By Marisa Alexander / July 12th, 2019
|Title||Project Nimbus: Complete Edition|
|Release Date||May 16th, 2019|
|Age Rating||T for Teen – Language, Violence|
In my early years, I grew up with a mixture of fantasy and sci-fi. However, outside of a couple occasions, I haven’t been exposed to the mecha sub-genre all that much. I mention this since my perspective is rather different from hardcore fans of the genre. Project Nimbus is a high-speed action game, distinctly focusing on aerial combat in mechs called battle frames. It is a post-apocalyptic world where after World War III, the majority of the Earth’s population made flying cities to escape the pollution and rising sea levels. After the war, the world has been separated into two superpowers: The CFN led by the US, and the UCN led by China and Russia. War once more is on the horizon, but will the world be consumed with humanity’s future at stake?
The overall plot is segmented into various acts, focusing on specific aspects of the story, with particular pilots as the stars. For example, the first act focuses on Mirai, a young girl that has her mind integrated with an AI, with her co-pilot Morgan. The act delves into the Children of Fallen Nations, the last generation of people who wishes to bring down the flying cities. Meanwhile, the second act goes into Colonel Andei and Lieutenant Yulianna, pilots of the UCN. The struggle here is all about them protecting their homeland, as apparent US forces invade.
The plot of the game is nothing out of the ordinary, however in this case it is not a bad thing. In fact, the game’s plot plays to its strengths, even going so far to expand upon certain tropes. As previously mentioned, the Children of Fallen Nations is the last generation of a line of people. Due to the war, they are all sterilized, unable to have the funds to take to the skies like the wealthy. It is the typical wealthy versus commoner terrorist bend, but while their actions are clearly wrong in the end, it truly feels like the Children of Fallen Nations did not have a choice other than death.
The characters also support the plot rather well. Throughout my playthrough, I was consistently taken aback by how well-written and likable these characters are, playable and NPC alike. The voice actors also help bring these characters to life, even in English. Both main and side characters are for the most part voiced rather well, bringing fillers of the cast character. In regards to both the plot and characters, my only issue is that many things are not expanded upon. This stems from how the acts are organized, so the world as a whole is expanded upon but specific details are at times left bare.
As for the gameplay, it’s a wonderful joy ride. Each specific battle frame houses a particular set of weapons and attributes, such as health, boost capacity, and handling. All battle frames are segregated by their generation, with the next generation being better than the last. In all game modes, campaign, survival, and warfront, you can’t swap weapons from one battle frame to another, and only in warfront can you upgrade the statistics of a battle frame. As such, the approach to the game is relatively simple without much complexity.
All of this is made up by the exceptional control and feel of the game. Controls are responsive where flying through the sky is accurate. Weapons also fly out as expected in the air. With the better battle frames, the game becomes all the more exciting as swapping weapons to the next makes for fantastic pacing. In campaign mode, to help diversify the game, there are objectives that go beyond defeating enemies such as protecting areas or destroying missiles or locations. Warfront also has different objectives but they are specifically mission types, instead of campaign mode changing objectives during the level.
There are a few quirks however, both technical and relating to the game’s difficulty. I played this on the Switch so it might not be an issue on PC, but there were times that enemies got stuck in the environment if they spawned at ground level. They were still killable so it was nothing game breaking. However, every now and then in both campaign and warfront you will face off against a strong battle frame. These dogfights are a mixed bag. Some are absolutely highlights of the game, as it feels like you truly are dealing with a skilled opponent. Other times it is just holding down the fire button until they die. For warfront, you are effectively forced to play on casual before you are able to use the basic battle frame you start with as you can’t boost to help dodge missiles.
Another issue is the matter of seeing certain things. Most thing such as other battle frames, missiles, and most objective markers are easy to see as they are marked. However, it can be hard to notice attacks such as energy blasts or a boss about to use their energy sword from a distance. In snowy environments, even objective markers can be nigh impossible to notice. There are also times, mainly for long-range cannons, that attacks just straight up don’t register upon hitting an enemy. Perhaps most peculiarly, selecting restart mission from the pause menu will cause the Switch to encounter an error.
None of these are really game breaking and for the most part the game is nicely polished. The sense of scale in many of the maps can be incredible. At times, the game is a visual spectacle, flying through and around enemy groups. The game’s soundtrack is also fairly solid, most of it enjoyable to listen to. That said, the one thing lacking in the game’s presentation is the sense of impact in just about anything. Unless it is a particularly devastating weapon, there aren’t really any easily heard sound cues for hitting and defeating an enemy, or even getting hit. Explosions are quite clear in view, and it makes sense for bullets or basic lasers to not make any discernible noise upon impact or make a distinct visual indication. Realistically, it’s the only black mark on the game’s presentation.
All in all, I exceptionally enjoyed Project Nimbus: Complete Edition. The game flow is perhaps the game’s greatest strength, as it was hard for me to be remotely bored while playing. Most issues are relatively minor and not game-breaking. Truth be told, if the game’s hit detection was a bit better along with better feedback, I would easily rate this four stars. If GameTomo and GameCrafterTeam were to work on any future projects, I would happily keep tabs on them. For $19.99 on PC and Switch, it is well worth the price.
Review copy provided by the publisher
ActionGameCrafterTeamGameTomoPCProject Nimbus: Complete EditionSwitch