Front Mission Evolved

Last updated
Front Mission Evolved
Front Mission Evolved.jpg
Developer(s) Double Helix Games [1]
Publisher(s) Square Enix
Producer(s) Shinji Hashimoto
Designer(s) David O. Hall
Writer(s) Motomu Toriyama
Daisuke Watanabe
Composer(s) Garry Schyman
Series Front Mission
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Release
  • NA: September 28, 2010
  • JP: September 16, 2010
  • EU: October 8, 2010 [2] [1]
Genre(s) Vehicle simulation game, third-person shooter
Mode(s) Single-player, online multiplayer [1]

Front Mission Evolved(フロントミッション エボルヴ,Furonto Misshon Eborubu) is a third-person shooter video game developed by Double Helix Games and published by Square Enix. Unlike previous Front Mission titles which have a tactical role-playing game structure, players engage in combat in real time on 3D maps using giant robotic weapons of war known as "Wanzers." The game also features a single player story mode and several multiplayer combat modes with up to eight players.

Third-person shooter (TPS) is a subgenre of 3D shooter games in which the player character is visible on-screen during gaming, and the gameplay consists primarily of shooting.

Double Helix Games video game developer

Double Helix Games LLC, now Amazon Game Studios, Orange County, is an American video game developer based in Irvine, California, founded in 2007 through two mergers of Foundation 9 studios, The Collective and Shiny Entertainment. The studio was acquired by Amazon.com on February 5, 2014. The studio's first release was Silent Hill: Homecoming for the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360.

Square Enix Japanese video game developer, publisher, and distribution company

Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. is a Japanese video game developer, publisher, and distribution company known for its Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Kingdom Hearts role-playing video game franchises, among numerous others. Several of them have sold over 10 million copies worldwide, with the Final Fantasy franchise alone selling over 115 million. The Square Enix headquarters are in the Shinjuku Eastside Square Building in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The company employs over 4300 employees worldwide.

Contents

The game features a story reboot of the Front Mission series and deals with the rising tensions in the late 22nd century between global powers utilizing orbital elevators to expand their reach into space. The story begins as one state's elevator is attacked by parties unknown.

Reboot (fiction) term used in serial fiction

In serial fiction, a reboot is a new start to an established fictional universe, work, or series that discards all continuity to re-create its characters, plotlines and backstory from the beginning. It has been described as a way to "rebrand" or "restart an entertainment universe that has already been established". Another definition of a reboot is a remake which is part of an established film series or other media franchise. The term has been criticised for being a vague and "confusing" "buzzword", and a neologism for remake, a concept which has been losing popularity in the 2010s.

Space elevator proposed type of space transportation system

A space elevator is a proposed type of planet-to-space transportation system. The main component would be a cable anchored to the surface and extending into space. The design would permit vehicles to travel along the cable from a planetary surface, such as the Earth's, directly into space or orbit, without the use of large rockets. An Earth-based space elevator would consist of a cable with one end attached to the surface near the equator and the other end in space beyond geostationary orbit. The competing forces of gravity, which is stronger at the lower end, and the outward/upward centrifugal force, which is stronger at the upper end, would result in the cable being held up, under tension, and stationary over a single position on Earth. With the tether deployed, climbers could repeatedly climb the tether to space by mechanical means, releasing their cargo to orbit. Climbers could also descend the tether to return cargo to the surface from orbit.

The game received mixed reviews, with critics finding the gameplay to be unpolished and the story to be generic. [3]

Gameplay

As a third-person shooter, the gameplay of Front Mission Evolved differs from the tactical role-playing game entries of the numbered Front Mission titles. Rather than being played out on a grid-based map and using a turn-based structure, battles takes place in real-time on full 3D maps akin to Front Mission: Online . The player (and many allies and adversaries) control mechs known as Wanderung Panzer ("walking tank"), abbreviated into wanzer. Evolved has two modes of play: an offline single player mode which features a story campaign, and an online multiplayer mode where players can play alone or in groups of up to eight players in a variety of game modes. [4]

Tactical role-playing gamesHow is the video l are a genre of video game which incorporates elements of traditional role-playing video games with that of tactical games, emphasizing tactics rather than high-level strategy. The format of a tactical RPG video game is much like a traditional tabletop role-playing game in its appearance, pacing and rule structure. Likewise, early tabletop role-playing games are descended from skirmish wargames like Chainmail, which were primarily concerned with combat.

