Swap Fire Review
Swap Fire, for the Wii U eshop, isn’t your typical first person shooter. When you shoot at someone in Swap Fire, you switch places with that person! Swap Fire is a first person shooter with a small puzzle game element. Its a very unique and interesting concept. But is it a good game?
There isn’t much to Swap Fire’s story, but the way in which the story is presented (see graphics) is unique and interesting. I do wish that the single player’s storyline was more like the multiplayer storyline. I think making the single player like Portal wasn’t the best way to go. Its too bad that the single player didn’t find you going through rehearsals for the game’s multiplayer “reality show”. With any first person shooter though, the story is far less important than the gameplay. So how is Swap Fire’s gameplay?
There are two modes of play in Swap Fire: multiplayer and single player. I want to talk about the multiplayer first, since it really is the main reason people should be interested in this game.
There are several games to play in Swap Fire’s multiplayer mode. You play these games through tournaments. Each game uses Swap Fire’s unique and intersting swap concept and the games work well. There is a little preview of how to play each game before you jump into them. However, the player isn’t given the option to customize these tournaments or play the games separate from the tournaments. It would have been great to choose a game, select a time limit, and give each player a name. Not being able to give each player a name especially bugs me because I didn’t always remember what my color was, so I wasn’t sure who was winning or losing in a match. Overall, the lack of options for the multiplayer hold things back a bit, but if you have a Wii U gamepad and classic/pro controllers you should have fun anyway.
Swap Fire’s Wii U gamepad controls are really good. I imagine it plays well with the classic/pro controllers too but I didn’t get a chance to try those out (since I don’t own those controllers). I did get to try out the game’s Wii remote controls and I recommend that everyone avoid playing the game that way. The Wii remote controller does not work well with Swap Fire at all. For some reason, you can not use the Wii nunchuk , and so have to play Swap Fire holding the Wii remote sideways. Swap Fire just seems strange without its good analog controls. I won’t say that the controls were broken, you can play the game with the Wii remote, but its very awkward (especially trying to walk around with the d-pad). The best way to play Swap Fire is with the Wii U gamepad in my opinion.
With the gamepad, Swap Fire offers off-tv play, plus it offers something that other multiplayer games on the Wii U rarely do: the ablity to have one person playing on the gampad and another playing on the TV. I’m not a fan of split screen, so I loved this option. There are a whole bunch of other options for TV/Gamepad play too. While the multiplayer isn’t perfect, it is fun and if you have a bunch of friends, it would definitly be a blast. Though, I had fun playing the game with just the bots too. I wish I had as much fun playing the game in single player mode.
I don’t hate the single player mode, in fact, it works ok as a tutorial for the multiplayer, but it just doesn’t work that well as a single player option. The hallways and tutorials of Swap Fire were just boring compared to the wide open spaces on the multiplayer section. As mentioned in the story section, it would have been great if the single player had been tied into the multiplayer, instead of going with a Portal inspired section. Even so, I would recommend playing the single player in order to get a better handle on the game’s swapping and the controls overall.
The multiplayer in Swap Fire is fun though. I wish I had had more people to play the game with in order to test it even more. I played two-player mode and liked how each of us had a screen. I would had more fun if I hadn’t used the Wii remote though. I think if you have a bunch of friends, some classic/pro controllers, and want a unique first person shooter, then you could do worse than Swap Fire. Even the game’s graphics are better than some first person games we’ve seen previously on Wii U.
Swap Fire’s graphics, especially in single player, will draw some comparison to Portal. While the graphics are not as good as Portal, they are good for a download game on the Wii U. We haven’t seen many first person titles on this system and out of the ones we have seen, I’d say Swap Fire is one of the best looking ones. However, I think the comic book style cutscenes are the real standout of the graphics. I wish that the regular graphics were more in line with these cutscenes. What I mean is, I think Swap Fire would have looked really nice with a more cel-shaded or comic book art style. As it stands, the comic book cutscenes are defintely the best part of Swap Fire’s graphics.
As for the game’s soundtrack, it not too bad. The music and sound effects are not really memorable, but they are not horrible either. Perhaps the biggest standout sound wise is the voice acting. In single player, the voice stands out badly. I didn’t think the voice acting was very good there. In multiplayer though, the voice acting is better and helps set up the game’s story and multiplayer very well. Swap Fire is a good game overall.
Swap Fire is a good game, but only if you have a bunch of friends to play with or don’t mind playing the multiplayer with bots. The single player section in Swap Fire could have been better, though I suppose it could have been far worse too. The best things about Swap Fire are its Wii U gamepad controls, comic book style cutscenes, and its multiplayer section. Just make sure you don’t use the Wii remote to play this game! As long as you have a bunch of classic/pro controllers handy, you should definitely download this game and invite your friends over. Swap Fire is a good addition to the Wii U eshop.
Thanks to Jeremy Alessi for providing a review code of this game. Swap Fire is currently available on the Wii U eshop.
- Nice Cutscenes
- Unique Gameplay
- Fun Multiplayer
- Multiplayer is great fun, and when it works more consistently will be definitely worth checking out.
- Single Player is Boring
- Horrible Wii Remote Controls
- Needs More Multiplayer Options