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Posted by Raine Hutchens on Oct 6, 2010

Review – Front Mission Evolved (Xbox 360)

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To be honest, I am very surprised that there are words on this page right now. It took everyone here at the office and a +3 Crowbar to pry me away from the television in order to write this. Front Mission Evolved has accomplished something that no game has for me in a long time – the ability to keep me playing for literal hours on end.

Front Mission Evolved comes to us from the fine folks at Square Enix, the very same responsible for the Final Fantasy series. I can’t wait to get into this review, so let’s jump in our Wanzers, boot up the data screen, and take a look at this amazing game.

Storyline and Game Info

Front Mission Evolved follows the story of a scientist named Dylan Ramsey, and it is set 50 years after the last Front Mission title.. In the beginning of the game we see Dylan piloting a mechanized suit-like weapon called a Wanzer. He is testing out a new weapons system called E.D.G.E. This new system slows down reality, becoming more in-tune with the pilot’s nervous system. While E.D.G.E. mode is active, all enemies slow down and players move a lot faster, allowing for better evades and more precision aiming.

A rebellion ensues shortly after we get to test out the mech controls, and it seems as if Dylan’s father is caught up in the mess. From this moment on players embark on a journey to rescue Dylan’s father (who created the E.D.G.E. system), and along the way pieces of the past are uncovered as Dylan becomes a hero for humanity as a terrorist attack decimates Manhattan.

Dylan meets some new friendlies, as well as enemies along the way to locate his missing father. I believe that the storyline is well written, and pretty inclusive to players. Players will learn a lot about the Wanzers they pilot, as well as the world as it exists in 2171.

Gameplay

The single player mode is deep, and this is where players will learn how to control their own customizable Wanzer. The game balances between in-mech battle, and on-foot third person combat. When on foot the game reminds me a lot of Mass Effect. The controls are solid, and the world is very fluid. Enemies aren’t overpowered, and strategy plays a serious key in each level.

Each Wanzer comes in many phases. There’s parts, weapons, pre-builts, and visual. Parts of the Wanzer consist of the torso, left and right arms, backpack, and legs. Wanzers can hoist weapons on the left and right shoulders as well as the left and right hands. There are numerous weapons to choose from, and weapon choices are crucial to combat. Players can outfit their Wanzers with rifles, shotguns, lifght and medium machine guns, melee weapons, shields, bazookas, rocket launchers, missiles, and gatling guns. Pre-built Wanzers are mechs that have been customized already to specific perimeters such as combat, speed, armor, and power. Players can change parts out to fit any combat situation, as well as mission. Have a hard-hitting mission? go for an assault Wanzer. Recon mission? Throw on some hover legs. the customization is endless. Players can even paint their Wanzers and put unlocked decals on them.

Front Mission Evolved also has a multiplayer mode. The multiplayer mode consists of deathmatch, team deathmatch, domination, and supremacy. Players can use their customized mech (they can have up to five), and enter combat to rank up and unlock new parts, all while trying to get to level 70. Some of the ranked online matches drag on, but the ability to skate around the map and the numerous weapon combinations make it fun to play.

One thing about the game that caught me was the motion capture for the characters. Square has done all they can within their power to make these characters as real as possible. The level of emotion in their faces, to the slightest mannerism is brought to a new level with this game. I found each cutscene fun and entertaining to watch. The characters are believable, and seem to operate in a world all their own.

The Verdict

I definitely think you should go pick up this game. I recommend it to mech lovers, and series fans alike. I had fun for hours with this game, and I have much more multiplayer to sink into. Now hardcore video game buffs may have a lot to “naysay” about this title, but I absolutely loved it. I definitely say that when it drops to about $30 bucks or so, it is a must buy. For now, I gotta get back to the battle people!

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