<i>Front Mission: Online</i> 2005 video game

Front Mission: Online was a massively multiplayer online (MMO), third-person shooter video game developed by and published by Square Enix Co., Ltd., and was released in Japan on May 12, 2005 for the PlayStation 2, and on December 8, 2005 for Windows. Like other Front Mission titles, Front Mission: Online is part of a serialized storyline that follows the stories of various characters and their struggles involving mecha known as wanzers. The game's servers were closed on May 31, 2008.

Game progression in the single player mode of Evolved works similarly to other Front Mission entries, and is done in a linear manner: watch cut-scene events, complete missions, set up wanzers during intermissions, and sortie for the next mission. Unlike other Front Mission titles, the player can redo missions at any given time using the Act Select feature. Players can earn Trophies or Achievements if they own the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 version of the game. In the multiplayer mode of Evolved, players can compete against each other in PvP matches through one of four game modes, or in PvE matches via a DLC game mode called "Last Stand".

PlayStation Network (PSN) is a digital media entertainment service provided by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Launched in November 2006, PSN was originally conceived for the PlayStation video game consoles, but soon extended to encompass smartphones, tablets, Blu-ray players and high-definition televisions. As of April 2016, over 110 million users have been documented, with 90 million of them active monthly as of November 2018.

Xbox Live online multiplayer gaming and digital media delivery service

Xbox Live is an online multiplayer gaming and digital media delivery service created and operated by Microsoft. It was first made available to the Xbox system in November 2002. An updated version of the service became available for the Xbox 360 console at the system's launch in November 2005, and a further enhanced version was released in 2013 with the Xbox One.

PlayStation 3 seventh-generation and third home video game console developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment

The PlayStation 3 (PS3) is a home video game console developed by Sony Computer Entertainment. It is the successor to PlayStation 2, and is part of the PlayStation brand of consoles. It was first released on November 11, 2006, in Japan, November 17, 2006, in North America, and March 23, 2007, in Europe and Australia. The PlayStation 3 competed mainly against consoles such as Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles.

Wanzer customization in the multiplayer mode of Evolved works similarly to Front Mission: Online in that the parts, auxiliary backpacks, and weapons the player can access is entirely dependent on their military ranking. Military rankings work in a progression-based fashion; players must complete mission assignments to earn experience and advance in rank. A player can also raise their rank by scoring kills against players on the opposing team.

Missions aside, Evolved boasts other new features as well as returning ones, particularly from Front Mission Series: Gun Hazard . The game introduces new auxiliary backpacks, Gunship Mode and a feature known as "EDGE". Hover backpacks allow wanzers to move around quickly or hover above the ground. Anti-missile backpacks increase enemy missile lock-on time, and release flares to throw off missile fire. Featured only in the single player campaign, Gunship Mode is a combat mode in which the player fights on a gunship; this mode plays out like a rail shooter. E.D.G.E. is a unique ability that slows down time and allows the player to better react against enemy attacks. This feature is only seen in the single player campaign. The lone returning feature in Evolved is Infantry Mode fromGun Hazard, which is only available in the single player campaign. In Infantry Mode, players can go into combat on foot, but will not be able to ride any vehicle.

<i>Front Mission Series: Gun Hazard</i> 1996 video game

Front Mission Series: Gun Hazard is a side-scrolling role-playing shooter video game developed by Omiya Soft and published by Squaresoft, and was released in Japan on February 23, 1996 for the Super Famicom game console. Gun Hazard is the first spin-off entry and the second entry overall in the Front Mission series. It takes place in a completely separate universe from the other Front Mission games.

