal Camouflage Pattern (as opposed to the distinctly different Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform and its woodland and desert MARPAT patterns). The Army uniform wearing Marines are also using Army specific equipment such as UH-60 Blackhawk and CH-47 Chinook helicopters (which are even painted with United States Army in game) and I could not identify a single piece of US Marine Corps specific equipment. It seems that the graphic designers and the story writers had about zero interaction. Its to the point where if instead of a Marine they identified the characters as Soldiers in the 4th Infantry Division (not picked at random, that is 4th Infantry Divisions Shoulder Sleeve Insignia being worn by the Soldier on the cover) there wouldn't be any problem, and if that were the case I'd say the game had pretty decent graphics for the price. However the games insistence on portraying US Army Soldiers but calling them Marines creates such a disconnect for anyone that has even completed Basic Training (much less actually deployed with either the Army or Marine Corps) that I couldn't even finish the second level.
  • rainy-la - December 14, 2011 6:34 p.m.

    woo,if you interested, i'd like to recommend you an exciting place for more -casualchats.c o m. It's so cool!
  • psycho ninja 4 - December 9, 2011 3:44 a.m.

    Anyone noticed that the new motion control games are all getting bad scores?
  • CommandantOreo - December 7, 2011 12:55 p.m.

    ouroboros:how is it going to sting? This game probably is tramatic.
  • The_Ouroboros - December 7, 2011 11:18 a.m.

    I'm sure that last line is going to sting to more than just a couple of Vet; as that's typically what we get from long term combat deployments.
  • CombatWombat101 - December 7, 2011 5:10 p.m.

    Then learn to sarcasm?
  • zarathustra - February 22, 2012 4:55 p.m.

    rolls_eyes.jpg :P P.S. Tired format, poor execution (PC version, anyway)
  • Yellow Devil - December 6, 2011 8:03 p.m.

    Well to the looks of it, they captured the military's over-reliance on Power Point down perfectly.
  • cL7oud hero - December 6, 2011 7:11 p.m.

    You shouldn't feel bad for tearing this overly derivative shooter game apart
  • bitchassafriBLAMamericANTISTA - December 6, 2011 7:07 p.m.

    hey guys stop being so mean! i am sure that the person worked hard on this and doesn't deserve this type of critici... wow this game looks dumb
  • RideZeLitenin - December 6, 2011 5:30 p.m.

    Ooooh, Cash in!
  • DevonOO7 - December 6, 2011 5 p.m.

    Having never heard of this game I knew it was going to be great.

Showing 1-12 of 12 comments

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