I enter a store and head for the counter. I say, “Nice store. You need some protection.” The guy behind the counter looks at me and says, “My protection is waiting for you outside.” I get my gun ready and run out into the parking lot. I see a group of enemies come closer. They start to shoot at me. Bullets fly everywhere.

Shakedown: Hawaii brings together the open world action genre and idle empire building which works incredibly well alongside the humor in this game. You play the game as The CEO, an older entrepreneur struggling to understand the digital world, his son, Scooter, an aspiring DJ who joins a gang for street cred, and the CEO’s Consultant, a one man killing machine who travels the world to take land from cartels.

With each character you get a range of different missions based on their backstory. However, when it comes down to free roaming I found myself not switching between the characters because even though they had different weapons and vehicles I didn’t really notice a dramatic difference. However, they did each have their own personal upgrades including double jump and speed boost.

There are three game modes to play. The first is a story mode, where you learn and progress the story of all three characters. There is also an arcade mode where you can play the mini games. I liked this one because I was able to focus getting higher scores and going for gold medals for each one. The final mode is a free roam mode. I was very disappointed with this mode because I was expecting the main game without the story. However, I couldn’t buy any shops so it literally is just a map to walk around.

The story mode missions were very quick and to the point. I went through 11 missions in the first 45 minutes. To an extent I really liked this because it meant that I didn’t need to invest a lot of time into the missions and if I had a spare 30 minutes I knew I could play Shakedown: Hawaii and get a few missions done. However, I feel like a lot of the missions were too easy. I think that a harder difficulty setting could improve that.

The island was very well constructed. It has different sections to it from residential to retail to the beach to parks etc. I really enjoyed traveling around the island especially with the different ways you can travel. You can drive a car or bike, you can drive a boat and leap over bridges and they used the subways as a fast travel feature.

The game is top down third person angle that reminded me of the older Grand Theft Auto games. At first I found the driving very hard because of the angle of the screen. It did not take me long to learn the mechanics. I would have liked the waypoint tracker to be on the road instead of only being on the mini map because I found myself running people over, crashing and hitting cop cars a lot due to me having to look away from the road.

I loved the look of the trailer. The open world looks huge with many different areas to explore, many buildings to enter and lots of NPCs to interact with. The open world wasn’t as big as I was expecting but it was big enough to explore and put at least 15 hours if not more into the game. The amount of enterable buildings made the game feel much bigger especially with the shops you can buy things from and the character customisation available.

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