iPhone Life magazine

Trigger Fist vs. Critical Mission: SWAT — Who Will Survive this Virtual Shooter Showdown?

Critical Missions: SWAT ($2.99) from Critical Force Entertainment is a killer of a combat first-person shooter, especially if your thing is stalking through virtual settings (armed to the teeth) in order to blast in-game bots (or your online buddy's bots). The game physics are quite realistic, and the 3D scenes and graphics excellent. I did not go bananas over the control aspects, but after a few test runs started getting a better hang of it. Several modes of play are available: endless singular stalking/blasting or various team matches. Critical Missions: SWAT is a single bloody-minded combat game best enjoyed with a side of Foo Fighters at extremely high volume! 

But can it stand up to the most excellent Trigger Fist (Free) (reviewed previously here)? Inquiring shooters want to know... Here's how the two shake out in a side-by-side comparison!

  

I have long revered Trigger Fist as the pinnacle achievement of this game archetype for iOS, though Trigger Fist is actually TPS (while SWAT is FPS).

Trigger Fist is basically a version of combat "capture the flag" (or "goat" in this game's case) on the small screen. Critical Missions: SWAT, a relative newcomer to the 3D virtual shooter arena, is similar in objective — to find and kill other virtual players. 

Trigger has an extremely useful swipe/turn and auto-aim that CM SWAT does not share, which can make abrupt target sweeps more difficult in SWAT. To crouch or jump are additional on-screen soft buttons (though TF does not support jumping, crouching is another simple down/up swipe). I did not get the impression that enemy bots were as intelligent in SWAT as in Trigger; more like constantly roaming enemies akin to 3D Pac-men, and the zombies acted pretty much like zombies (they keep coming at you at various rates of progress). None of these rather minor differences affected my enjoyment of CM SWAT one bit. The game is still a high-octane combat blast, though its developers might want to consider some of the afore-mentioned tweaks!

What SWAT currently has over Trigger Fist is the in-game chance to pick up new weapons, although I occasionally found myself completely out of ammo with no choice but to continue running around like a dork (until a bot mercifully put me out of my misery). I could not seem to switch to hand-to-hand mode, so not sure if that's even an option (which is easy in Trigger Fist, where you basically smack your enemy with the butt of your weapon). As you may note from the video above, the ballistic visuals are very, ahem, artistically rendered.

CM SWAT also has a refined set of landscapes and gameplay modes. The play is faster, allowing full navigation over and around 3D in-game objects — you can run and jump, aim in all virtual directions. Lot's of game customization and flexibility not available in TF (6 different game modes, cross-platform, and local or global network gaming). 

As you kill your virtual enemies in CM SWAT, of course you earn points, which can be used to upgrade to more permanent high-end firepower. You can even record your gameplay, play it back, and evaluate your zombie striking prowess, send in-game messages to your buddies. The game has a ton of cool features like this. Sooooo...who is the 3D shooting victor?

The Verdict

I have to give Trigger Fist its props, but definitely digging CM SWAT too! I'd say for long-term achievement, I won't stop playing TF any time soon, but the much more varied CM SWAT will keep me coming back for more virtual destruction too. I can't say that CM SWAT is as overall refined as Trigger, but it comes close and exceeds in more than a few areas. I have to call this one a draw, but you can't go wrong with either... Why not get 'em both!

Critical Mission: SWAT Pros:

  • Varied virtual 3D settings;
  • Full 3D movement and action;
  • Excellent supporting features like game recording and chat;
  • No IAPs.

Critical Mission: SWAT Cons:

  • Not free;
  • Predictable computer enemies;
  • Control clutter and wonkiness.

Trigger Fist Pros:

  • Free;
  • Excellent and simple control;
  • Smart enemies and team dynamics;
  • Lifelike game action (you die very easily when shot, like in real life).

Trigger Fist Cons:

  • Hard work for weapon/player upgrades and achievements (unless you cheat and IAP);
  • Fewer virtual landscapes (unless you buy the one expansion pack);
  • IAPs;
  • No Zombies.
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Nate Adcock's picture

Nate Adcock is a system and integration engineer with experience managing and administering a variety of computing environments. He has worked extensively with mobile gadgets of all shapes and sizes for many years. He is also a former military weather forecaster. Nate is a regular contributor for the iphonelife.com and smartphonemag.com blogs and helps manage both websites. Read more from Nate at natestera.drupalgardens.com or e-mail him at nate@iphonelife.com.