|System: X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Double Helix Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: PUBLISHER||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sept. 28, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
For the second type of gameplay, Dylan hops out of the mech and engages in some on-foot shooting sequences. Unfortunately, these just make the game feel like a third-rate Gears of War knockoff. The cover system, if you can call it that, consists of standing behind cover and hitting the duck button. Also, the controls feel clunky, but this doesnt make things more difficult, thanks to the awful enemy AI and generous auto-aim.
The third type of gameplay has you firing at ground targets from an on-rails aircraft. These sections are fun, but hardly ground-breaking.
There are some collectibles to find strewn about the levels, which will give completionists a reason to replay the roughly eight-hour campaign. You can also ramp up the difficulty. However, we doubt that many players will feel compelled to retread the uninspired ground contained here, so these features are of limited value.
The multiplayer modes, meanwhile, are little more than cliches: theres deathmatch, team deathmatch, a mode where you fight to control turrets, and a King of the Hill-type mode where you try to control a single location on the map. The tactical choice between ranged attacks and melee combat come into play much more than they do during the single-player campaign, but this is still an arcade-style experience with middling level design. Fellow players take far too much damage before they die, and there are too many powerups strewn about which causes deathmatches to drag on almost endlessly. A Call of Duty-style leveling system spices things up a bit, but as always, this has the perverse effect of giving the most experienced players an even bigger advantage over newbies than they already have by nature. Fortunately, though, theres little to no lag, and we had no problem setting up matches.
The presentation is mediocre to good. The graphics run smoothly, and the mechs and explosions look great. However, the various environments (the game takes you all over the world) arent very detailed and dont look all that futuristic, and the character models in the cutscenes are bare-bones. The sound effects are a high point here, bringing out the giddy thrill of metal-on-metal warfare. Much of the voice acting, meanwhile, is downright terrible; during the opening sequence, we were embarrassed for whatever actor read the voiceover.
All told, Front Mission Evolved is a bizarre step for the Front Mission series to take; it will simultaneously alienate longtime fans and fail to attract newcomers. Hardcore devotees of the franchise, or of mechs in general, will probable give it a shot anyway, and they might enjoy some of the arcade-style shootouts. But no one will consider this to be a standout game for 2010, and given Front Missions storied history, it should have become so much more when it evolved. We recommend passing on this one, but if you must try it, start with a rental.
CCC Freelance Writer