Convoluted would be a fair assessment. Heavy Weapon begins life as a competent side scrolling game in which you control Atomic Tank, a tank (obviously) armed to the tracks with all manner of weaponry and tasked with destroying the entire air force of a large continent. What further story there is is told briefly through static images and subtitles and is about as necessary as Aviators in a hurricane.
Everything looks nice enough with each zone boasting its own unique vibe and there are countless waves of differing planes all begging for an explosive death. Thanks to a slick control scheme it’s easy to oblige, the camera moves slowly on its own accord while you control the tank with the left stick and the weapons (which all fire at once) with the right stick in a similar vein to Geometry Wars without the vertical axis of movement.
The screen quickly becomes inundated in explosions, missiles, smoke, colour, and general confusion though as dozens of planes cause a skyline traffic jam to detrimental effect. With Atomic Tank capable of withstanding just two attacks (none from the horrendously cheap instant-kill nuclear missiles frequently dropped) and so many enemies firing at once, poor old Atomic Tank quickly becomes the feeble rabbit caught in the proverbial headlights. Surviving the lengthy levels with no checkpoint system and just three lives is a brutal challenge and with enemies capable of destroying you instantly, some without even having to directly hit you, Heavy Weapon swiftly descends from the casual fun it should be, into a contemptible waste of 800 points.
Adding another three players increases the chances of advancing, if only because if you all aim upwards and move from side to side firing incessantly the chances of a plane or missile emerging through twelve streams of gunfire is suddenly slim. But again, with so much on screen you’ll lose track of which tank is yours and the game becomes a vaguely interactive exhibition of colour and befuddlement that only survives as long as you’re willing to point one analogue stick to the right and another pointing upward.
Geometry Wars does this all better, despite appearing dissimilar the principle is nearly identical and of a higher quality than Heavy Weapon. Avoid.