07 Oct, 2005

Coded Arms Review

PSP Review | We're jacking in.
Coded Arms is a first in many ways, it is the first FPS for the PSP and it is the first Konami FPS, so the pressure is on for the PSP to deliver a great handheld FPS experience. FPS fans are some of the most fickle around, with some refusing to play a title if the controls aren’t right, so with so any high expectations is Coded Arms the definitive portable FPS title?

Coded Arms Coded Arms takes place in an abandoned virtual reality system and its portal site inside a giant computer network. In this VR, a major flaw was discovered and development was cancelled. During this time the VR program kept evolving and eventually turned into an uncontrollable world. Players assume the role of a computer hacker who infiltrates the virtual reality system armed with a weapon. It all seem’s a little like The Matrix with a bit of a different twist.

Took us ten minutes to get this high up

Took us ten minutes to get this high up
The game includes five different game worlds, all the game worlds are generated randomly, as are the enemies which consist of soldiers, bugs and bots. The game bosses are the most threatening enemy. Multiplayer is essential in a FPS title and Konami have included multiplayer for up to four players with a variety of modes including deathmatch, keep the mark and last man standing. All the weapons and power-ups collected during the single player mode can be used in the multiplayer mode. One of the more commendable aspects of Coded Arms are the weapons, there are more than thirty weapons which include assault rifles, sniper rifles, pulse weapons and rocket launchers.

Our main complaint (and what we believe is likely to be voiced by many people) about the game is the controls. The PSP only has one analog stick, which means that turning is done with the square, triangle, circle and “x” buttons on the handheld. This doesn’t leave many other controls left, with R1 acting as fire and L1 used to jump. The controls are disappointing because just looking up or down can be a challenge in itself; actually doing it fast in the field of pay is just about impossible. To compensate for this Konami have made the controls fully customisable, but it doesn't really make much difference.

The randomised levels are a feature that we were really looking forward to as well and unfortunately this is actually one of the biggest downfalls of the game. The levels become familiar extremely fast and can make the single player experience feel shallow and linear. Some of the levels are vast and expansive but others are small and boxed in, and it is really hard to navigate around the level when each room looks very similar to the other. This also means that the enemies are random as well, so it is possible to enter a room with ten enemies, and then the next room also has ten enemies and then there can be nothing. The randomness really makes it hard because the game's difficulty can vary from one extreme to the other.

Bloody hell, now we have to scroll down

Bloody hell, now we have to scroll down
Graphically the game is fairly realiable, it is deceptive because the game looks really good at first and the presentation is very slick and keeps well with the theme of the storyline. However, the levels themselves are fairly small, so the PSP isn't having to process too much at once and a lot of the objects are a little pixelated up close. Unfortunately when the action gets intense there is a little slowdown, which can put you off the VR world a little.

The sound is fairly average, Konami have put a lot of effort into ensuring the weapons sound authentic, but the soundtrack itself is borderline average. Not of the soundtrack is very atmospheric, but it does become a little more upbeat when the player is in trouble, Konami are normally very reliable with soundtracks, so to hear such an average soundtrack is tremendously disappointing.

The single player mode is fairly short, and like most first person shooter's the main replayability lies with the multiplayer, without this the game wouldn't even be worth consideration because the single player is so uninspiring and borderline average that playing through it a second time won't even be a consideration, after the first play through you will know the storyline, and you will definitely know what to expect. The game could have easily expanded the lifespan by including more unlockables, such as bonus weapons or scenarios.

Coded Arms feels like a missed opportunity of the greatest kind. On the surface the game presents a slick interface, decent graphics and it also appears to bring some different things to the genre. However, upon closer examination it is evident that a lot of ideas seen in older games have been recycled to seem like they are new.

