Clear Vision (17+) Review: Everyone’s Favorite Stick-man Got a New Job as a Hitman
Each week, developers try to outdo one another by bringing cutting-edge graphics and deep gameplay into the App Store. Occasionally it works, but more often we’re left wanting something like Clear Vision. This title from FDG Mobile strips things down to the essentials and delivers the same satisfying experience of its Flash predecessors. Clear Vision is raw sniping action accompanied by gritty drama, and it serves as a great example of what can be accomplished by sticking to the basics.
If you’re unfamiliar with versions of Clear Vision from days gone by, then think of it as Grand Theft Auto on a budget. While this sniping game isn’t even in the same realm as the visually-rich, variety-filled GTA, it does contain the same sense of humor and story-driven thrust… The saga of Tyler the stickman begins with his getting sacked from his job at a grocery store. After being let go by his unjust supervisor, what recourse does Tyler have but to take up arms and become a hitman? That’s what he does; however, the rest of Tyler’s story isn’t filled with wealth and security, because his new lifestyle is fraught with the consequences of his choices…
While the cutscenes, newspaper clippings, notes, and emails make up a big part of Clear Vision’s story, the heart of the game is found in the assignments, which invariably send Tyler out on the streets to take someone down. When this happens, you’ll find yourself staring through the scope of a sniper (of which there are five models in the game). Sometimes making the shot is as simple as tapping the screen and moving the crosshairs onto the head of the unlucky stick figure before firing. But Clear Vision follows a nice progression of increasing difficulty by forcing you to factor in wind and distance. The calculations are never overly complicated, but they do make for a more rewarding shot.
Speaking of the “rewards” to be found in Clear Vision, it should be said that the game definitely earns its “17+” disclaimer. FDG Mobile might be making a conscious effort to cater to more mature gamers, but the blood splatters and animations that accompany a well-placed shot are always good for a laugh or a gasp, as are the situations brought to your attention by clients. This is the business of killing, and everyone Tyler comes into contact with is entirely unapologetic about that fact.
As Tyler grows his “business,” there’s need to spend money on more advanced rifles. One way to get more money faster is to take your earnings to the underground boxing ring. It’s here that you can bet on red or blue and then watch an amusing stickman fight that ends in someone getting brutally bashed.
It’s difficult to say what makes all this nasty business so much fun… Surely, the humor is part of it. But there’s also a compelling story that ends with a cliffhanger and the promise of more to come. Is it simplistic and shallow? Absolutely, but aren’t those traits acceptable for a guilty pleasure such as this? Clear Vision is in an entirely different category than the 3D productions of some major studios. Let’s call it retro, for lack of a better word… But the ultimate test for an iOS game is whether or not we care when an update is released–one that brings new content and more challenges… When it comes to Tyler and the hole he has dug for himself, I can honestly say I’m interested in what happens, and I want to be staring through the scope as it unfolds. That’s enough for me to call this minimalistic effort a big success.
Our Score: 4.5 Out of 5