Hot Wanzer Action!

I've got a big wanzer
It might be the lack of sleep, or the caffeine I’ve used to prop my brain open, but the glimpse of robo-customisation in the new Front Mission Evolved trailer (below, via Big Download) made me a bit giddy. Also: roller-skating robots in the classic Japanese urban robo-war style, big guns making noise, and wanzers (that’s the mechs) doing circle strafing in the classic This Game Is A Shooter style. Front Mission Evolved my be ejecting much of the heritage of its parent series, but there’s a vague chance that it might just be an entertaining robot-biff game, and we are so, so lacking in that department these days. Also in wanzer news (for which there is a dev blog): Front Mission Evolved has been confirmed for a September 14th release date.


  1. Adrian says:

    Looks good allready i somewhat like the roller skates idea but id also like to see a more tank like mech in the game. Fast moving robots always give the impression of being more vulnerable than slow mechs with heavy movements. Of course being slow means a disadvantage in fighting but you also are wrapped in layers of steel to protect yourself from gunfire and hitting an enemy with your massive iron arms is always deadly.

    • arash says:

      Honestly though, I wanna know now what will distinguish this venerable series from crap like Armoured Core. Other than another dreadful squeenix cheezefest drama about adolescents thrust into combat. AGAIN.

  2. Dood says:

    What’s up with the silly gliding?

    • Mr Labbes says:

      Thank Code Geass, it’s all the rage now.

    • Jae Armstrong says:

      It wasn’t new with Code Geass, was it? I’m sure I remember the spider tanks from GITS:SAC (now, if there was ever a mech that looked even remotely feasible…) scooting around on rollerskates…

    • Zombat says:

      Heavy Gear had roller skating mechs too, that was from the mid 90s

    • kai says:

      I’m pretty sure the rollerskates were present in the original Front Mission for the SNES…

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Yeah, it’s an old anime trope, I think.

    • Bhazor says:

      Heh Git Sac.

    • Dominic White says:

      On paved or otherwise smooth surfaces, having an alternate wheeled/tracked method of transport is far more logical than trying to run and stomping holes in the ground. Also, it keeps weapons a lot more levels. Science-wise, it’s good design. It’s ironic that so many people consider it ‘too anime’.

    • Sarlix says:


      Who you callin a Git sac!

      Oooh… Git ‘s.a.c’

      ghost in the shell stand alone complex

      silly me.


    • Dood says:

      I’m still not sold on robot rollerskating Dominic. A several metars tall bipedal robot will want to have it’s feet planted firmly on the ground as much as possible. With such a high center of gravity pretty much anything ist going to topple you over when your feet are floating/on wheels. But since were talking about fictional robots who seem to be able to jump tens of meters high, I don’t care too much about realism. So let them skate I say! I still think it looks silly though. =)

    • whalleywhat says:

      You’d have to assume the wheels are mechanically controlled. They didn’t just slap rollerblades on the feet of a mech.

    • Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

      The “roller-skating” robots were there in Front Mission from the start, seeing as how these boosts made slogging across the gridmap a lot easier to bear.

      They’re also inspired by the treads-on-boots robots from the show Armored Trooper VOTOMS, which is oddly enough more realistic than Battletech and roughly as bleak and depressing as FASA’s real-life constant legal and financial besiegement.

  3. Jim Rossignol says:

    It seems clear that this kind of game needs Red Faction tech, so you can throw robots through buildings.

    • BigJonno says:

      Definitely! There also needs to be better hand-to-hand combat in mech games (at least in the ones where the mechs have hands.) I want to be able to participate in the aforementioned robot-tossing, as well as some good, old-fashioned limb tearing.

    • Nesetalis says:

      front mission always had ‘decent’ melee.. some mech pilots specialized in melee and god they were devistating..

    • Snidesworth says:

      Melee was always a risk, but the payoffs were huge. You risked exposing yourself to massive amounts of fire but the damage you dealt was monstrous. You could punch off limbs in one blow and, if you got lucky, kill an undamaged enemy in a single turn.

  4. Magic H8 Ball says:

    I was always under the impression Front Mission was a tactical game.

    • Snidesworth says:

      The previous games were, yes. They were also console only affairs (SNES for 1-2, PS for 3, PS2 for 4). The genre switch doesn’t bother me much. I do hope the customisation remains the same though. It was simple enough that you didn’t need to read a tech manual to understand it while having enough variety to provide loads of potential builds. I do wonder if pilot skills will come into the game though. That was a big part of 3 and 4 and nearly as important as what sort of wanzer the guy was piloting.

    • Luomu says:

      It’s pretty funny when a traditional turn-based strategy/tactics series comes to PC it’s an action game :)

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      There was also the pretty awesome Front Mission: Gun Hazard.

    • whalleywhat says:

      Gun Hazard had the advantage of Yoshitaka Amano art and Nobuo Uematsu music.

