pandorasbox's Harms Way (Xbox 360 Games Store) review

A perfect example of overdoing it.

Harms Way is a FREE xbox live arcade game that plays as a mixture between motorstorm, and some kind of on rails shooter...However, the game never really plays either side of the combination particularly well. 
 
When you first boot the games campaign you will be displayed with two options; shooter, or racer. 
 

RACER

The racer is a fairly simple role. You choose between a (VERY) limited amount of vehicles, and compete in a race. Throughout the race you can collect "power ups" along the track that will either upgrade a turret, downgrade a turret, give you nitro, or give you shield.  Although the power ups don't really give you any literal attack ability or anything of the sort, your first impression from the way they are set about the tracks will lead you to believe that you're playing some kind of Mario Kart rip-off..which could not
 
 There are only three or four vehicles you can select from. These include a van, dune car, and some kind of tanker.
be farther from the truth.
 

NITRO

 
Nitro is gathered in two different ways in this game. One of these ways is by collecting the green orbs that can be found scattered throughout the track. Another way to get nitro is to drift around corners. The long your drift is, the more nitro that replenishes. 
Nitro is used as a boost, and can be implemented in the game by holding down the (A) button. Although the boost is helpful in some situations, you will never feel like you get any distance on the players, with or without boosting.
 

SHIELDS

 
The shield power up temporarily covers your car with a pretty blue orb effect, preventing turrets from shooting you. If a turret shoots at you while you are shielded, the bullets will deflect and destroy the turret. 
 
Although the concept is sound, the execution is not. During the singleplayer campaign the shield will literally last only for a few moments(approx 5 seconds). This wouldn't be too bad if the CPU ever fired at you, but they don't. The computer controlled turrets are too smart, and never fire at shielded vehicles. This makes getting that achievement impossible during singleplayer, which is a double shame because the multiplayer was inaccessible due to NOBODY playing it online.
 
TURRET UPGRADES AND DOWNGRADES DO JUST WHAT YOU EXPECT.
 

TURRET

 The turrets role in this game is kind of broken, in that it's probably the least fun i have ever had in a video game, ever. You start off controlling one turret which is defaulted to a sniper. You use this turret to destroy the cars as they race around the track for points, and you can collect upgrades. If you upgrade enough, you can cycle through each type of weapon to deal maximum damage to the cars. 
 
There isn't really much here to tell, and i find the inclusion of it to ruin the game...especially considering that the multiplayer of the game was dead, meaning that i couldn't even get the satisfaction of destroying somebody in first place.
 
 

FINAL VERDICT

 
I really enjoyed the racing part of this game, but even that was not without fault. The game has some SERIOUS rubber-banding issues. Once you lose first place in this game, it becomes almost impossible to get it back, so messing up at all often led me to restarting the race. It does not help that the CPU never makes a mistake, and is ALWAYS on your tale, regardless of how much nitro you use to try and get ahead. 
 
That being said, i felt like the game would have been so much better had they just focused on being an off road arcade game, and not trying to reinvent the wheel.
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Other reviews for Harms Way (Xbox 360 Games Store)

    A Great Online Mode Hampered By a Bad Menu 0

     The crux of this game is an arcade racer mashed with tower defense. When you give the idea some thought it actually makes perfect sense. Most tower defense games track targets on a confined path. Racing games are targets moving on a confined path. The concept is simple, brilliant and for the most part executed well in this game.   The game is setup simply as a sort of wild west racing game where all of the tracks take place in a desert. The graphics are amazingly well done for what this game is...

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