Front Mission Evolved Multiplayer Hands-On – Domination Mode Plus More Single-Player Details

Posted on September 9, 2010

We sit through a demonstration of a handful of new single-player levels, and then try our hand at the game’s multiplayer.

Front Mission Evolved is the next chapter in the series, and as you probably know by now, the new game will be a third-person shooter–a change of pace from the hybrid strategy role-playing gameplay we’ve previously seen from the Front Mission games. You play as Dylan Ramsey, a young engineer and pilot of a wanzer–Front Mission’s giant, gun-toting mechs. Over the course of the game, Ramsey gets embroiled in the war between the United Continental States, which the young robot jockey joins, and the mysterious Sword of Damocles (SOD) faction. Over the course of the game, Ramsey will not only unlock his potential as a pilot, but he will also discover the secret of “edge,” a hidden wanzer power that, when fully charged, slows time and doubles Ramsey’s damage output.

Our session included a hands-off demonstration of three single-player missions followed by a brief hands-on with the game’s multiplayer. We’ll cover the single-player missions first. Evolved offers a mission-based single-player adventure that chronicles Ramsey’s journeys both in a wanzer and out of one (the game has a handful of on-foot missions that play like more of a conventional third-person shooter), though fortunately for the young soldier, more often than not, he’ll be accompanied by one or more computer-controlled allies who will provide backup fire while you scramble out of harm’s way to replenish your vehicle’s shields. Wanzers have four primary body locations–shoulders, left arm, right arm, and legs (the first three can be mounted with separate weapons, the fourth helps determine your wanzer’s armor and speed levels), and damaged body parts slowly recover from damage when you can duck into cover, similar to the way shields work in the Halo games.

The first mission we saw took place about three hours into the campaign, in and around Fort Monus, a tropical region and one of the game’s five primary environments (which also include Antarctic, outer space, and futuristic New York in two different states–before and after the devatastion of war). In this first mission, Ramsey piloted an experimental “Zephyr” wanzer, equipped for fast speed with a machine gun in its right hand, melee attacks equipped in its left, and missile pods on its shoulders. This mission required him to weave in and out of enemy fire as he and his computer-controlled teammates Adela and Russell charged forward into a military installation where four decommissioned wanzers lay in wait.

In this mission, Ramsey took on several different kinds of enemy wanzers, including brawlers, which get up-close and personal, and ballistic wanzers, which are equipped with heavy-duty rocket launchers. Fortunately, Evolved gives you more than just your weapons to play with; your wanzer can not only perform a standard dashing attack, but it also has a constantly-recharging energy meter that lets you either jump (or hover in midair by tapping the jump button twice) or “skate” along the ground propelled by rockets. Also, Ramsey’s wanzers are equipped with another meter for the aforementioned edge, which, when full, can be used to slow down time, highlighting enemy targets in red and doubling his damage.

After smashing through these foes, we skipped ahead to the next level–an on-foot mission that requires Ramsey to infiltrate the Fort Monus installation and reactivate the four hidden wanzers parked inside. On foot, Front Mission Evolved seems to play a lot like a standard third-person shooter, and handily lets you tuck and roll (useful for going from cover to cover) and acquire cover, from which you can blind-fire by poking your weapon above your head. The installation was guarded by shotgun troopers, who come barreling towards you to blast you at close range, and machinegun troopers, who take things more slowly and tend to take cover themselves. Luckily, on foot, Ramsey has a handful of grenades he can use to flush them out. Unluckily, his grenades don’t work that well against actual wanzers, such as the one he has to battle in this mission. The tight confines of the warehouse-like installation gave this battle a claustrophobic feel, and since most of the cover in Front Mission Evolved can be destroyed, we had to stay moving in order to stay alive, lest our enemy just blast the walls and pillars we hid behind.

After sitting through the single-play session, we jumped into a team-based multiplayer match which resembled the domination modes of the Battlefield series. This map took place in downtown New York (all six of the game’s multiplayer maps will be modified versions of locales from the single-player game) and had three giant turrets across it. Our team’s mission was to capture and hold these turrets for as long as possible. As it turns out, capping a turret not only nets your team some victory points (multiplayer matches can be set to a 500-point or 1000-point limit), it also activates the turret to automatically attack the enemy team–which means that in order to recapture the point, your foes will have to blow up that turret, then recapture it by standing near the wreckage to recapture it and reactivate it.

While Evolved’s multiplayer has arcade-style pickup items for extra ammo and armor (Edge mode isn’t available in multiplayer), the pacing in a full 10-player match can get so frantic that you won’t really have time to meticulously hunt them down. We headed into battle with a pre-loaded medium wanzer (you can take several preset wanzers based on those you’ll find in the game, but can also have slots you can use to build up to five different custom robots with whichever weapons and equipment you prefer). Once the action converges on a turret, confrontation gets fast and furious as players open up with their machine guns and paint you with missile locks. In addition, if you don’t have a weapon equipped in a free hand, you can perform a melee attack, and this deals huge damage if you can score a hit. On foot, wanzers move frustratingly slowly, so when it’s go time, we tended to find ourselves either hitting the jumpjets to hover above our targets to lock in missile salvos, or skating around like mad trying to avoid enemy missiles while laying down our own fire or getting in close for a melee kill.

Front Mission Evolved will be released later this month for the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3, and the PC version will support 3D graphics by way of Nvidia’s stereoscopic goggles.

Read and Post Comments | Get the full article at GameSpot

Front Mission Evolved Multiplayer Hands-On – Domination Mode Plus More Single-Player Details” was posted by Andrew Park on Mon, 06 Sep 2010 04:08:49 -0700

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Categories: Game News, Game Secrets

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