Front Mission Evolved PC Review
For those of you who, like us, regularly exhibit signs of downright laziness, Front Mission Evolved supplies an expansive selection of powerful and expensive prebuilt wanzers which span categories like Sniper, Engineer, Light Assault, Ballistic and Heavy Assault. It makes the ordeal of twiddling with your own wanzer (uh-oh) obsolete and basically allows you to get stuck in without having to engage your frontal lobes at all. And that's a good thing -- because you'll need all the brain power you can muster for the boss battles.
See, these boss battles more often than not boil down to a war of endurance against too-fast, too-powerful, and too-obnoxious centrepieces which could have been so much more. We guarantee that towards the end of the campaign you'll either be completely immune to the cheapness being displayed, or utterly sick to death of daft boss encounters that smack of poor design. Personally, there are only so many arena battles we can stand.
It's handy, then, that Front Mission Evolved's strongest suit comes in the form of its enjoyable online shenanigans. It's far from perfect by any stretch, but it attempts to borrow bits and bobs that nearly all of this generation of action gamers will feel at home with, and indeed, will crave in their online bullet-fests. There’s an unfortunate lack of any decent matchmaking though, which becomes a real pain for new comers as there’s literally no chance of getting a balanced match.
If you had a walking German tank disguised as panda, would it be a Wanderpanzerpanda?
Another disappointment is the fact that the pre-built wanzers are the only ones available in multiplayer, rather than customised mechs. There's no "Dave's big custom wanzer" allowed, which at least puts folks on some
kind of level pegging.
Front Mission Evolved borrows the levelling up system of most modern shooters, but it’ll take aeons for anyone to level up to Rank 70. When you do there’s nothing to do except hit the familiar Prestige switch and start from scratch, all for the sake of a little blingy icon next to your name and a new emblem to stick on your wanzer's breast pocket. If you are feeling particularly masochistic, this process can be repeated multiple times. No, really.
Game types are split four ways between vanilla Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Domination and Supremacy. Without hesitation, Team Deathmatch is where Front Mission Evolved excels. Four-on-four wanzer action (oh lord!) can actually result in some rather stimulating team-work and highly enjoyable, over-the-top encounters. The feeling of stomping out the opposition's lights whilst working as a well-oiled team is exhilarating and should be one of the chief reasons for playing the game in the first place.
Other modes are good in their own right, but can be let down by the default settings. The area-control Supremacy mode, for example, lasts a minimum of 10 minutes and start to feel a little long in the tooth pretty fast.
Mecha games are not everyone's cup of tea, but what really hurts Front Mission Evolved is that, even if you’re a fan of the genre, there are still better games out there to have a go with. Fundamentally it ticks all the boxes, especially when it comes to customisation options, but there’s nothing really new on offer – and what is there is poorly balanced.
However, Front Mission Evolved
gets enough stuff right to warrant a look-see. Just make sure that you enter into this particular bargain very much aware of this wanzer’s shortcomings.