Terrible. For those who want this game summed up in a word, that's it. A third-person shooter with acting straight from Resident Evil's cutting room floor, Ironfall is an ugly, cumbersome and often frustrating experience that you absolutely should not spend any time with.
As a cover-based shooter, Ironfall naturally takes many of its systems from Gears of War. Unfortunately, it does so with little finesse, lacking the basic understanding of the flow of action that made those games so good. For starters, the cover mechanics completely disrupt combat by only allowing you to exit by moving the stick away from whatever it is you're pushed up against. Depending on the camera position, this can be a clunky affair where you'll more often move to the left or right, potentially around a corner into the enemy's line of sight. Pressing the left stick twice in the same direction causes you to sprint, or quick-turn if you press back, so once frustration seeps in (which it no doubt will) you'll often sprint out of cover in completely the opposite direction.
The cover itself isn't particularly well thought-out, either. On many occasions I fired directly into, rather than over, boulders, barriers and whatever else I leaned against. There is the option to clamber over waist-height obstacles, but this feels like it is more often at the game's discretion than a general rule. There is also no way to snap from cover-to-cover, so unless you clear a room you're always vulnerable when pushing forward.
The troubles with the controls don't end there, either. The action/interact button doubles the trigger, so you'll often be shooting at command centres, doors and power boxes as well as innocent civilians simply because you're not close enough for the game to register your intent to interact rather than fire at what you're facing.
Once you become accustomed to Ironfall's cumbersome controls, you must then deal with the braindead enemy AI. When faced with the 'aliens' (called Dyxides, which look almost exactly like robots, but semantics is the least of this game's problems), they'll go from cowering behind objects to sprinting kamikaze-style straight for you. Enemies frequently face the wrong way, or run in the opposite direction to you, only acknowledging your existence once they're shot.
The shooting itself is little better, the sound of bullet hitting metal being as impactful as a coin hitting a tin can. Weapon switching is also a problem, as it takes forever. It won't be long before you're endowed with more weapons than the A-Team, but to change your gun you must press left and right on the D-Pad (or X/A) to cycle through them, then wait for the menu to disappear in order to actually change, leaving you vulnerable to fire.
If that wasn't enough, it doesn't help that characters also die far too quickly, which can also be attributed to a strange health system. Health is represented by heart rate, which fluctuates based on damage sustained, and slows when behind cover or through a break in combat. The problem is, when sprinting heart rate naturally rises, meaning if you run between rooms you'll be closer to death than had you walked. A potentially intriguing system, executed poorly.
Multiplayer, while functional, still suffers with the same issues as the campaign, aside from the stupid AI, of course. On the plus side, players are only equipped with two weapons, one light, one heavy, which actually serves the gameplay better than the overkill seen in the campaign.
Ironfall fails on every level. Everything about the game feels antiquated and outdated, from the visuals to the voice acting to the gameplay. Avoid.