Front Mission Evolved review
Don't bring a bread box to a Wanzer fight
+ You get to pilot a Wanzer
+ Intuitive Wanzer controls
- Dry plot
- Horrible character development
- Mediocre graphics
- Limited variety of enemies
- Confusing customization
- Bad on-foot
- Weapon models lack detail
- Non destructible environment
- Bad AI
Being a huge fan of Front Mission 3 I picked this up at EB Games for $64.99 +tax thinking that I'd give Square Enix another shot after FFXIII.
The game starts off well enough but you'll soon start to find the plot jumping hurdles leaving you wondering what the hell just happened. The plot seems to be full of holes but get filled in with other bits of information that just ends up seeming like one jumbled mess with you in the middle.
Character development goes from Adela protesting you joining to wanting to lock lips the next. You don't ever feel any sort of attachment or associations to the characters. It's very disappointing.
Combined with mediocre graphics and the fact that nothing within the environment is destructible aside from a few cars here and there and some other miscellaneous items on the road such as trees, it's all very linear. From point A to point B with a few Wanzers in your way, a helicopter here and there with a sprinkle of tanks and soldiers, the variety of enemies makes things a bit tedious until you get up to a boss/sub-boss fight.
When you customize your Wanzer, you might be confused with the customization. Until you get the hang of things you're not really sure what is the best option to buy, especially so when you first start out. Prices are items are confusing but if you guess that the lower on the list the item is, the better it probably is as well.
On missions where you're taken out of the Wanzer and put on foot you feel yourself wishing you were back in your Wanzer. While this does add variety to the game it feels more like a second thought that was poorly executed, especially with the enemy AI.
Weapon models for your Wanzer have very little details and end up just looking like lego blocks stuck together. I often find myself ooh'ing that I unlocked a new weapon, only to be disappointed with what it looks like. However, having two gatling guns on both shoulders and two machine guns all firing simultaneously is somewhat satisfying, even if it does take longer than you'd expect it would to take down another Wanzer.
Often throughout the game I wondered why they even bothered to put in friendly AI units. They do absolutely nothing except triggers world events such as unlocking doors so you can proceed to the next part of the map. During one boss fight a few small-fry Wanzers joined the fray and while I delt with the ones on one side of the map, my team was engaged with some on the other side. By the time I dealt with mines, took a few shots at the boss and headed over to my team, the ones they were "dealing with" had taken no damage at all, leaving me to kill them instead.
So far I have encountered two bugs where doors would not open and I've had to restart the entire mission. Overall, if you wish to buy the game, don't. I highly suggest renting it before you buy.