|System: PSP, Wii, PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: IR Gurus||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: CodeMasters||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 10, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Cole Smith
May 31, 2007 - Heatseeker has a lot in common with Capcom's 1942: The Battle of Midway, except that 1942 was released in 1984, so we make allowances for the limited technology. Heatseeker is very much an old-school arcade game, but it lacks the fun and innocence of the "golden" epoch. Heatseeker is not a well-structured game. It's repetitious, and as a result, lacks variety. It didn't hold my interest very long. Unlike 1942, I didn't feel compelled to "try it just one more time."
Overall the game is weak. It displays obvious deficiencies in virtually every category from the gameplay to the presentation. Control problems are abundant, especially the steering of the plane and the accuracy of the bombs. The graphics are blasé, empty, and in some places just downright trashy. The voiceacting is terrible, and the story is segmented to the point that it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Still, it's a playable game, and taken in small doses, it's possible to make friends with it. Hopefully, you'll find three other friends that have a copy of the game because the four-player, multi-player modes are the best part, though not worth the price of admission alone.
Unlike 1942, Heatseeker takes place in modern times. That doesn't mean the future. All of the planes, weapons, and technologies employed in the game are real and in use today. You'll get to fly some of the most revered aircraft including the F-152 Eagle, SU-47 Bercut, MIG-31, and the F/A-18 Hornet. You don't start out with the best crafts, but you work your way up to them. It's often impossible to tell the difference between many of these crafts. It's as though the controls are purposely made to be inferior at the outset, as it gets a little easier to control some of the better planes later on. But no craft is ever in danger of being totally responsive.
You'll not only be dodging enemy fire and dogfighting with the A.I., but you'll be fighting the control system as well as the bad graphics to keep yourself alive. The ocean is especially notorious. It's just blue filler. At times it's impossible to tell how close you are to the water which can cause you to inadvertently crash. There is a HUD and it will give you accurate and useful information, but oftentimes it can be obscured by the annoying onscreen text. It's more distracting than that scrolling text at the bottom of screen on CNN which compels me to read while tuning out what the people are talking about.
As a member of the elite, peace-keeping council of the world, it's your duty to protect civilization against the tyranny of those that threaten the peace with nuclear weapons. To this end, you will seek and destroy all of the enemy's vehicles and weapons. You won't just be shooting down planes. Targets include tanks, jeeps, bases, ships, and antiaircraft guns. Using missiles, torpedoes, bombs, and guns, you have unlimited ammo at your disposal. You're going to need it since aiming is not very accurate, especially when it comes to dropping bombs. Drop as many as you can and hope for the best. The torpedoes find their target automatically, as long as you're in the ballpark. Heatseeking missiles should do likewise, but the A.I. is crafty. They launch flares to interfere with the missiles' sensors which lures them away from the plane.