Did you ever play Armored Core? Imagine being able to play Armored Core except you have 4 robots to all fix at once, three of which just get blown up in the first 12 seconds of every level! This game was popular in Japan, but is just now coming to America. I hope you’re ready for Assault Gunner HD Edition!
The basics of the game are simple, control a giant robot and use it to shoot other robots who are usurping control of a colony that earth recently set up on Mars. Y’know, despite that whole, “Giant Robots will never be efficient fighting machines” thing, it is grounded in something close to sort of realism, sorta.
They even mention space elevators and advanced AI drones, though, you’re still a person in a giant robot making fights happen when we’ve had radio control for centuries already, and we’re nowhere close to bipedal robots fighting in the streets with guns that shoot bullets the size of human beings. Between bouts of combat with these other giant robots, you’ll be afforded the opportunity to spend a bunch of time in a menu figuring out what you want to spend your Dev points on. Dev points are a way for you to either “purchase” new robot body parts or improve the ones you already own, and, the game does a good job of trying to make you balance between directly upgrading one you already own and getting the next one, as I have one that is much higher level, but ultimately going to be weaker in the end than the next one I can buy. I think eventually the game has the pieces work as specializations, you’ll want a tanky robot, or a fast one, or one that has a ton of bullets, and each body type and style will give you a different world. Since you’re controlling 4 different mechs at the same time, it makes it preferable to specialize, and spread the love across multiple chassis options. Of course, you can just jam everyone into killbots and have them smash across the planet carrying the same gun, and that’s an okay method, but, thus far, I’ve done most of my playing with a well-rounded team, and despite them being weak and stupid, I kind of prefer it that way. (Afterall, it’s pretty sentai to have one character who is a badass and a bunch of his friends who are useless.) Although, honestly, I’m not super serious about them dying in 12 seconds, if you manage them properly, they actually will survive quite awhile, and actually help you out. If you treat them like you do normal AI companions though, they WILL just go and get themselves blown up, because they’re meant to be coordinated a bit. Tell them to go into attack mode, and you’re gonna just have them walk knee-deep into robot corpses, because they will fight until they are toast, leaving you alone.
WE INTERRUPT THIS REVIEW TO BLOW YOUR MIND
The graphics aren’t amazing, but, they aren’t terrible either. You’re shooting giant flashy balls of energy or bullets at each other, and you’re giant robots.
I don’t assume that giant robots have to be anything but giant blocky human shapes, anyway. (Come to think of it, that might be why giant robots are such a thing… they’re much easier to draw than people, easier to model, ect.) The music is fine, it’s nothing crazy, but I’m surprised from my time playing Vanguard Bandits that there isn’t hilariously out-of-touch vocals next to a badass electric guitar.
You’ll be spending enough time in the menu that it’s a good thing it isn’t super unwieldy. My biggest complaint is when you’re upgrading your chassis pieces that there isn’t a way to see what you’re upgrading until you spend points. The combat is hectic, and your dash is directly tied into your shields, making it almost always a question of whether to dodge, or tank hits. This is kinda cool, because to be aggressive and move in quickly, you’re putting yourself at a bigger risk for taking damage. That trade off from being able to move quickly vs. be able to survive is a good way to balance gameplay.
Combat is pretty simple, dodge and shoot, and use different weapon types. The guns are all different, which is nice, but, I hate that the game has powerful weapons already unlocked that I’m not supposed to have until the end of the game. I don’t know if that’s just because I’m testing the game, or have a copy that’s not the release copy, or what, but, I think I should have to earn all the upgrades. (I just avoided using the version V weapons and stuff and just stuck with defaults until I got to the point I had earned something else.)
I like this game a lot. It’s really well put together, and even though the missions get a little samey after awhile, there’s always a new giant robot to shoot at, so that’s cool. According to PlaystationLifestyle.net, the game’s going to cost about $12.00 USD if you want all the additional missions and such. It’s a pretty fantastic deal, because the game is awesome. Anyway, check it out!
Disclosure: We received a copy of this game for free.
Developed by: Shade Inc
Published by: Marvelous Games