Assault Gunners HD Edition may be one of the most difficult games I’ve ever played… And I’m not talking about game modes…
I’d like to first say that games such as Assault Gunners do not appeal to me, nor do I understand what others see in it. The closest experience I have ever had to this sort of game is the Legend of Zelda spinoff: Hyrule Warriors. Hyrule Warriors was fun for a while, but that was due to its Zelda call-backs and art style, and the fact that I could play as different Zelda characters. That’s it. Which is why Assault Gunners is such a colossal disappointment to me.
Shade Inc’s newest game release is something that offers a lot on paper, but the result is a little below the mark. It’s clear that it is not a high budget game, and that’s fine. But there are numerous ways the game could have improved that probably wouldn’t have cost much to fix. What they offer is a futuristic space battle game featuring customisable mechs over 35 full-length levels. What you get is essentially wannabe-Gundam-meets-Dynasty-Warriors-meets-the-most-boring-low-budget-Sci-Fi-movie you’ve ever seen.
There are 35 levels, but some are so short that they are over in less than five minutes; Hyrule Warriors on the other hand took as long as half an hour to complete one level. The mech customisation is good, to be fair, giving you a range of ways that you can make your mech your own. The problem is, it’s just not very fun. Gameplay is slow, clunky and repetitive, and the sound effects are horrible. The interface is somewhat efficient when changing weapons during combat, but for the most part the enemy you face are about as responsive as a sloth after a large meal. Almost entirely motionless, and with little to no attacking force, enemies feel less like a threat and more like an inconvenience. They are repetitive, and easy to kill, and have little to no AI. This isn’t something that I’m new to, though. Hyrule Warriors had the same problem. It should be quality over quantity, but the enemies you face are just massive hordes of incredibly weak and pointless adversaries. It feels more like mindless slaughter than it does stopping a threat in its tracks.
But it is the sound that hurt me the most. The voice over is all Japanese, which is fine! I play a lot of games in Japanese and if I’m watching anime you bet I’m watching with subtitles and Japanese audio, but I need those subtitles! Often during the course of my gameplay, I would hear a character speaking in Japanese and have no subtitles translating what they are saying, losing all immersion and idea of what the hell I’m doing. But honestly, this problem is only visible through a microscope when compared to the sound effects. The sound effects made the game so difficult to play. Every footstep is like a nail on a chalkboard. I understand what Shade Inc were trying to do here. You are playing as a mech, and as such they would have mechanical movements. But did you have to make them so invasive? I got to a point during my gameplay when I tried to play without taking any footsteps, because that grinding, crashing and whirring sound every second that you move was just too much to bear. The first level or two took place indoors in what seemed to be a hangar, and the sounds of footsteps grated on the ears. “Okay” I thought, “they’re indoors, maybe this is quite clever! The sounds are horrible but it is metal on metal!” But I clearly gave the game too much credit, as the next level was on Mars and had you fighting in a desert-like area, and the same exact sound effects occurred! Needless to say, they lost me there.
To be honest, the story was so boring and the lack of subtitles where I need them meant I barely caught any of what was going on, so here is the Steam description of the game so you might get an idea of what it was all about:
ASSAULT GUNNERS HD EDITION puts you in control of the Peace Keeping Force known as DAT and along with your three allied Battle Mechs, you must attempt to save Earth’s Migrants and the Mars Colonies as a whole from the threat of the ANTS uprising. Who or what could be leading this threat against Mars, and the new planned perfect utopia for humanity?
Assault Gunners HD Edition is good for a game that requires little thought, and if you’re looking for a mindless killing game. But other than that, I’d steer clear. The graphics are something of a generation or two before, and the only positive being the mech customisation, which isn’t really that great.