PS3 Review: Front Mission Evolved

Game Overview:

This game redefines trash. Honestly, I've played bad games, but few genuinely depressed me. I had no misconceptions about this game; I knew it was going to be a third person shooter and I knew letting Double Helix touch this game would take the game down a couple of notches, but never in my wildest dreams did I imagine it would turn out like this.

I've been a long-time fan of the Front Mission series, so when it was announced that FM5 would not be released in NA, I was heartbroken. However, I didn't lose hope in the creators; that is why even though I could have just downloaded it on the PC, I went out and picked up the PS3 version the day it came out. Now that's every penny of $70 wasted.

I cannot, in good conscience, recommend this game to anyone.

Objectively speaking, this game is simply a weak Armor Core rip-off. Before someone says, "But Rho, FM has amazing storyline. AC can't touch that." Yes, FM did, whereas FME did NOT.

I demand the unconditional suicide of the entire development team and anyone who had anything to do with the conception of this game.

The Breakdown:
Plot [ 0.2/2 ]
Gameplay [ 0.2/2 ]
Audio [ 0.1/2 ]
Visual [ 0.2/2 ]
Innovation [ 0/2 ]

Overall Score: [ 0.7/10 ]

I can't really comment on the storyline of FME, because the act of calling it a storyline is an unforgivable lie. Let's keep this brief as so I may still retain my sanity.

-Main character's father is the creator of EDGE.
-EDGE is an electronic system designed to mimic the battlefield awareness of Godwin, some legendary soldier. Yeah, you read right; it's an MGS reskin. I guess that explains why you can find the Foxhound logo in the Decal area of the customization section.
-Now, let's break out the cliche: the government decided EDGE wasn't good enough to be just a defensive system; they have to tweak it for war.
-Cliche back-to-back: the government research team was comprised of assorted fauna, and that is why the experiment went haywire and gave birth to an AI who called himself SCION (it stands for something retarded, just like EDGE).
-SCION has one hell of a personality for an AI, telling me how he'll punish me for my sins, that judgement is coming, and to sleep well in the silent fields of death. I would have assumed that these would be difficult concepts for an AI - but hey, what do I know?
-SCION inhabits the very tip of the Orbital Elevator Babel, on a Satellite Fortress called Heaven's Guard, an enormous beam cannon readied to incinerate every major city on earth. Holy crap, just how many anime and movies did I rip-off with one sentence?
-SCION's Espada #1 Cornelius wages war on the world and destroys multiple Orbital Elevators with his massive army.
-A mercenary group called...something...'s Chariot is hired by Cornelius to do most of the destroying part.
-You own everyone, so then it's the end.

"WAIT, RHO! You didn't explain anything!"
"How does a random soldier and an electronic mishap muster a fucking army strong enough to take on the entire world and WIN?"
"How come the something's Chariot mercenary group (all four of 'em) pwn the crap out of everything?"
"The intro stated that the entire orbit of Earth was locked down and carefully monitored by the governments, so how did they finish the Orbital Elevator Babel and hook up a Red Alert ION Cannon on it without anyone finding out?"
"Why aren't any of these (I can only assume they're expensive) Orbital Elevators better protected, especially after the first one was broken? Why is Cornelius &co (AKA Celestial Being) so strong?!"

I honestly can't answer any of these questions because the answers didn't exist. I looked, it just wasn't there.

Here, I'll add another one: the something's Chariot leader said very specifically that he only cares about money, and will not take out anyone that he's not paid to. So, if money is the only thing these guys care about, then...WHY IS MAN-BOT RICHER THAN THE REST OF THE WORLD COMBINED!?

I was deceived into believing that the developers placed some significant care into making the piloting experience of Wanzers intense and life-like. You got me, now gimme back my money.

Instead of having to worry about your parts' HP and remaining munitions like you do in the old FM series, they decided it would be too difficult for the NA players. As a result, there are random HEAL PACKS and AMMO packs littered across the map (some even respawn) and dropped by enemies. Let that sink in for a minute. Is that intense and realistic enough for you, yet?

So, what strategic elements did they incorporate into FME, you ask? The answer is: none. I'll let you in on a secret: I beat the entire game with my shoulder weapons. Twin Gatling Guns on your shoulders will reduce all mobs and bosses to scraps in a matter of seconds; with a full bar of EDGE (slow-mo), you take 2-3 bars off the final boss (he has six), depending on what kind of proc you equip.

I literally just finished the game and, thinking back, I don't even remember there being music.

...I just turned and asked Aaro if he remembered there being music or any memorable moments of audio. He didn't even look at me; just shook his head.

Effect sounds are as you would expect, nothing special or memorable. The guns sound like guns; at least it wasn't a minus to the experience like everything else.

Voice acting was beyond sub-par. Me trying to play Beethoven using chopsticks against the wall is sub-par, Pearz trying to speak Japanese is sub-par. The voice acting in this game was verbicide (definition: willful destruction of words). I have actually, on multiple occasions, covered my ears in order to bypass some of the the dialogue.

Stripped down and unrealistic.

Destroyed buildings break up into multiple chunks and clip into the ground in a plume of dust.
Destroyed Wanzers simply pop like a balloon.
Greatly lacks detail; most buildings and objects sport a whopping 10-15 polygons and are lazily strewn about with amateur bump-mapping. Walking up close to any object will reveal a painful lack of texturing detail and stretching.
Ridiculous amount of clipping; frankly, I'm amazed I didn't clip into the floor just walking.

Let's see, innovations...
-Orbital elevators, satellites weapons, world domination, cloning, AI going rogue, power-ups and heal drops, unrealistic love developments.
-Completely dominating a boss due to trash game AI and overpowered load-out for a cutscene where the boss easily own you, take out your friend and take your girl.
-Having key plot people die off during cutscenes to run-o'-the-mill mobs that you've defeat dozens at a time during gameplay.
-Countless plotholes, overused cliches and unnatural plot devices bogging down the essence of the entire series.


Aaro has just informed me that "innovations" refer to what this game did that was interesting or groundbreaking, which also sets it apart from average games. Right, then, let's redo that part:

Review: End

~*+ Rho