The controls mean you will sometimes shoot at nothing in frustration

The controls mean you will sometimes shoot at nothing in frustration
The controls are a huge hinderance and could be one of the reasons that this is the only FPS out on the PSP and there are none others than we can think off the top of our head. There is some redemption in multiplayer, as both players are disadvantaged so the game feels a little fairer, but when enemies are jumping around and dodging your bullets nimbly in the single player mode it feels a little unfair.

If you're after a first person shooter then you've got no choice but to pick Coded Arms up, but be aware that it is simply borderline an average game, and the controls and bizarre development decisions are likely to have you pulling your hair out.
The Score
Coded Arms is a missed opportunity, the game features hard to learn controls, randomised levels that quickly becomes repetitive and enemies that all look very similar. If you simply must get a FPS for the PSP then this has to be the game you pick up and for that reason alone we think the game will be popular. 5
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

Related Coded Arms Content

Coded Arms Media Update
17 Feb, 2005 New screenshots and trailer from the PSP’s upcoming first person shooter.
Everybody's Golf Review
02 Sep, 2005 Finishes well above par.
Pariah Review
30 Jul, 2005 Digital Extremes moves away from the Unreal series. But for better or for worse?
8 years ago
*Note* I could have sworn i already posted this comment here but ive either accidentally deleted it, it didnt go through, or ive posted it in the wrong topic.....either way(+ i just noticed a spelling mistake has been corrected....did a mod delete my post??*...

Nice review Luke but...

The game could have easily expanded the lifespan by including(...)
That last sentence just trails off at the end of the paragraph...?
8 years ago
no, i saw your post before.

i also wondered at what they could've included.
monkeys ON bicycles?
8 years ago
eeew my draft didnt carry fully ovver.

edited icon_razz.gif
8 years ago
so why wouldn't monkeys on bicycles increase the lifespan? huh?

are monkeys on bicycles not hardcore enough to improve a game?

i think it's what all enemies in FPS games should send out, and then when the player is going "WTF? Monkeys on Bicycles? seriously, WTF??" send someone around to stab you to death.

lifespan: increased.

goddamn i hate friday afternoons at work...
8 years ago
haha, well monkeys would have thrown me off a bit, i do admit that icon_razz.gif
8 years ago
I've been playing the Jap version of ghost in the shell. All the text is english so it's completely import friendly. It's a pretty reasonable FPS with some very nice features. For fans of the series it's an absolute MUST BUY. You play each mission with a Tachikoma (they're AI tanks) and it works really well. They're actually are really useful in the mission and are *generally* pretty smart. In the very last levels they can occasionally become a hinderance but on the whole it's very nicely executed. Loads of customisable options. You can probably knock the single player over in about 10 hours, but for a handheld game I guess that's ok. It also has a multiplayer that I haven't tested, but looks pretty awesome.

Anyway the point was, don't get Coded Arms. Wait for Ghost in the Shell to come out, or import it icon_biggrin.gif
8 years ago
awesome, i didn't even know there was a GitS game on PSP.

GitS:SAC on PS2 is another of the games i have started but not finished. damn that list is getting longer and longer :/

does it have monkeys on bicycles?
actually i just realised that monkeys on bicycles is probably trademarked to Nintendo's Mario Tour de France.
(don't worry, i finish in a few minutes, the insanity will stop soon enough)
8 years ago
Set for release on 28th of october here, not too long icon_smile.gif
Add Comment
Like this review?
Share it with this tiny url: http://palg.nu/1up

N4G : News for Gamers         Twitter This!

Digg!     Stumble This!

| More
  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  Out Now
European Release Date:
  Out Now
  Konami of Europe

Currently Popular on PALGN
Australian Gaming Bargains - 08/12/11
'Tis the season to be bargaining.
R18+ Legislation
R18+ Legislation
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations Preview
Hands on time with the game. Chat time with the CEO of CyberConnect 2.
PALGN's Most Anticipated Games of 2007
24 titles to keep an eye on during 2007.
PALGN's Most Anticipated Games of 2008
And you thought 2007 was populated.