+Extremelywell-done settings that bring the game’s story to life
+A rather deep amount of customizations that span across four mechs in total
+Missions can easily be completed in a matter of minutes, allowing players to push through the content in a matter of hours
-Hefty amounts of repetition that get boring with time
-Controls remain clunky, even for modern controls
-Maps and assets are overused, allowing for little variation between each level
-Mission objectives and goals do not change, causing each one to feel uninspired
When Assault Gunners first released in Japan, I was skeptical about the game ever coming West, mostly for the fact that mech games don’t tend to do rather well within the states. Not often do you hear gamer’s rallying behind a game where they can control mechs, blasting their ways in a gigantic metal robot designed for pure destruction, but then again, there’s still a crowd rallying behind such games, even if a smaller crowd.
But here we are, twenty hours later with my time spent on Assault Gunners HD Edition. Released just a short few weeks ago, I’ve managed to plow through all of the game’s missions, making my enemies crumble before me with little to no difficulty. But now is where we stand here, my brain still itching for a bit more of the game, even after reading through the game’s introduction you are briefly given the games rather tedious narrative about why humans are now fighting on the surface of Mars and the goals of human colonization of the red planet itself.
As part of the assault squad DAT, you are tasked with keeping order and ensuring the safety of those that call the red planet home. With the local automated terraforming machines (ANTs) having gone haywire and ignoring orders, you are tasked with fighting back against them, stopping their assault on all known life on the planet itself. This task you’ve been assigned changes across 32 missions with some requiring you to plow through enemies as quickly as possible while taking on different types of enemies. Oddly enough, the game can be completed within several hours, but let’s be honest, many of us are completionists, and we love to eat through as much content as possible and as quickly as possible.
Sadly, some may find high amounts of repetitiveness across the 32 missions, all that take approximately between 5-10 minutes each, but also come with different difficulties for players to enjoy and plenty of customizations for you to explore, granted, the rewards do not change much, if at all. Even then, missions can be completed even quicker with the use of both missiles and rockets alike. Sadly, it isn’t necessary to really change out your chosen weaponry until higher difficulties as the base missions are just as easy as their difficulties sound.
To put it bluntly, Assault Gunners is a rather straightforward affair that takes place in the third-person view. During the course of your missions, you’ve been tasked with, you’ll find yourself managing your squad of four mechs, customizing them to your preference before moving on, and even taking time to ensure that your squad is set to your playstyle. Once you are ready, it’s simply time to head to the mission select screen where each mission is presented as a single sortie where you will take on hordes of problematic robots we called ANTs earlier in the review.
Each mission essentially plays out the same. You’ll be tasked with destroying enemy robots while establishing links with data link antenna’s that appear on each map. Of course, that can’t be said you won’t fight a boss, a mech-meets-robot hybrid that you will be tasked with destroying at your behest. To really experience the game, you may want to take your time to bash through the enemy forces on higher difficulties in order to truly test your skills – if you consider mashing your R1 as much as possible in order to fire off as many bullets, missiles or rockets as you can.
Sadly, dodging enemy fire isn’t easy, neither is trying to maneuver in just the right direction in order to escape the barrage of incoming fire. Sadly, a lot of this is due to the fact that everything begins to blend together including enemy fire, causing the game to feel a bit cheap in many ways. Even many of the missions you will experience manage to reuse many of the maps and assets you’ve seen before, which makes one wonder if there had been any plan at all to add new features and assets in any way to add an entirely new experience.
But, again, what can you expect from an HD edition of a PS Vita game? To counteract the lack of new assets or content, we can be thankful that Shade Inc. went through the trouble of porting their game over to the PlayStation 4 and PC via Steam. While it is fun to unlock new customizations such as weapons, armor, and items, it does come with a punishment of sorts. Even at higher difficulties, Assault Gunners HD Edition does get repetitious, it does get boring, and it will leave players shaking their had at some point or another.
Assault Gunners HD Edition – PC and PlayStation 4 (Reviewed)
Developer: SHADE Inc.
Publisher: MARVELOUS Europe
Release Date: Now Available
Cost: $9.99 USD
Even starting out the way I did, with DLC weapons and Items, I’ll be the first to admit one of two things. First, the game isn’t a horrible game, but for me, it wasn’t fun. It still had a lot of kinks that need to be worked out of it such as repetitious gameplay, overused tilesets and even overused enemy models that appear throughout the game. While adding new mechanics such as weapons and armor types do offer a nice little change, it just isn’t enough to justify your invested time or money in a game such as this. I’d love to see more depth from it including new assets, new bosses, new enemy types, more immersion and varied mission types.
Sadly, this just isn’t a great title and as much as I love mech games (and I love mech games), this isn’t one I can’t recommend, nor is it one I can endorse due to the misused potential this title actually has.
Our review is based on a retail version that was provided to us by the game’s publisher for the review. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
Final Score: 4 out of 10
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console game reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPGs, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.