We have no idea how the war of the future will be fought, but even today, there are ideas. Unmanned aerial vehicles have taken to the skies, providing efficient close-air support without endangering the pilot. Computer systems have made the delivery of weapons more efficient and more accurate, eliminating the enemy but also reducing casualties. But, perhaps most interestingly, robots, along with remote controls machines, have become the new frontier for application into combat. When one thinks about it, robots will become the dominating form of combat in the future, and in the case of Assault Gunners HD Edition,
Assault Gunners originally began as a portable title for Sony’s boutique system, the PlayStation Vita. As the handheld gaming device was popular in Japan, Assault Gunners found a solid audience among players, praising the game for its action, combat, and customization options, which was impressive for a handheld device. Assault Gunners remained a Japanese exclusive, until now, when in a surprising turn of event, Uber Strategist and MARVELOUS Games localization announced Assault Gunners HD Edition for the Western territories. Translated into English, Assault Gunners HD Edition has been upscaled and optimized for the PlayStation 4 and Steam.
Assault Gunners HD Edition takes place in the distant future, where climate and war have ravaged the Earth’s surface. Earth’s nearest neighbor, Mars, is the best hope of humanity, and a planet-wide operation is launched to terraform the planet. The entire process will take 300 years, during which Earth’s population will continue to suffer and swindle.
Fearing this will take far too long, the governments of the planet authorize an aggressively accelerated terraforming operation, using a large army of autonomous mechs and robots to complete the job. Players are part of an elite planetary military force, stationed in orbit on the Martian moon, Deimos. Known as the DAT, pilots are specially trained to pilot sophisticated and advanced combat mechs for defensive and offensive operations.
While on a routine training operation, multiple alerts come from the Martian surface, indicating important installations are under attack. The team rapidly descends to the surface to discover the entire fleet of terraforming robots have been armed and are now attacking indiscriminately. With the planet and humanity’s potential future, in peril, the team are given full access to their armament and given the authorization to end this threat.
Assault Gunners HD Edition is a mech-based combat game. Players will find themselves thrust into battle in a hulking mobile suit, armed with multiple weapons, boosters, and thick armor. After a helpful tutorial, which helps players learn the proper controls, players can begin their mission. On each mission, players will be accompanied by three additional units. A.I Controlled, they will obey your commands, attacking the enemy of defending you. If you outfit them correctly, they will perform well in dealing with the hordes of enemies you will encounter.
One of the biggest strengths of Assault Gunners HD Edition is the customization options. At the conclusion of each mission, players will receive development points and new parts for development. Players will be able to construct a multitude of upper torso and leg parts, each with their own stats. Additionally, players will have an assortment of customization options for weapons. Players can equip primary, secondary, shoulder, and melee weapons. From chain guns to plasma rifles, the weapons assortment is plentiful to suit the needs of players.
Once players embark on missions, Assault Gunners opens up very well! The objective is to eliminate every enemy on-screen. As they are numerous, it is wise not to take these machines lightly. The enemy combatants are armed with a variety of bullet, missile, and laser-based weaponry. Players will want to boost, evade, and eliminate their enemies as swiftly as possible. In a sense, this type of mech action reminds me of an arcade twin-stick shooter, with the ultimate goal of eliminating as many enemies as possible.
Survival will not be easy as players will have to balance their boost power and tactics to best survive. This is most especially true on harder difficulty, as enemies will wear down your shield and chassis if you are not careful. Across the 35 levels, there will be difficult bosses, ranging from a mysterious pilot in a red combat mech to Bipedal tanks and rolling spider bots. Each experience is action packed and a lot of fun.
Overall, the combat and gameplay experience feels very solid and a bit nostalgia. There is never a shortage of action and it always feels rewarding to customize your mech. Exploring the surface of Mars and structure similar to Total Recall is a fun experience. As I played I was reminded of older games that put special operations against sum rogue mechanized nation. Most particularly, I was reminded of the classic Armored Core franchise, which came from Dark Souls developer From Software. The Armored Core franchise featured a story and a gameplay structure that was very similar.
Despite being formerly a PlayStation Vita title, the visuals in Assault Gunners HD are solid, if they are seen as old-fashioned. The first thing that comes to mind if Armored Core 2 on the PlayStation 2, but this is not a bad criticism as it evokes nostalgia. The game features Japanese audio with English subtitles and a pretty solid, anime-inspired soundtrack.
Assault Gunners HD Edition is a solid offering for those looking for a different kind of action experience. Its sci-fi universe is neat and the customization options are fun, but it’s the fast mech-based combat that is incredibly engaging. Additionally, MArvelous should be commended for managing to bring a game such as this to the United States, as game localization is a slow and patient process.Suit up, arm up, and get to Mars because there’s a world to save!