Ironfall Invasion broadens the library of the 3DS as one of the few third-person shooters on the system.  The game is done by a studio (VD-DEV) with some serious technical chops.  Ironfall Invasion continues that legacy by providing a pretty impressive visual experience on the 3DS.  The game is also free-to-play and features the ability to buy the multiplayer mode, campaign mode, or both for a discounted price.

Ironfall Invasion’s gameplay is very similar to games like Gears of War.  Obviously there are a lot of third-person shooters out there but it fits more closely with Gears of War in terms of pace and how the camera locks on to the player.  The main character’s armor also has a striking resemblance to the bulky characters from the Gears of War series.  The movement is very fluid and players can choose to sprint as well as walk at a regular pace.  Players can hide behind barriers and then shoot from cover.  There wasn’t a blind firing option which would’ve been nice for those close encounters around corners.  I also found myself in a pickle at one point and needed some ammo but I wasn’t able to pick up some ammo while behind a barrier.  Hopefully those little things will be fixed in a future update.  The aiming in the game felt very fluid (I was playing on a New 3DS XL).  For those playing without the aid of the C-stick, it may be a bit harder to control.  Ironfall Invasion doesn’t require the C-stick but it does help tremendously.  I also found the ZR/ZL buttons a fast way to reload and sprint.


Some might wonder how Ironfall Invasion takes advantage of the 3DS’ features and I’m glad you asked!  The touch screen has buttons to reload and cycle through weapons but it also shows your character’s heart rate.  It’s essentially your life gauge throughout the game.  Your health will automatically refill but if your heart rate gets over the threshold, your character dies.  Thankfully the game has a generous checkpoint system and I rarely had to replay much of an area.  The game fully supports stereoscopic 3D which is a huge plus.  The game runs at a slower frame rate with 3D turned on (looked to be 30fps).  With the 3D turned off, the game looks to run at a full 60fps which is pretty amazing.

The visuals in Ironfall Invasion are a bit of a mixed bag.  On the one hand, the graphics are very impressive for the handheld, but I never felt like the texture detail was up to par for what I was seeing.  Games like Resident Evil Revelations and Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon look to have more detail and even color than Ironfall Invasion.  I usually don’t compare visuals to other games but that is a major selling point for Ironfall Invasion.  As it is, the visuals are very impressive but the environments feel very drab and lifeless.  The occasional alien encounter mixes things up but I just felt like I was meandering through emptiness most of the time.  Oh, and the in-game voice acting is tepid at best.  The lines don’t have much, if any, emotion.  I would just turn the volume down and stick to the captions.


Ironfall Invasion features a full campaign and also multiplayer as well (up to 6 players).  Players can play both locally and online in a couple of different modes: free-for-all and then team deathmatch with various team setups (3 teams of 2 or 2 teams of 3).  The multiplayer is actually a lot of fun but it probably won’t entertain players for a long time with the limited selection of levels and modes.

As a free-to-play game, I would definitely download Ironfall Invasion to test it out at the very least.  You can try out both the campaign and multiplayer modes and the game will also keep track of your save game file if you decide to purchase the full game.  Like I mentioned above, the game can be a bit bland and the gameplay does get dull after awhile, but it’s definitely worth checking out for yourself.