Heavy Weapon: Atomic Tank

2007 is going to be a sterling year for Xbox Live Arcade, with Jeff Minter’s Space Giraffe, Castle Crashers, Worms, EA’s Fantavision clone Boom Boom Rocket and the Trickstyle-style Street Trace NYC all shaping up to be essential downloads. Heavy Weapon, however, doesn’t get this year’s offerings off to a good start.

Heavy Weapon: Atomic TankFirst impression: it’s Space Invaders, only with tanks and aeroplanes. Second impression: ah, it’s not like Space Invaders at all because the screen scrolls from left to right.

The odd thing is that there are no hills or dips or anything – the landscape is totally flat. As such all you need to do is point and shoot, occasionally moving out of the way of falling bombs. The only skill to learn is not destroying the white helicopters as they drop helpful power-ups.

Your firepower accumulates and rolls over from one level to the next, so by the time you reach level 19 your tank is capable of spewing out more RPGs than Square-Enix. It might not be much to look at – you can tell it was originally a Flash game from a mile away – but at least the developers have thought to include extras, such as a couple of four-player modes. In Arms Race you’re given three lives, while War Party goes on until everybody dies at the same time. Hmm.

Some might find Heavy Weapon’s simplicity a boon; we simply didn’t. In the light of Assault Heroes it seems too much of a step backwards.

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