We have had the chance to review a number of different Square Enix titles in the time since we began working with them, but I know that I still think of the company as one that publishes RPGs. Front Mission Evolved, a title that was developed by Double Helix Games (Silent Hill: Homecoming, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra) is the latest game to have the Square Enix stamp of approval. The title itself is a third-person game that puts players over 100 years in the future (2171), in a world that has the nations attempting to explore the whole of space.
After one of the conveyances is destroyed in an untimely fashion, players are put into the role of Dylan Ramsey. This engineer has to suit up and destroy the forces that threaten to cause world-wide chaos. For those players that just like blasting through the introductory dialogue and blowing the hell out of everything that moves, Front Mission Evolved allows for that. For those players that get more intimate with their mechs, there is a significant amount of customization that honestly feels as if something significantly different is present. Where previous examples in the Front Mission line of games have been more top-down strategy efforts, this reinvigoration of the storyline seems to be the shot in the arm that the franchise needs.
While fans of the earlier titles may be put out by this genre shift, I believe enough new fans will find something to love about Front Mission Evolved, which in turn will allow for subsequent games to be made utilizing this reach story. With intuitive controls that provide the perfect amount of difficult in controlling your robot, playing the title seems easy enough, but mastering it will be significantly harder. Where the differentiation between weapons, armor and the like seems tangible, the environment is something that honestly feels as if the design team sat down and wanted to sparkle. With nary a weakness to be seen, I know that this game will be in my Xbox for months to come.
Front Mission Evolved (Xbox 360) / 2010 Square Enix / http://www.frontmissionevolved.com / http://www.square-enix.com