DEATH COP – Mechanical Unit in Review – Robocop never saw this coming!

The genre of dual-stick shooters is so crowded at this point that to even be noticed, a game must really make itself stand out. Developers attempt various ways of doing so, trying different themes, gameplay features and bonuses. Those over at Blue Shadow Games have really gone all out with this regard and actually bundled 3 different games under one title that is DEATH COP – Mechanical Unit.

Death Cop is a unique game, providing a dual-stick shooter, vertical scrolling shooter and first-person shooting range experiences all in one package. A new enemy has united the world, coming blazing down on a meteor. The remnants of an ancient civilization have come to Earth to find a new home for themselves. In a desperate attempt the citizens of the planet in peril have created an elite and state of the art squad of robotic units to fight the horde of bio-engineered monsters.

The core of Death Cop is, of course, classic dual-stick shooting. You control one of 3 Mechs, varying in speed, armor and firepower. A nice option is to customize the armaments of your unit out of 16 unlockable weapons of mass destruction. The Mech has 2 weapon slots and can have up to 3 weapons assigned to each of them to choose the one that fits the game situation the most on the fly. While some weapons have unlimited ammo (i.e. the basic machine gun or the saw) most have a limited supply, which will have to be replenished in game.

To make life more interesting the developers have thrown in a couple more additional gameplay modes. I’m talking about the shooting range and the vertical shooter. The former puts you in the cockpit of the Mech. You can pan the view around the gameplay area and promptly destroy enemies on screen. In the latter, your Mech gains rocket boosters strapped to its back and you have to maneuver to avoid incoming obstacles and destroy stuff as well. Unfortunately the game doesn’t allow as much customization in the additional modes, with the vertical shooter not picking up the Mech selection and the shooting range having both a fixed Mech and weapon. You do get experience for all three modes though, which counts towards the level of your Mech, defining the weapons available.

The technical side is the most iffy part of Death Cop. I haven’t been able to make it run on my iPhone 4 with iOS 4.0.1 altogether and on iOS4.1 is seemed ok for a while, but it went back to zero successful startups in the end as well. While it did run the graphics seemed decent enough. The controls are nothing out of the ordinary as well, though the analogue pads seems a bit on the smallish side and the view, on many occasions,  is zoomed in too much for comfortable gameplay.

Unfortunately Death Cop is another example how a good idea can be strangled by not enough polish. The game feels more like an early beta than a final release, with technical glitches, poorly polished controls and gameplay that just doesn’t feel fun. I don’t think at any point in the game I really felt compelled to go back to it, with the whole experience being a chore rather than joy. I have to give it to the devs – the 3 gameplay modes fit together quite nicely and definitely make the game stand out of the crowd. However they’re nearly not enough to make Death Cop worth recommending.

With this I declare DEATH COP – Mechanical Unit officially touched!

Death Cop Lite is also available as a free download. So have a look and see for yourself if the game tickles your fancy.

App Summary
Title: DEATH COP – Mechanical UnitDeveloper: Blue Shadow Games S.L.
Reviewed Ver:1.0.1Min OS Req:2.1
Price:$2.99App Size:52.90MB
  • 3 games in 1
  • Nice graphics
  • 3 mechs for various playing styles and 16 weapons to choose from
  • Crashes on startup
  • Not fun
  • Not very comfortable controls

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