Also available on 3DS
The low resolution WiiWare icon I used above is incredibly fitting for this game. There's a lot of shovelware on the Wii in general, and there's a LOT of shovelware on the WiiWare service, but Heavy Fire: Special Operation is an especially heinous type of shovelware; it's the kind of shovelware that looks and sounds like it could be moderately entertaining and then fills you with severe buyer's remorse. It's only 500 Wii points, but that's about 500 too many.
Special Operations is the first title in the bafflingly existent Heavy Fire Series, beginning as a WiiWare exclusive in 2010 before getting ported to the 3DS eShop in 2012. The game is a rail shooter that's kind of in the style of arcade shooters but without any of the fun. You start off with a semi automatic pistol and "rank up" based on how many points you score in each level, and each rank gets you a new weapon. The problem is that except for the move from semi auto to auto after the pistol, they're all pretty much identical. Each level has a bigger magazine, and some of the higher level weapons let you reload by pressing A instead of shaking the Wiimote, but that's it. Every weapon kills in one hit. Every weapon has roughly the same fire rate. It's a mess. You die after being shot three times, and while there are checkpoints, you've got a limited number of continues. While that, in general, isn't a problem, it seems totally arbitrary who's going to hit you and who isn't. Sometimes a guy will be on screen for a full 30 seconds before I get around to killing him without shooting me once; other times, a guy will hit me after three seconds of being on screen. They also throw an entire army at you. The game takes place in Somalia, and I think I killed the actual population of Mogadishu during my one playthrough. It gets silly and ridiculous fast.
Just about the only thing that this game has going for it is that performance stays pretty consistent, but given that the game looks like it could run on the Gamecube, that's not really saying much. I know the Wii isn't an HD system, but this game just looks terrible. Not quite as bad as Farcry Vengeance, granted, but it's not a whole lot better. The sound effects, as well, are truly abysmal. All of the guns sound the same - completely artificial and without any "oomph" whatsoever. Some games have gun sound effects that at least sound halfway like they're supposed to, but that's not the case here. Not in the slightest. The gun sounds are also almost completely treble. I turned off my subwoofer and heard almost no difference. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't high caliber guns supposed to have SOME kind of bass or "oomph" to them?
Heavy Arms: Special Operations is a WiiWare rail shooter in as much as Mehmet Oz is a doctor - yeah, technically, but it's literally the last place you should look if that's what you need. The visuals are atrocious, the sound design if horrid, and gameplay is as shallow as rich white boy in a college fraternity. Even at $5, this game is a complete waste of money, and that's coming from a guy who LOVES rail shooters. Not even 2 player cooperative multiplayer can redeem this wretched excuse for a game.
tl;dr - you'd have more fun drinking a bleach cocktail.
My Rating - 1 Nep
I'm a teacher.
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach high school history; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.