Fans of the Front Mission series will notice something different about this latest title from Double Helix and Square Enix. Ditching the turn-based tactics genre in favor of third-person action, Front Mission Evolved
is a new breed of the series.
The game takes place in the year 2171 where technology is running rampant and into the unknown space above the skies. As certain organizations and governments rise to power, border skirmishes have become an increasingly prominent issue in this theorized future controlled by ventures into space via orbital elevators.
After one such orbital elevator is attacked and destroyed, engineer Dylan Ramsey finds himself in the midst of war in search of his father who he fears may have been caught in the elevator’s destruction.
The primary defense system in each organization also involves the future’s advancement of technology. Heavily armored humanoid battle vehicles - known as Wanzers - house soldiers as they prowl the field. In an appeal to the typical fear of rapid technological advancement, Double Helix implemented the idea of Pandora’s Box with a particularly troublesome and powerful Wanzer advancement known as EDGE.
In terms of gameplay, your EDGE bar fills as you make kills and allows you to slow time to better your attacks in battle. As for the storyline, however, EDGE is what threatens humanity’s existence as a rebellious and blood thirsty team of Wanzer riders known as Apollo’s Chariot attempt to use EDGE to kill whom they please.
As the members of this villainous organization attempt to terrorize and gain power, you meet up with members of the UCS and decide to help them in their plight. This is particularly due to your father’s role in EDGE, being that he was a researcher on the project at the National Strategic Research Laboratories, where they develop the Wanzer technology.
The story gets further convoluted from here as you go on, throwing in a complex number of organizations butting heads as well as a few romantic inquiries thrown in for allegedly good measure. I love a meaningfully complex storyline, but the complexity here felt forced and insignificant. Furthermore, much of the storyline is told to you through a narrator over a bland map as words and meaningless symbols are highlighted. Being forced to sit through dull cut scenes such as this was too often to be tolerable.
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