- Slick, fun, Max Payne-like 3rd person shooter gameplay.
- QTE sequences to break up the action.
- Linear design focuses the pacing of the story.
- Online multiplayer free-for-all and team deathmatch for replay value.
- Swearing feels immature due to poor use through writing and voice acting.
- Swipe controls don't provide enough sensitivity range.
If you like movies like Street Kings or spent time with TV shows like The Shield, you'll have an inkling of what to expect with 9mm's story; while it's storyline may not be quite as intense, the action helps to see you through to the end.
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While many people are able to back a knight-in-shining-armor hero in most games, the anti-hero or at least a hero with 'dirty hands' makes for a nice change of pace. Sure it's nothing new and games have long since taken to putting you in the shoes of villains and criminals, but at least it's a far cry from the usual cute-sy or noble characters to be expected on the App Store. 9mm by Gameloft shifts gears down to this gritter plateau, placing you in the shoes of John "Loose" Kannon, a cop facing execution at the hands of a local crime boss.
There are two main options when it comes to maneuvering John around the gangland world, either aiming by swiping or using a gyroscope 'tilt to look' system - sadly neither of these options ever feels spot on. Being a third-person shooter, your screen is often already taken up by the presence of your character, let alone the buttons and analogue sticks required to interact with the world, so the gyroscope method of looking around is appreciated. Swiping does make for what feels like a more accurate method for aiming, however even on the highest sensitivity you'll need to swipe fast and often just to look around a room.
The gameplay itself is modeled closely after games like Max Payne as you're placed in to firefight after firefight against numerous gun-toting foes that will tear you to shreds in a moment's notice if you let them. Thankfully you have a replenishing 'bullet time' that can be activated to dodge incoming bullets. A simple swipe in any direction after activating this mode will also cause you to dive John Woo style through the air. It's a satisfying way of dispatching enemies, especially as it allows for the developer to get a bit over-the-top at times with the number and type of enemies you'll face, but the lack of a true cover-system (crouching is available) can force you to spam the ability a little too much, diminishing its fun factor.
Outside of the gun-play, 9mm mixes things up with the occasional quick-time event for melee fights or interrogations and while the game is linear in its objectives, it helps to set the pace so you're always on the move.
If you're so inclined you can also take to the Internet to play on a server with 12 people, though this is limited to free-for-all and team deathmatch modes and feels far less polished than the singleplayer campaign.
The one thing that's likely to put people off the game is the somewhat regular and at times almost confusingly unnecessary over-use of foul-language just to emphasize how 'gritty' the world they live in truly is. It's not a deal-breaker, but it can feel out of place at times.
Ultimately, 9mm puts a solid third-person shooter in to the hands of iOS users, albeit sporting most of the features present in similar titles on other platforms. It's certainly no Alan Wake, but if you're after some action with stiff odds it's worth giving this game a shot.