Robotech Invasion

Review

posted 11/3/2004 by Cyril Lachel
other articles by Cyril Lachel
One Page Platforms: Xbox
Fans of the Robotech universe have waited a long time for a proper revival. They’ve seen Star Wars pump out brand new prequels and Americans accept anime like never before, yet nobody seems interested in revisiting the characters of Robotech. Nobody but Vicious Cycle, that is. Here’s a company on a mission, a mission to reintroduce an entirely new generation to the world of Robotech. But if Invasion is the best they can do, the fans may just have to wait a little longer.

Robotech: Invasion is Vicious Cycle’s second stab at the Robotech license. Their first attempt, Battlecry, featured cel-shaded graphics and a nice mix of planet combat and space shooting. Ultimately it wasn’t a very good game, but did manage to look like the series it was based on which was enough for some fans with low expectations. Invasion, on the other hand, looks nothing like the series and has more to do with you firmly planted on Earth than anything else. It too is a bad game, but for entirely different reasons.

You play Locke, an REF soldier suffering from a bad case of amnesia. Together with his new teammates, Locke is trying to take out the various hives scattered around the Invid-infested Earth. But it’s never that simple, and you’re team will get split up, turned around, and put into all kinds of precarious situations. To make matters worse, Locke is starting to experience weird flashbacks that involve him hearing voices and having blurred vision. These flashbacks are more annoying than anything, but do hint at something much more sinister just around the corner.

Players can only hold two weapons at once, one of which must be the gallant weapon. This gun starts as a simple variation of your basic pistol, but as you progress through the game it will be upgraded until it becomes an extremely powerful sniper rifle. As you kill the attacking Invid creatures they will leave protoculture packs, which basically refills your ammo. Since there are always enemies to kill you should never find yourself in a situation where you run out of ammo, which makes your back-up weapon all that more useless.

The weapons themselves are effective, but pretty standard FPS fare. You get a rocket launcher, shotgun, grenades and a number of other weapons that get the job done, but aren’t very cool. None of the weapons, not even the gallant, are able to recreate the level of excitement and urgency you get from watching the anime.

There are only a half dozen or so types of enemies to contend with in the entire game, each offering their own challenge and weak spot. This can be good if you’re not interested in learning about a lot of different creatures, but on the other hand, you’re going to get awfully tired of killing the same foes over and over. Not even the largest Invid Commander looks menacing, and once you’ve figured out the weak spot, most enemies you can take down in just one or two direct hits.
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