I believe the last mech game that I got into was Mechwarrior 2, and that was a very, very long time ago. So I was hopeful that Front Mission Evolved would bring back the same feelings that I had for Mechwarrior 2. I immediately popped the disc into my console and started loading up the game; as it went through a long installation process I got more and more antsy. Finally, the game was ready and I started playing.
Front Mission takes place in 2171 AD when a mysterious army of wanzers (the name for mechs in this game) attack and destroy what is known as an orbital elevator (which is basically an elevator tall enough to reach space stations orbiting the planet). This in turn sparks a war between the OCU and the UCS. You play as Dylan Ramsey an engineer for Diable Avionics. While test driving your latest prototype wanzer you decide to take it for a spin and somehow never get in trouble for stealing a prototype mech.
Front Mission Evolved is an enthusiastic and faltering game that takes a huge ball of repetition and throws it in your face as if you were a starved puppy that only eats balls of repetition. Once you get used to the controls every fight can be won using the same strategy and it never really becomes very exciting or intense for that matter. The controls take a little getting used to but once you have it down it is very simple to navigate and dodge enemy attacks. Overall, this game is a piece of cake and even has respawning health and ammo power-ups allowing you to constantly retreat back to them during boss fights whenever your health gets low. On top of all this the boss wanzers take forever to defeat making the boss fights seem to go on and on as every boss seems to be able to take 100+ rockets to defeat. Not to mention they follow a repetitive order of attacks that become very easy to survive and dodge.
I found a number of things odd about this game. First of all the cut-scenes use the in-game engine and yet it seems that they failed to put the weapons you currently have equipped in your wanzer’s hand, and instead in every cut-scene your wanzer is holding your lame starting weapons. This really breaks the immersion while playing and it seems to me that since you are building movies with an in-game engine that you would be able to easily use the player’s customized mech in cut-scenes. Also, why no split-screen multiplayer? This game is practically screaming for a good couch co-op experience, unfortunately this concept never made it in Front Mission Evolved and instead we end up with a watered down multiplayer.
The graphics are decent although many of the textures seem kind of dull and boring, and character models have an anime feel to them. The voice acting is particularly bad and there are points where you can almost tell that the script was most likely translated to English. Many of the weapons sound weak and quiet compared to what you would expect and missiles only create tiny explosions.
If by some chance you can stand playing through the lengthy campaign you will realize that there is really no reason to play Front Mission Evolved ever again, and will most likely find yourself throwing it into the trade bin. This game lacks any real ambition, and you will find that it quickly falters your ambitions to play it.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.