Wow, just wow, and that’s not about the game WoW though, it is about Daemon x Machina’s release time frame, between Astral Chain and The Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening. Both of those games are amazing, both games have scored well and both games were highly anticipated. This game though has just one big advantage, it is a Mech game and these games are rare. The last game I know of was Battletech Developed by Harebrained Schemes and published by Paradox Interactive but the worst thing for switch owners, it’s a PC exclusive. There have been other games TitanFall 2 from developers Respawn Entertainment and published by EA on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, and then you have Into the Breach a turn-based strategy game developed and published by indie studio Subset Games on Nintendo Switch and PC. I’m sure there are others that I have missed but mech games are few and far between.
So on the 13th of September 2019 Daemon X Machina gets released from developers Marvelous Entertainment and published by Nintendo. The question for me being a fan of Battletech, have they made this game fun and worth it for a fan of Mech titles? For me, a game must have a good story, fun gameplay but most of all, be engaging. Does Daemon X Machina hit any of those notes? Let us find out.
The first time I played this game was with a demo, around February 2019. It was also the time the developers of the game wanted feedback on how they could make the game better before its launch. The only issue was, a demo normally means that the game is based on the final build, or near enough a final build, due to this, a small number of players decided right there and then not to purchase the game. It is a shame, and I feel if the developers made it far more clear that the demo was based on a developer build, it might have gone down a little better with gamers.
Since then (7 months approx.) have passed, feedback was taken to heart and it is fair to say the game has certainly improved. However, based on the game entering the charts at No19 it is also fair to say the game has not done too well. Then again it was also up against Borderlands 3 which is a shocking mess, Gears 5 and eFootball PES 2020, so it did have a lot of competition from different systems. But let us ignore the competition and lets check out the game.
After the moon fell, mankind turned to advanced AI to help rebuild the world, however, AI turned against humanity and a bitter war raged. A bit like in Terminator. You play an unnamed mercenary who must embark on missions in what the game calls an Arsenal, and what we call a Mech. Along the way you meet up with other factions, which at times will join you on missions, depending on if the mission suits their goal as well. What turned AI against humanity also provides you with increased abilities for your un-named character, so they are no ordinary human being anymore.
The story is extremely in depth, but also confusing, the voice acting is great and the on-screen text is well written. I don’t know what it was, I just found the story hard to follow as there was so much going on, so much to take in, it just made my mind wonder from time to time, normally I can follow a plot very well, but due to all the characters jumping in when they deemed it worthy of their time, waffling, just made me question everything. It pulled me away from the core story. After a few hours and I mean a few hours I started to slowly grow a better understanding of the game.
A good and engaging story is something I love in a game, and this one just ripped my mind to shreds.
So how does the gameplay compare, AMAZING, taking control of a huge well-endowed Arsenal is a dream, and based on previous games, controlling a mech can be cumbersome. This game, however, makes controlling a mech extremely fun. OK, it must be said the command list may seem daunting at first, but after a few missions things settle down and you start to get to grip with everything the game is throwing at you. You start to control your mech with grace as you fly through the air with skill. Everything joins together like a well-built puzzle.
The on-screen HUD might seem daunting and might also put you off as it consists of a lot of elements. Gauges, ammo counters, even icons that gauge different parts of your mechs health from the head, body parts and so on. You can turn them off, however, I found them more useful than a nuisance.
See, controlling your mech is as simple as, direction, pressing B for a boost to height, pressing left stick down to kill your jets and drop and R to dash, something you will be using a lot I promise you now. Aiming is stupidly easy, just aim in that direction and aim assist will do the rest for you, well apart from the shooting part. You can also exit your mech, but don’t, this is useless, as you will die very easily. This might have been more fun if you had more super abilities, like Master Chief from the Halo franchise. Aim assist might not be for the hardcore fans, but sit down, take a chill pill it’s not the end of the world as per se. If you are interested you can also use motion controls when playing in handheld or docked mode. I tended to use Motions controllers when playing the Game un-docked but preferred the twin-stick controls when docked.
The one thing you want when it comes to your mech, customisation right? Make it your own right? Well it’s all here, you can customise your Arsenal and your un-named avatar, as well as add a shed load of weapons, that you unlock throughout the game, by completing missions and salvaging from down enemies. In the end, my mech looked well endowed. A mech you would be proud of, not to mention would not want to mess with. With so much available, how do you assign everything? Well with the following buttons ZL, ZR, L and Y of course. You can trust what I say here, you are going to need all of them, as battles can be rather long when it comes to taking on the OMG MASSIVE BOSSES.
Yes, big bosses are amazing to battle, and they do make up for the repetitiveness of the game, as you will soon find out for yourself when playing it. There is a lot of mission, payment, talk, next mission, however, you are tasked with varied missions and there is some repetitiveness. I can say though, a lot of games become repetitive over time, even massive games like Warcraft end up being repetitive, however, we never hear complaints about that. So I am simply going to say if you enjoy the combat, you are really going to enjoy each mission. I know I did. For gamers that love online or co-op fun, it is here. Take the fight with up to with three other players, online or offline, your call. Alternatively, you can recruit AI which you unlock throughout the game but be warned they suck.
I really enjoyed the game, even with its repetitive nature, and confusing storyline, the voice acting, and dialogue, was great in my opinion, and the combat just made me want to play more. I did, however, play the prologue demo before grabbing the game and that helped me make the decision. If you are unsure, I would recommend you do the same and do not worry your save file moves over to the full game.