Review – Afterpulse (Switch) –

The Switch’s library has a glaring lack of military shooters. That’s not to say we wouldn’t love to see developers tackle some classics like the old Battlefield games, or for smaller teams to come up with interesting ideas to fill the void. Afterpulse tries to fill that need by being a port of a (presumably) popular mobile game. Unfortunately, not so much.

The Afterpulse aiming device is so absurd that the game seems to run itself.

It’s hard to find an interesting introductory description for a game like Afterpulse. Have you ever played the countless multiplayer shooter games available on the iOS App Store? It doesn’t matter if it’s a third-person game or a first-person shooter. It doesn’t matter if it’s Modern Combat or PUBG. You’ve seen and played many games like Afterpulse. Unfortunately, this game feels like yet another generic shooter that brings nothing new, with no artistic vision or content.

As a direct port of a mobile game meant for even weaker hardware than the Switch, don’t expect Afterpulse to amaze you with its graphics or sound effects. It’s a mid-range game for the PlayStation Vita, even though Call of Duty has been criticized : Black Ops: Declassification seems more impressive in comparison. In portable mode, the combination of a small screen and surprisingly competent framing can put Afterpulse on the verge of being acceptable, but don’t you dare play it on a big screen. It’s just not pretty, with textures and lighting effects scattered everywhere.

As far as gameplay goes, this is a standard three-person online shooter. It offers absolutely nothing to offline players, other than the worst training scenario I’ve ever seen. Of course, it has its share of fads. And the fact that it supports cross-play means you can still get into the game even if it turns out to be a flop in the online store. I must congratulate the developers on this: It only took me a few seconds to get into the game and mow everyone down in my very first online game. And no, it’s not because I’m a goddamn shooter. I have to blame the controls on the Switch version.

Shadow effects? Where we’re going, we don’t need any shadow effects!

Afterpulse has built-in controls for shooting in third person, but it also has the most flawed and unfair aiming system I’ve ever seen in my life. In this game, you don’t have to have an ounce of talent to score some kills in your first match. The aiming aid is so absurd that if you just point the right analogue stick, you’ll automatically aim at the nearest enemy, no matter how far away they are from you. There is no strategy. It doesn’t matter how overloaded the opponent is: This useless aiming device kills everyone in sight with amazing accuracy.

This means you’ll level up pretty quickly, unlocking a host of new weapons and cosmetics. However, I can’t say that I liked the progression system in Afterpulse. The lack of a story or even a paragraph explaining why we shoot each other made it impossible to connect with the game. I saw no reason to keep unlocking new gear, since the settings were uninteresting and I could win most games with the aiming aid.

Why use a telescope if the game does the targeting for you?

Afterpulse is only recommended if you own a Switch and have a terrible, desperate, uncontrollable need for an online military shooter, and really have no desire to play a similar game on another platform. Thanks to its mobile roots, it may not be the worst game in the world, but it lacks miserably in inspiration and variety. It’s like software completely devoid of artistic integrity. I doubt we’ll ever see a Battlefield or Call of Duty game on the Switch, but Afterpulse doesn’t fit as a replacement for those games either.

It looks borderline acceptable when played in handheld mode, but unforgivably dated and boring when played in dock mode. It looks exactly like its mobile counterpart, and that’s not exactly commendable. The controls themselves are not too bad. They are quite responsive and the frame rate is stable. However, this goes beyond the ordinary. The amount of aiming is so absurd that you only need to aim at an enemy to kill them.
Afterpool’s soundtrack is reasonable, but generic. It’s also very compressed. The sound effects serve their purpose, but they are nothing special. Afterpulse is only recommended if you’re desperate for military multiplayer action on the Switch. This game is as diverse and uninspired as it gets. It’s not badly made or broken, but it’s good….. There are…
Last block : 4.5

Afterpulse is now available on Switch and on mobile.

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A copy of Afterpulse was provided by the publisher.

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