Blast your way into sav­ing a US in tur­moil in a mech suit

XBox: The Official Magazine (US) - - START - Adam Bryant Pub­lisheR De­volver Dig­i­tal De­vel­oper FromSoft­ware ETA 2019

Free­dom is dead in Amer­ica and a na­tion­wide crises is in full swing. With full con­trol of the mil­i­tary the Vice Pres­i­dent of the United States has launched a coup d’etat against the Pres­i­dent, re­sult­ing in a civil war sweep­ing across the na­tion. In re­sponse the Pres­i­dent has taken con­trol of a fly­ing mech and with an ex­ces­sive amount of weaponry fights to push back the rebels to re­in­state Amer­ica’s free­dom. No, this isn’t a news flash, this is in fact the new­est re­mas­ter com­ing to Xbox One.

Don’t feel bad if you’ve never even heard of the game. It was orig­i­nally re­leased in 2004 ex­clu­sively for the Xbox and solely avail­able in Ja­pan, and given the con­sole’s ad­mit­tedly low pop­u­lar­ity in the coun­try the game was only ex­pe­ri­enced by a se­lect few. It has since gained a cult fol­low­ing thanks to the suc­cess of FromSoft­ware as a de­vel­oper. The in­ter­est in games like Dark Souls in­spired peo­ple to look back at the de­vel­oper’s back cat­a­logue and the word of mouth sim­ply spread about this ridicu­lous lit­tle gem.

Then in 2016 De­volver Dig­i­tal sent out a tweet to FromSoft­ware of­fer­ing to help lo­calise the game. This sent a wave of peo­ple beg­ging for it to hap­pen, and well, the rest is his­tory.

We re­cently had a chance to go hands-on with the game and it’s just as over the top as we imag­ined. The premise may seem less out­ra­geous now than it did back in 2004 but it’s prob­a­bly be­cause of that that it couldn’t be more per­fectly timed.

Free­dom fighters

Apart from a slight graph­i­cal up­grade, very lit­tle has needed to be changed from the orig­i­nal: even the voice act­ing was orig­i­nally in English. The be­gin­ning of the first mis­sion sets the game’s tone per­fectly, with the Pres­i­dent smash­ing out of the White House’s fa­cade in a mech suit shout­ing “Okay, let’s party”, only to then pro­ceed in blow­ing up the tanks, he­li­copters and mil­i­tary troops wait­ing out­side, to the sound of rock mu­sic and cheesy one-lin­ers. That’s pretty much what you get the whole way through the game, but sur­pris­ingly, de­spite its age, it’s still a blast to play.

Through­out you’ll have ac­cess to over a hun­dred dif­fer­ent weapons, eight of which you can equip but only two can be fired at a time. You can switch over these weapons to mix up how you want to un­leash chaos. You’ll be blast­ing, straf­ing, dash­ing and slam­ming ev­ery­thing in your path. De­feat­ing en­e­mies will pro­duce money, which you can use to buy more weapons.

It may be com­pletely ridicu­lous, and over the top. But it’s been a long time since we’ve had a game quite like it and we love it.

“The premise may seem less out­ra­geous now than it did back in 2004”

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