Going into Front Mission Evolved I wasn’t sure what to expect. I normally am not the biggest fan of mech games, however, Square Enix and Double Helix Games have done a great job with this title. Long time fans of the series, or of this genre in general, might not like some of the changes that were made in the latest title, however, Square Enix has made it a lot more accessible. The game is much more like a third person action game as opposed to the tactical type of game play that the series is generally known for. There were definitely times when it felt a little like Lost Planet with the difference being this game actually worked pretty well and was fun.
In Front Mission Evolved you assume the role of Dylan Ramsey, a civilian who joins the army to try and save his father. As you progress through the game you are trying to break through enemy lines to find out about your father’s fate, while at the same time, trying to defend your home from an attacker you know nothing about. As cities come under attack, and orbital elevators start getting destroyed, the leaders of the world turn on each other, accusing each other of the attack that just hit their own homeland. It isn’t long before war breaks out and you are caught in the middle of it. You have a Wanzer at your disposal which you can use to cause havoc. Wanzers are essentially customizable mechs that you will you use throughout the campaign. In between missions you can customize your Wanzer to make it more powerful and more efficient, as long as you have the money to do so. You earn money by killing enemy combatants in missions and finding cash strewn around the environment. You can choose the types of weapons you have on each arm as well as the weapons that you have on each shoulder. You will also have to balance the power that your Wanzer needs with the weight that it is able to carry. If you don’t want to mess with customizing your Wanzer there are pre-built mechs that you can purchase as well so that you can immediately jump into action.
Going through the game I can see that there are going to be able who get annoyed with the repetitiveness of the mission structure. For me personally I thought it was mixed up pretty well. You aren’t always in your mech storming through a city. There are times where you need to get out of the mech to go into a building or whatever so you get out of your Wanzer and proceed on foot. There are other times where you are in a transport vehicle and you have to get on a gatling gun to take out the enemies below you. It changes things up so you never really get too bored with what you are doing, which I appreciated. The controls for Front Mission Evolved are done pretty well although there were a couple of times where I had to push a button a couple of times to get something to work. The developer did a good job of not making the controls feel as clunky as other mech games. There were also some times when my Wanzer would continue to walk forward even after I took my hand off the analog stick. It’s always annoying when this happens because you might accidentally walk into an enemies line of fire and get taken out.
Front Mission Evolved also features online multiplayer. You have the standard ranked and private matches, as well as the Intel Center where you view rank and progress in assignments and commendations. There are four different game types with deathmatch, team deathmatch, domination and supremacy. In deathmatch the person with the highest number of kills wins and in team deathmatch it is the team with the highest number of kills. For Domination you take control of turrets and destroy the opposing team’s turrets to win. Finally, if you choose Supremacy, you fight for control of a single moving capture point. There are five different maps for you to choose from and you can the points required as well as how long the match will be. Unfortunately there aren’t many people playing online and I couldn’t connect to the game so I can’t speak about how well the multiplayer plays or whether there is any lag or not.
Front Mission Evolved is an enjoyable third person action title. I can see that some people are going to have issues with it, especially if you liked the formula from previous entries in the series. I enjoyed the new approach though and had fun going through this title. It’s not an exceptionally long title and it is probably one that you can beat within a day or two. I question the replayability of this title, especially given the fact that I couldn’t connect to a multiplayer game. Overall I enjoyed my time with the title though and I urge people to give it a chance. Even if you haven’t enjoyed mech games in the past, you should still check this one out. It might just surprise you.
Originally posted on Totally Gaming Network