Front Mission Evolved

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Front Mission Evolved


A first for the series in many ways

Choose Your Weapon (cntd)

Players will have the ability to choose from a myriad of Wanzer types and loadouts, all of which will require a different play style. Heavy Assault Wanzers, for example, specialize in close to mid-range combat. With high-spread shotguns, missile launchers, and heavy armor, these Wanzers can deal and take a lot of damage. But they are also slow-moving and not effective at long distances.

The Sniper Wanzer is the exact opposite: weak at close range but very effect at long distance combat, with a strong and accurate sniper rifle, high mobility, and weak armor. Sneaking around and quietly shooting enemies from a distance, however, seems counterintuitive for a 50-foot robot with guns the size of a bus.

If you don't like those two extremes, Front Mission Evolved allows for anything in between. You can build Wanzers by mixing and matching stock torsos, arms, and legs, and adding up to four weapons short range, long range, explosives, melee, etc. on the Wanzer's arms and shoulders.

You can also add a backpack for special abilities. One such backpack allows your Wanzer to repair allies on the battlefield, a skill essential to the Engineer Wanzer. The Engineer is particularly useful in multiplayer battles, where you're forced to consider how to best complement your teammates while capturing defense turrets or achieving other goals against the opposing team.

Make it Pretty

While it may not add to the tactical nature of Front Mission Evolved's combat, Double Helix Games has also focused on cosmetic Wanzer customization. Previous entries only allowed for varying paint jobs from a pre-set selection of Wanzer skins. Front Mission Evolved's cosmetic options ensure that no two Wanzers will look alike.

Double Helix Games had special technology developed that allows players to choose from a starting point of 5 different Wanzer patterns, each of which offers many different colors and levels of glossiness. On top of that, you can place one of hundreds of available decals on the Wanzer armor.

Players have the freedom to create an intimidating matte-black war machine covered in skulls, a glossy-pink-happy mobile with smiley faces, or anything in between.

A Game of Firsts

Front Mission Evolved is a first for the series in many ways. It's the first developed by an American studio. It's the first with both a single-player and multiplayer component. It's even the first to take the pilot out of the Wanzer in small-scale man-to-man combat. And most, if not all, of these firsts seem to be geared towards expanding Front Mission's audience without alienating the existing fanbase.

So, with these changes, will the Front Mission series enjoy the success of other Square Enix franchises in American and Europe? We'll find out in the coming months when Front Mission Evolved is released on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.