Game Reviews

‘Assault Gunners: HD Edition’ Review: Massive Mech Mayhem

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Quick Take: Assault Gunners: HD Edition seeks to fill the need for mech-based combat games on the PS4, but is a 6-year-old port of a PS Vita game the right game for the mission?

A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a buddy about how there hasn’t been any good mech games on the PS4. The PS2 launched with quite a few — and some were excellent — but this current gen seems a bit bereft of the giant robot war games. The next day, a review opportunity for Assault Gunners: HD Edition came across my desk, a fast-paced mech assault game for the PS4, and I chalked it up to fate. Could the drought of mech games on the PS4 finally be over. Let’s just say that this is a decent start.

Assault Gunners: HD Edition is actually a HD remaster of a Japanese-only PS Vita game, which is finally seeing release here in the west (it was available here digitally in the PS Store, but never had a true “west” release). The game features over 30 campaign missions and all of the DLC content that has been released since its inception in 2012. Players take control of one mech in a team of four and battle it out against a mech uprising on Mars. The missions are the usual, “destroy X” or “download data,” and there are waves of mech enemies to take on, usually just mindless fodder.

Assault Gunners: HD Edition Review

As with most mech games, the key is to constantly move and constantly shoot, using all of the weapons at your disposal. The various weapons are mapped to the Dualshock 4 face buttons, so switching weapons is as easy as pressing a different button. Because of this simplicity, the level of challenge in Assault Gunners: HD Edition is not that high, which is both good and bad. Good, in that you can complete mission after mission, earning the necessary materials to upgrade and customize your main mech (and build various saved load outs) with new weapons and paint schemes, and the bad as after 15-20 missions in, it starts to get rather stale.

Assault Gunners: HD Edition Review

The music is pulsing and frenetic, and the voice work is all in Japanese, which gets annoying after a while. I can speak some of the language, and just hearing the same phrases over and over becomes grating. Where developer Marvelous excels here is in the  graphical upgrade from the Vita to the PS4. It’s not the best looking game by any stretch, but the frame rate holds up and it for a 6-year-old port, it still has some value to fans of mech games.

Assault Gunners: HD Edition Review

I love mech combat games and I miss the days on the early PS2 when it seemed that a new giant robot game was released each month. Assault Gunners: HD Edition is a call back of sorts to those PS2 games, now remastered on the PS4, but it’s a bandaid on a bullet wound at best. I’d like to see a developer like Marvelous build a true current gen mech game from the ground up and give fans and players of this genre something to fall in love with. Until then, Assault Gunners: HD Edition will have to do.

Assault Gunners: HD Edition is available now for the PS4 and Steam. This review is based off a PS4 review code provided by the publisher.

SCORE: 3.0 out of 5

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