What an odd paring of games for me to review this week. First it was Love Rocks Starring Shakira, and now Sniper X with Jason Statham. I’m really hoping next week brings Recipe Dash with Martha Stewart and Bingo Bounce with Bob Barker.

Seriously though, celebrity tie-ins aside, both Love Rocks and Sniper X would be games that could standout on their own, with or without the cartoon celebrity pop-ins. Particularly Sniper X.

In Sniper X, players take aim down the sights and scopes of various high-powered weaponry as they try and eliminate the targets presented to them in each level. With a short window of time to operate in, players must make every shot count and prioritize every target so they can complete the mission and collect their rewards. The rewards are used to upgrade the weaponry, to keep players well-armed against the increasingly dangerous foes.

Sniper X with Jason Statham review

Sniper X with Jason Statham does something that I’ve been wanting to see in these static-shooters since I started playing them on mobile devices: the game actually lets you customize your weapons. Instead of just upgrading the parts of the gun to increase the weapon’s overall power, players actually can upgrade their gun to tweak how the gun is used in the missions you utilize it in. For example, I customized my rifle so that I could use one suppression shot to take down the first enemy silently, and I also customized it so I could reload it much faster, allowing me to eliminate targets more efficiently. There are other options available, too: I could have chosen to add in more suppression shots, increased the zoom of my scope, the duration of my Focus ability, and so on.

Players only get a certain amount of customization points, so it really gave me a sense that I was upgrading my weapon on my own terms, rather than what the game happened to be forcing me to use. This is certainly a step in the right direction, and one which made my time with Sniper X with Jason Statham that much more enjoyable.

Sniper X with Jason Statham review

What I also liked about Sniper X was that the levels follow a rough plot line, and each level is based in a larger level. Instead of just being teleported from zone to zone, as was the case in Deer Hunter 2016, Sniper X has a main map that zooms down to ground level for each of the missions available in that area. So if you select the mission that is taking place at the front gate of an enemy complex, the camera zooms down and positions you facing the very gate you saw from the bird’s eye view, on the mission select screen. This element really makes the experience feel cohesive, and it gave me the sense that I was actually moving from position to position in the base clearing it out area by area.

Visually, Sniper X with Jason Statham is a treat. On my iPad Mini 2, the framerate held strong and the ragdoll effects utilized for dead enemies was a nice reward for landing a solid body or headshot. As for the audio, I should warn you, Jason Statham is pretty keen on dropping the F-bomb throughout the game. So if you’re playing this game around kids, or in public, you’ll want to keep that in mind.

Really, the only issue I had with the game was that the training missions I had to complete in order to collect the cash I needed to upgrade my weapons were super boring. While you do get to customize your weapon, you still need to upgrade it to keep up with the enemies who become harder after each set of levels. Sometimes the cash I collected from missions wasn’t enough to cover upgrade costs, so I was forced to participate in training missions in order to be able to afford the upgrades. The training mission was simply me standing at a firing range, shooting at targets that popped up in various positions. This was a big step backwards from the exciting experience that the regular levels presented me with.

Of course, the option exists to simply buy the currency I needed with actual money. So if the training missions get too boring for you, consider that option.

Sniper X with Jason Statham is a great static shooter that fans of the genre will have a good time with, not only because cool-guy Jason Statham is your mentor throughout the experience, but because the game itself is a really fun one.