Front Mission Evolved has always had a relatively small, but loyal following. In it's latest incarnation it ditches the turn based strategy of old, and goes for more of a 3rd person, action packed type of game play. Does it work in Front Mission's favor?
Front Mission Evolved Developer: Double Helix Games Publisher: Square Enix Released: September 28th, 2010
Very little of the old game remains, this is by all means a reboot to the series, and a well needed one. The game is now fast paced, and full of customization. The Mech's (called "Wanzers") have an assortment of pre-built units to choose from, but that's not where half of the fun is. You can fully tweak your own Wanzer to match whatever style of game play you enjoy. There are also seemingly endless possibilities to weapons. If you like Melee they have shields and sword type weapons. If you prefer ranged they have a huge assortment of ranged guns (assault, sniper, missile, ect....) and projectiles.
The missions themselves were fairly straight forward, and are heavily influenced by the politics of the in game world. The Wanzer's sometimes need to be customized to suit a specific mission. For instance, in one mission you have to boost (and be fast about it) to survive a collapsing environment. Obviously a slow, cumbersome mech like mine did not fair so well here, so I had to adapt and change. The controls for the Wanzer were also fantastic, I do not have a single complaint about them.
Where the single player game stumbled for me was when you get out of the Wanzer and play as the human inside. This game play was slow, and dreary. After making such a fast paced, enjoyable game, the human parts almost feel like they should have been left out of the final cut, or at least polished better. The controls were almost "janky" at times, they just felt very poor and inaccurate, I just didn't like the feeling of being out of the Wanzer. I found myself almost wanting to kiss my Wanzer when I finally got to get back inside.
The game also has four (very standard) multi-player modes. Death match, Team death match, supremacy and domination. My experience online has been limited, but everyone seems to want to play one of the two forms of death match. The waits were horrendous whenever I tried to get into a game as well. Things like this could get better in time when more people get online, but only time will tell. Overall, I was kind of disappointed by the multi-player, and probably won't be returning for quite some time.
The game itself is a fantastic reboot to the series. It will probably alienate some of the old fan base by changing its ways so much, but it's definitely worth a try. If you’re a fan of Mech games, this is definitely up there as one of my personal favorites in the last few years. You should give this a try if you get a chance.