Plot

Setting

Front Mission Evolved is a story reboot of the Front Mission series, taking place after the storyline of the older titles. Therefore, new players to the series do not need to play the previous entries. [5]

Set in 2171, the game takes place around the world and in outer space. During the 22nd century, the world's superpowers look towards space for expansion and began constructing large orbiting structures connected to the surface by orbital elevators. With an increasing number of surveillance satellites and space-based technologies being developed, a Cold War-style atmosphere sets in as the supranational unions used these technologies to watch over their adversaries on Earth. Tensions rise in 2171 when one of the elevators in the United States of the New Continent (USN) is attacked and destroyed by unknown assailants. [6]

Story

The plot of Front Mission Evolved revolves around USN engineer Dylan Ramsey. As an engineer for the weapons developer Diable Avionics, Dylan begins testing of a prototype wanzer on Long Island, New York. In the midst of the wanzer test, unknown forces begin attacking New York City and its orbital elevator, Percival. Worried about his father's safety in the city, he sets off for New York City inside the prototype wanzer. As he travels through the city to reach the National Strategy Research Laboratory (NSRL), Ramsey assists USN forces battling the unknown assailants. After battling through numerous enemy wanzers, vehicles, and aircraft, Dylan makes it to the NSRL premises just as missiles are launched into the building. With his father seemingly dead, he engages the attacker, Marcus Seligman of the Apollo's Chariot. The fight is cut short when the orbital elevator begins crashing down on New York City. After Percival collapses, Dylan is recruited into the USN Army as it prepares for war against the Oceania Cooperative Union (OCU).

Development

Promotion at the Tokyo Game Show 2009 TGS 09 Booth Babes - 01.jpg
Promotion at the Tokyo Game Show 2009

The game was announced before E3 in May 2009, and demonstrated at E3 in Los Angeles in June 2010. [7] [8] At Comicon 2009, Square Enix showed off figurines based on the game. [9] Players who pre-ordered the game received the Calm and Rexon wanzer mechs, which had been featured in previous Front Mission games. [10]

Music

The games music was composed by Garry Schyman, the first non-Japanese composer for the series or any other major Square Enix series. He was brought onto the project by Double Helix Games, who developed the game for Square Enix. Garry Schyman describes the music as "orchestral and mostly tonal" with a heavy militaristic theme; almost all of the music is combat or action-themed. [11] The music is more traditionally orchestral than previous Front Mission soundtracks, and was recorded with a live orchestra. As Square Enix intended the game and its music to be a departure from previous games in the series, Schyman purposely did not listen to any of the music from prior games. [12]

The soundtrack was not released as a physical album, though it was announced be included in a box release of music from the entire series. [13] A sampler album of music from missions 01 to 05 from the game's single player campaign was released by Square Enix on the iTunes and Mora music stores on September 30, 2010, under the title Front Mission Evolved Original Soundtrack / Mission 01 to 05. This digital album contains 14 tracks and has a length of 23:47. The final track is a bonus tune done by DJ Kaya, "Military Tune/α:Kalen". [14] [15]

Reception

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic PC: 63/100 [16]
PS3: 58/100 [17]
X360: 58/100 [3]
Review scores
PublicationScore
GameSpot 5.5/10
IGN 6.0/10 [18]

Front Mission Evolved received mixed reviews from critics, and holds an aggregate score of 58 out of 100 on Metacritic. [17]

Greg Miller of IGN scored the game 6.0/10, calling it "uninspired" and that it would only appeal to "hardcore mech-heads". He commented that the missions were mainly "frustrating filler", and while the customization of the wanzer was enjoyable, it was often negated by missions "shoehorning you into annoying loadouts". Calling its story "less than stellar", he stated that "it doesn't feel like a full fledged game". [18]

Brett Todd of GameSpot scored the game 5.5/10, saying that despite the attempt to appeal to a new audience, it "won't win the franchise any new fans", due to its "predictable, abbreviated campaign". He described the story as "turgid", with the player's suspension of disbelief "derailed" by "cornball villains". While complementing the sound design as "thundering and atmospheric", he stated that the combat quickly becomes "mind-numbing" due to its repetitiveness. Noting that its boss battles can drag on to a half hour in length due to "absurdly overpowered" bosses and an overabundance of health pickups, he states that they are so slow that you "just want to give up on the whole thing". [19]

The game's on-foot segments were also panned by critics, who compared them to a "sub-par third person shooter" due to their lack of a cover system. [18]

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References

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