Shark Punch is a transatlantic game development company responsible for Playfield and The Masterplan. Does Masterplan heist away our hearts or will we forever keep it behind bars? Lets prepare ourselves and find out.
The Masterplan is a 2 d heist – real time strategy game with a top down perspective , taking place in the 1970s where Richard Nixon is in power and has declared war on crime. The story unfolds where you play as criminal masterminds that plan heist after heist in hopes of eventually scoring the big one all while sticking it to the man. The ambiance of the game makes it feel like you are in crime flick as the main syndicate. The player is the heist planner and it is up to them to succeed or fail the heist.
The Masterplan has a steep learning curve with the controls being hard to adjust to and can lead to a lot of early mistakes , this can cause you to reset heist or lose all together. The game is unforgiving in that if you make one mistake the current run is as good as done and that could be frustrating to some, while to others it is a challenge of trial and error, learning the patterns the place inside and out like a real professional can help you plan out your master plan. Each heist is completely different from the last, making this game have great diversity in this kind of scenario, anywhere from robbing a kiosk, to gunning down an enemy gang lord’s hideout and stealing everything possible.
Next, let us discuss the graphics, if you love the grand theft auto top down type style this game will not disappoint. The game’s art style is akin to the 2d style we know and love from the top down perspective visual, a great style for this type of crime induced game. Each of the scenarios look and feel like they are designed the way they are meant to be.
The Game play is really well done for this type of genre as well, utilizing the point and click mechanic to designate where you want your characters to move, while many may think this breaks the immersion of being a professional criminal it also allows for some amazing moments to shine with the slo-mo feature. The slo-mo feature helps your plan out tremendously, using this at the right times can make or break a run, slo-mo as implied slows down time so you can set up your goons in the appropriate way, making for the perfect setup to hold someone hostage or trap them within a parameter of gunfire. Some zones have security cameras which need to be deactivated through switches or circuit breakers, you can bash the breakers or flip the switches in certain situations but, be careful not to alert anyone while doing so. You can kill everyone in sight or take the silent route either way each area has replay ability in this regard. There is only one thing that takes away from this game and that is the occasional crashing that happens during missions or loading screens, this can lead the player to even more frustration.
The Audio of this game is pretty interesting as well, gunfire from different guns sound exactly like you would imagine, anywhere from a silenced pistol with a very delicate sound to a shotgun’s forceful impacted blast makes for some amazing sound bits. The sound of fisticuffs also sound Devastating, imagine a boxer’s glove hitting you with a straight jab that is the sound a player will here when punching someone. My personal favorite sound is the hostage holding sound, when you make someone hold up their hands in that situation, you hear a gritty, gruff , and manly “Hold it!” the sound is humorous and really well done. All in all the sound of the game for being so simple is also really good at defining what each sound is meant for, that alone is great enough to make the sound stand out in this game.
The music is also well done for this type of game, each scenario has its own unique song that helps describe the zone the player is within, an example your hideout has a chill melody that makes you feel relaxed and safe, while areas like the bank have a more crime style song letting you know things are about to go down. Each musical score represents the zone it is matched with perfectly making this game even more satisfying.
In conclusion, The Masterplan is amazingly well detailed, anywhere from its charming 2 d top down graphics to its outstanding sounds and music this game is truly a gem ripe for the taking. The game is challenging to the point of frustration at times and has the occasional crash to desktop but, the pros highly out way the cons. The replay ability is very strong in this game for a simple reason there are multiple ways you can plan each heist. The verdict is in and the game’s plea is guilty of being way too fun and addicting for its own good.