IRONFALL: Invasion

8.5 Overall Score
Graphics: 9/10
Gameplay: 8/10
Multiplayer: 8/10

Tecnicallily impressive engine | Rock Solid MP

Cheesy Voice Acting | Grenade Launcher in MP

Game Info




PLATFORM(S): Nintendo 3DS

GENRE(S): Third-Person Shooter

RELEASE DATE(S): February 26th, 2015

Most of you may not know who the team of three at VD-dev are, but I’m sure after the Nintendo Direct featuring IronFall: Invasion, you do now. The team wanted to bring a 3rd-person cover based shooter to the 3DS and they did just that, pretty successfully I might add. First on to the Single player campaign.

The story is your pretty basic sci-fi stuff, taking you on a journey across the world from Indonesia to the Southwest desert of Texas. You’ll be thrust in to the conflict with the Dyxide alien menace as Jim, the tough as nails Vet decked out in his fancy EX16 armor and Samantha Finch, his sassy partner and helicopter pilot. Their mission is to find a scientist by the name of Flemming before the Dyxide kill him. The story unfolds through cut scenes between missions and in-game conversations. This is the least impressive aspect of IRONFALL, as the voice acting is pretty bad. Think Resident Evil on PS1 and you get the idea (though I admit I enjoy the cheesiness of the whole thing).


On the gameplay side of things, IronFall plays just like any other cover based third person shooter, though the influence of Gears of War shows big time. Pretty basic controls: R trigger shoots, L trigger lets you aim. You have an active reload ZR that, with proper timing, will double the amount of bullets your clip holds, which becomes very necessary in the later levels and higher difficulty setting. Pressing the B button slams you into cover, giving you the ability to pop up and take shots at your foes, keeping you safe from enemy fire, as well as hopping up and over to continue your push forward. These mechanics are important because the AI in IronFall are actually very intelligent. They will take cover when necessary, press forward, and flank you. The ability to move from cover to cover with a prompt similar to the Gears sequels would have made the mechanic smoother, but its not a game breaker. Perhaps that will come in the Summer update VD-dev has planned.

Movement is controlled with the left C-stick and Camera controls are mapped to either the touch screen or, if you have the Circle Pad Pro or a “new” 3DS, they are mapped to the right C-stick, giving you the traditional controller feel. If you can find a Circle Pad Pro or have a “new” 3DS you have a leg up as the touch screen controls move slow even with the sensitivity cranked. You also have the ability to run by pressing the ZL button down to move across large distances.


On the graphical side of things IronFall: Invasion is a technical marvel. You’ll see lots of effects that are normally associated with engines and the extra horsepower the home consoles provide. Such effects range from normal and ambient occlusion maps, static and dynamic lights, depth of field and volumetric fog and more. All of this wouldn’t matter if the environments were boring and had no variety, but thankfully that is not the case. The environments are as varied as they are nice to look at. You’ll explore a mansion, underground base, the Southwest desert, a movie theatre, a volcano and more. IronFall stands right next to RE: Revelations as a showpiece of what the 3ds is truly capable of. All of this programmed by 3 people in Assembly.

With the 3-D off it runs at a silky smooth 60fps at all times, even with multiple effects and characters on screen, and with 3-D on the frame rated drops to about what looks to be 30 fps. I found myself switching between both at multiple times during my play time with the game, as both have their advantages and disadvantages. With the 3-D off you get a super crisp, super smooth gameplay experience that would feel right at home on your favorite home console. With the 3-D on you really get to appreciate the hard work that went into the engine. The Normal Maps really pop and it really helps in appreciating the depth of field and volumetric fog effects. Either way you cant go wrong and IronFall: Invasion is a site to be hold. As far as audio goes no complaints either. All the gun sounds have the appropriate heaviness as do the explosions and general sound effects. The rock soundtrack kicks in and up to help lend tension and intensity to each fire fight.


Now on to the multiplayer. All of the single player mechanics and bells and whistles transfer over to the multiplayer. IronFall offers up local and online MP options both of which have a 6 player limit and 6 characters to choose from. Your rank is based on credits which you earn by winning matches. Match types include Free-for-all, 2 teams of 2, 2 teams of 3, and 3 teams of 2 in deathmatch style setups. You are also given the options to play with friends or competitively with strangers as well as bet a portion of your credits to level up faster. There are 7 maps to choose from including the demo version of Tanks that you can play online before deciding whether or not you want to purchase the multiplayer portion of the game. The maps offer a good variety of open space and cover as well as some versatility in some. While spending time online had very little to no trouble finding matches and no latency issues while playing.

The only complaint I have is that sometimes the matches become Grenade launcher fests but those were a very small portion of the matches I played. IronFall also offers up a survivor mode found in the multiplayer section though it only seemed to be a single player experience.  While it may stick to the deathmatch formula in multiplayer it is still extremely solid online experience and is a hell of a lot of fun to play.

The Recommendation

IronFall: Invasion is one of the most technically impressive and full featured games you’ll find on the 3DS. Some may say it’s Gears of War “lite” and they are not wrong, but it is definitely not a bad thing. Gears is a great franchise and there was nothing like it on 3ds until now and that is a very good thing that hopefully we will see more of. When VD-dev first announced IronFall about a year and half it was a single player experience only after about a year long delay and a dark period (obviously spent developing the much demanded multiplayer) VD-dev has put together a solid and complete experience from head to toe. While the story and voice acting may not light the gaming world on fire they get the job done and besides gameplay is king in this technically impressive eShop title. While also giving gamers the choice to purchase the single player campaign, the multiplayer experience or both VD-dev shows great confidence in the game. I’d be hard pressed not to recommend this to fans of the shooter genre.



  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: Ryan Shiflett View all posts by
Life-long Nintendo fan who loves videogames from all genres, generations, and devs. Play games not Consoles.