Published on August 25th, 2023 | by S. Masoud Kazemi
Summary: Sprawl is a fun shooter but don't expect a good story or replayability value in it.
Fast and Furious
Sometimes all you need from a first-person shooter game is to be as straightforward as possible and let you enjoy shooting everything and blowing stuff up. This was FPS back when Doom and Quake first came out. All you needed was a good aim and fast fingers to constantly move around. That is basically SPRAWL, the latest game made by MAETH.
The game starts as you take control of a super-soldier named Seven hunted down by a soldier from a corporation. Then a mysterious voice starts guiding you until the very end of the game. Do not expect the story of the game to be amazing. There is a story but it’s not the game’s most powerful point nor it wants to be.
On the other hand, you won’t have a moment to take a breath once the combat starts. In combat, you have to use a mix of agility to move around quickly and use environment and fast-paced shooting and enemies that will test your reflexes. You will face the typical enemies in the game and as you progress a series of new enemies will appear as well.
The good thing about enemies is that they aren’t just more powerful as you progress. You need to change your tactics, and how you approach them, and even change your weapons to be more effective. You have seven different weapons, from pistol to shotgun, grenade launcher, and of course rail gun. They are balanced quite well by the scarcity of their ammunition. This way you have to switch weapons constantly which not only poses another challenge for the player but also keeps the gameplay fresh as you go on.
The tricky bit of Sprawl’s combat is to learn how to wall run. I have died more than a dozen until I got the hang of it. Since there is no edge grab mechanism in the game, you must jump high enough to land on the surface, which requires a good calculation on when to start the wall run, when to jump to the other side, and eventually jump at the right moment to land on the platform. But once you get the hang of it, it will become a great asset to help you in combat situations where you face more than twenty different enemies at the same time.
The reward system of the game is pretty similar to Doom. You shoot enemies, if they get stunned you can kill them with melee and get ammo, health packs, or adrenalin. There is a bullet time ability in the game that allows one to slow down time which can be very helpful when you are jumping on enemies or wall running. Personally, I was reluctant to use that much, because it slows the rhythm of the combat for me.
The level design of Sprawl is probably the best thing about it, especially in the areas where you have to face a lot of enemies. The placement of health packs, ammo, and armor is great. If you risk more you will get the ammo for a grenade launcher and full armor, but if you want to play it safe, you can pick up smaller armor and ammunition for a pistol or machine gun. And it’s not just about the placement of the items, the arena is designed in a way so that you can constantly move, without losing your pace or getting lost on where you are going.
For that particular reason, you can focus on your combat and then the movement becomes second nature. It surely takes some time to get the hang of it, but once you do then be prepared for the adrenaline rush as well. And then the metal music will be played to boost that adrenaline even more.
On the downside, however, Sprawl isn’t a memorable game nor does it have a replayability value. It’s a good shooter game to play for taking a break from all the big and mainstream shooters. But once you beat the game, there is nothing there so you would play it again in the near or distant future. The only reason you may want to play it again is for speedrunning and apart from that there are not solid reasons to do it.
Sprawl is a fun and fast shooter game that fans of the original Doom and Quake should not miss. The combat and the movement of the character are amazing. But once you finish the game, there isn’t any value in playing it again and the story isn’t strong enough to encourage you to play in the distant future as well.