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News: Front Mission Evolved Hands-On

Posted on : 02-10-2009 | By : | In : News

Hardware: ,

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Whilst we already posted a piece on someone else’s hands on impressions, a Mecha Damashii reader felt compelled to send us theirs from the Tokyo Game Show floor regarding the PlayStation 3 version. From the gameplay videos that have been going the rounds, the following report sounds pretty consistent. Considering the submission deadlines with console releases such as these, it’s doubtful that we’ll see many changes between now and the projected release date. So read on to hear the damage first hand (staunch Front Mission fans may need a stiff drink ready).

Main impression is that is felt like a sluggish FPS with some dashing tossed in. It didn’t feel like a mecha game at all. This is primarily because your movement doesn’t make you feel like you’re in a giant robot… it just feels like an FPS with the movement sensitivity toned down. There was horizontal boost movement and horizontal wheel movement, but both seemed to be very similar, save for the amount of time they were active. Boost movement is active for a long time, you hit a button to start and then press it again to stop, but you can’t quickly cancel it, so I kept running into walls while trying to use it to dodge stuff. The wheel movement was cool for quick lateral strafing, the distance you move seemed set, however.

Also, the weapon firing really lacks impact at this point. This includes the physical weaponry. It really just felt like an FPS, not a giant robot. I think you could see that by looking at the video though. I think I played as the “assault type”. It had a bazooka or something. But I remember mainly using my gun and my fist attack (nail attack? I can’t remember what they call it in FM).

There is a gauge for each of your body parts, but I don’t remember needing to pay attention to it very much. It also regenerates on its own but enemies also drop health packs that you absorb too. The demo had the health regeneration bumped up, so it didn’t seem to matter if you took a ton of hits. I guess this was so people didn’t die playing the demo. I do remember blowing enemy wanzer’s arms off, but it seemed to be there just to be there.

The best way to defeat everyone was just to run up and do a physical attack over and over again. You’re a bullet sponge, so it doesn’t really matter if they shoot you a bunch. The game tries to turn you towards your nearest target, but if you’re dashing it frequently misses. Again, I don’t know if this is for the demo or if it will change. I think you saw the enemy AI from the video, but they don’t really do much, just kind of stand there and shoot. A few of them do try to manoeuvre around the environment. Your buddy likes to get in the way, and there was no way to order him around that I could find.

Another thing that really felt “un-mecha like” was the total lack of environmental destruction. The environments were largely static, and although the explosions of the enemies and the sense of scale was OK, it was disappointing that everything stayed pretty pristine around me. No building destruction. Very little environmental destruction. Not even scuffs on walls. So it was just like I was trapped in little corridors, not even in a large environment or anything.

On foot stuff is really really unpolished, so I’m not sure if it’s a fair assessment to talk about it right now, but I remember clipping, a really laughable grenade that looked like it was clipping through walls and flew forward with no physics like it was 10 years ago. Also soldiers animations were floaty and buggy. So I think out of craft stuff is too unfinished to judge, honestly. But the aiming and shooting felt really third rate.

Then there is that super mode thing, I don’t know what it does but it’s very visually distracting. Anyway it’s very disappointing. Graphically it’s not necessarily horrible, but I don’t like the look. It just feels like the developers have no idea what they are doing, so they just made a corridor shooter with sluggish controls and called it a mecha game.

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Comments (2)

What a dissapointing article 🙁

Disappointing doesn’t even begin to describe it, I’ll take a few of those stiff drinks and go cry myself to sleep.

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