With Square Enix’s upcoming releases of Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded, Deus Ex:Human Revolution and Final Fantasy XIV, it was curious to see that the game that had the most screens at Square Enix’s booth at New York Comic Con was none of the above. The recently released, Front Mission Evolved took up the most space for visitors to play.

Evolved is the first game in the Front Mission series to be played primarily as a 3rd person shooter, as opposed to the strategy games normal to the series. Because of that, it was interesting to see how Double Helix Games would bring this IP into the shooter realm. While at NYCC 2010, Jon Lavallee and I got a chance to get some hands on time with the multi-player to see just that.

The map we played on featured a dam as the central battle area which was surrounded by rocky paths. The mech you control seems approximately 15 feet tall, and it takes what would seem like a decent size map for human characters, and makes it feel a cramped for the large mechs. Though with only a maximum of eight players per match, the map size is manageable.

The player cap is one of the major downfalls of the multi-player, maxing out at eight players, either in 4 vs. 4 team deathmatch or all eight in free for all. If you have a large group of friends, this could be a major reason to pass on this game in favor of other shooters that allow you and all your friends to play together.

front mission evolved nycc hands on gameplay

The other big drawback is that there are only five multi-player maps. Yes, FIVE. A modern game with online multi-player needs to have more maps. After a night or two of playing it is conceivable that you would have most, if not all of the maps memorized. This can easily be rectified with DLC, but we’ll have to wait and see.

With those major drawbacks, the tragedy is that Front Mission Evolved is really fun to play. Your mech is armed with a set of weapons strapped to either arm, usually a gun on the right, and missiles on the left. This allows for long strings of pain to be dished out to your enemy.

Also, you are equipped with jet packs that let you skate around the terrain, but sadly you cannot fly vertically. This leads to a large amount of shooting on the run, which can either be extremely frustrating, or highly engaging. This feature in a deeper game would be a great strategic tool. Sadly, in Front Mission Evolved, its just relegated to high spot in an otherwise low game.

If some map packs come out and some more match types get patched in, Front Mission Evolved could move from being an afterthought to something really worth picking up. Only time will tell.

Be sure to check out Game Rant’s full review here.

Front Mission Evolved is available now on PS3 and Xbox 360.

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