By Steve Baltimore / April 10th, 2018
|Title||Assault Gunners HD Edition|
|Publisher||Marvelous Europe Limited|
|Release Date||March 20th, 2018|
|Platform||PlayStation 4, PC|
It’s been a while since I played a good mech game. The last one I really enjoyed was Gundam Breaker 3, so when a chance to review Assault Gunners HD Edition came along, I jumped on it. The game looked pretty cool with its customizable mechs and fast paced gameplay. The question is, was it fun? Let’s find out.
This is an action game so I wasn’t expecting much in terms of story, and that’s a good thing because there isn’t much here to be frank. It follows the Peace Keeping Force known as DAT as you attempt to protect the colonies on Mars from the evil ANT uprising. You must find out who or what is responsible for this and help create the planned utopia for all mankind.
The story has no narration what so ever—it’s just some scrolling text before missions. I feel like this really made it hard for me to get invested in it. If they had the in game characters (which are voiced during missions but not subtitled) read the lines, it would’ve been better. The story isn’t very interesting to start with and not giving it any character didn’t do it any favors.
Graphically this isn’t the worst looking title I’ve seen, but it’s far from the greatest as well. Environments look decent, but they aren’t very detailed in most cases and they are very empty. The player and enemy models are fairly detailed, which is nice since you have lots of customization options, but there aren’t a lot of different enemy models to speak of. I would say overall the graphics here are about what you would expect from a budget title like this.
The music here is very unremarkable. It’s basically generic techno sounding battle themes each stage. While there is nothing offensive here, there’s nothing to write home about either. The sound effects are your typical gun shots and explosions. You will have to go into the options and turn these down since they are a lot louder than that amazingly generic music if you want to enjoy that during your playtime, but Spotify is just a few button presses away on a PlayStation 4, just saying.
Well, everything up to this point has been underwhelming, so maybe Assault Gunners HD Edition redeems itself with the gameplay, right? The gameplay consists of 35 missions in which you do one of three things, either take points on the map, defeat all enemies, or escape. Some of these will mix it up by having you do a couple of these during a mission or defeat a boss. These missions are fairly short, only lasting about five minutes each. Then when you get to mission 20 you will have to unlock some of the other missions by completing special objectives in a previous mission. It tells you the mission you need to complete these in, but not what you actually have to do. This requires some guesswork since in some of these what you need to do is not really obvious, or you can just use a FAQ and save yourself being annoyed doing the same mission 10 times to figure it out.
I don’t know who came up with with the control scheme for this game, but it’s just plain odd. The HUD will show you which weapons you have equipped to face buttons on the right side of the screen. Now as a gamer of over 30 years I thought you would press that button to fire that weapon, but that’s not the case here. Pressing the face button only activates the weapon, and you must press R1 to actually fire it. I guess the idea is you’re driving a mech so you have one trigger button and buttons to switch weapons, but this is just awkward.
You can dash or fly short distances with L1, and you will dash if you’re moving even a little when pressing it. This means if you need to get on top of something you dash around for a few minutes wasting stamina, which you need to fly with about 90% of the time. When your stamina is depleted you will start taking actual damage on your unit. It does refill pretty quickly, but this was very annoying, and I took hits I shouldn’t have because of it.
As you defeat enemies they will drop parts for you to upgrade your mech. You will also need to level up your character in order to have Dev points to create and upgrade parts. This part of the game is actually pretty neat. There is a decent amount of parts with various designs to customize your mech with. Body parts and legs will not only make you look bad ass, but they will improve various stats as well. Mechs can equip four different weapons which include: launchers, knuckles, laser rifles, shotguns and more. Laser weapons will penetrate multiple enemies in a line, while most launchers will be able to lock onto enemies. You can even equip accessories for various buffs and abilities such as being able to lock onto more targets. You can customize each of the four units any way you would like down to each section’s colors. This really gives you the freedom to make a mech to fit any playstyle.
I can’t say I really enjoyed my time with Assault Gunners HD Edition. I think the control scheme is terrible, the music is bland, the mission variety is lacking, and the story is uninteresting. I spent about six hours with this one and completed all 35 missions and the 12 DLC missions. Inferno mode is also included. This is a horde mode where enemies come in waves, so if this gameplay is your cup of tea this will extend playtime quite a bit. If you’re really starved for a mech game you might find some enjoyment out of this if you can look past all these issues, since it’s not very expensive at $11.99 with the DLC. Otherwise you should likely wait for a better offer down the line.
Game provided by the publisher for review purposes.
Assault Gunner HD EditionMarvelous EuropemechSteam. PlayStation