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XBLIG Review: Take Arms

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Take Arms is a 2D military shooter developed by Discord Games. It is a game with decent graphics and a lot of potential, but falls short due to the lack of other players online and some frustrating controls.

The teams are red versus green. Discerning who is an ally and who is an enemy is the first problem you’ll encounter when playing Take Arms for the first time. Rather than coloring the character models themselves in red or green attire respectively, the only difference is a slight green or red tint to the player names hovering above their head. This makes it much harder than it needs to be to tell who is on your team and who isn’t and will often result in firing at allies or not firing at opponents.

There are three classes available to choose from: striker (sniper rifle), grunt (assault rifle), and destroyer (machine gun). Each class also has a secondary weapon but they are relatively useless compared to the primary and you will most likely never use it unless you run out of ammunition or are simply looking for some variety.

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There are also three maps to play on: bridge, complex, and trainyard. The maps are laid out very vertically with high ground providing a significant advantage. Luckily the jumping controls are pretty smooth so you won’t have any trouble reaching platforms or navigating around the many obstacles strewn about each map.

While on the subject of controls, aiming can be a bit finicky. You aim with the right analog and then fire with the right trigger, but if you are firing across the screen there’s no way to tell exactly where your bullets are going to end up without first firing your gun and seeing for yourself. The grunt class has a laser sight attached to his assault rifle that helps determine where the gun is pointing in long distance situations but all of the classes really should have had this feature.

Like in many shooting games, your shots not always registering properly when they hit someone is also a problem in Take Arms. Sometimes you will stand there lighting someone up for what seems like forever and you will end up being the one who dies.

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Throwing grenades is also very unreliable. Again, there is no indicator showing where the grenade is going to be thrown. Many games, like Gears of War for example, show an indicator that displays the arc and landing spot of your grenade. Not Take Arms. Basically you just pull the pin and hope it goes where you want it to.

With just three maps and three classes, repetitiveness begins to set in after only a few matches. There just isn’t enough variety to keep things fresh during extended play periods.

Overall, this game is very multiplayer-centric. Take Arms was clearly made to be played online against other people; the only problem is there is nobody else online playing it! I’ve tried finding matches at various times in the day whether it be early in the morning, afternoon, or late at night. I have yet to encounter even one other player. It is a certifiable ghost town.

This pretty much relegates Take Arms to the single player bot mode which becomes very boring, very quickly. There isn’t even a split-screen option to play with someone at your house. This really is a shame because Take Arms could be a ton of fun against teams of other humans. Being that nobody plays really it, however, the game really isn’t worth picking up, even for its lowly 80 Microsoft Point price tag.

Review Score

Posted By: - Can be followed on Xbox LIVE as "Xander756"

Alexander Hinkley founded his own indie games developer in 2006 called Penguin Run Games. As someone who has had an Xbox 360 since launch, he joins the thisisxbox.com writing team as an XBLIG Reviewer.
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