    • Matzerath says:

      That’s why I thank Satan for Indy Development, because the majors want nothing to do with turn-based-tactical anymore, which would be fine if they weren’t fucking with games that are remembered for being that very thing.

    • HermitUK says:

      It’s ironic that a lot of PC people consider the consoles to be the home of stupid games, and yet in the last decade or so they’ve had much more in the way of mainstream turn based games. A lot of it is Japanese, which perhaps isn’t to everyone’s tastes, but at least fans of the genre aren’t starving for new stuff like they are on the PC.

      It’s especially funny that in terms of the consoles TBS is a much more workable genre than the RTS, given that the turn system makes a menu system a viable control method, nicely getting round the relative lack of buttons.

  5. Robert Yang says:

    They really call them “Wanzers”?! My god

    • Nick says:

      Yup.. comes from “Wanderpanzer”.

    • Luomu says:

      From German “Wandrung Panzer”, actually.

      And a tanker on legs would be…

    • jsdn says:

      …called exactly the same?
      Wanzer is pretty silly, but then we’re talking Square-Enix here. Wanzer doesn’t exactly top their list of silly design decisions.

    • Sarlix says:

      Jim’s title didn’t exactly help..I mean ‘hot wanzer action’ I honestly didn’t know what to expect from this thread.

      ‘Wanzer Robots’ would have been more suitable. Or even ‘Hot Robot Action’

    • Michael says:

      I see, so the English translation would be ‘walking tank’ or …

      Actually, Wanzer’s not such a bad name.

    • Dominic White says:

      It’s still fairly clunky in literal German, but yeah, it’s pronounced ‘Vanzer’ and it does roughly translate to ‘wandering/hiking armor’. But foreign languages do seem to be a sticking point for many. Hence that infamous videogame series – Ninja Gay Den.

  6. Mechazawa says:

    My god, what did they do to Front Mission ? Where’s my tactical RPG goodness ?

  7. Malagate says:

    Front Mission was a Tactical game, but this one is…evolved.

    This seriously reminds me of Armoured Core, and a little bit of Zone of the Enders.

  8. Bowlby says:

    Walter Koenig DLC, includes: VO by Walter Koenig, where he has been contractually required to pronounce the word “Wanzers” with a “V”.

    That’s about the only thing that would make me want this game. I loved the Japanese-y feel, art direction and gameplay blueprint of Front Mission 3. Take all that away, and this becomes just another giant robot game.

    • says:

      Oh no, not… not another giant robot game! No!

      I want more giant robot stompy games. With TrackIR. :(

  9. Ravenholme says:

    Oh boy, I just know I’m gonna be a sucker and get this.

    Looks awesome (Though I generally prefer western Mechs to Eastern Mecha), and we need a game like this on the PC (Lost Planet 1/2 do not count)

  10. gulag says:

    If they were still making Heavy Gear games, they’d look like this. It’s on the ‘Want!’ list.

  11. Nesetalis says:

    I loved Frontmission 3… 4 though.. my god i got so bored with it.. i never finished.

    the graphics in it seemed like all the color had been washed out, everything was gray and brown.. and combat was slow.. the story was slow.. and none of it felt really engaging to me…

    this one doesnt look too bad.. I may give it a try (atleast a demo if there is one)

  12. jsdn says:

    “A new world will rise from the ashes of the old. A world without war, a world without borders.”

    • Ravenholme says:

      Yeah, I thought, “Wait… MGS?” as well. It’s a Squenix story though, which means it will be incomprehensible garbage.

      Here’s hoping the gameplay makes up for it.

    • says:

      Wasn’t that pretty much the name of one of Ace Combat’s terrist groups?

  13. Zinic says:

    Looks to me like they took Front Mission: Gun Hazard and updated it to current day graphics and gameplay. This has struck my interest definitely. (For those who don’t remember, this is not the first Front Mission game to go away from the tactical RPG style. The before mentioned Gun Hazard also did this, and I assume the MMO did as well.)

    Does look a bit too much like Armored Core, but that’s not really a bad thing.

    The most important question however: Will this be out for PC?

  14. Sam A. says:

    For all my friends and I liked the Front Mission games, we always desired a game that would essentially play out like the opening cutscene of FM4 (link to This looks pretty close to that.

  15. Schizoslayer says:

    The peak of Mech games is still Steel Battalion. Whenever I see a video like this it just reminds me that I still have that in a box in my spare room and if I could be bothered to bring out my original Xbox and clear a space large enough to set it up then I would certainly play it.

  16. Magic H8 Ball says:

    Snidesworth said:
    The previous games were, yes. They were also console only affairs (SNES for 1-2, PS for 3, PS2 for 4). The genre switch doesn’t bother me much.

    Well, it bothers me. There is never enough tactical games, and there is more than enough FPSes, and it seems this plays almost exactly like FPS(because you can strafe).

  17. Geoff says:

    @BigJonno, I cant wait to start tossing some big hard wanzers either!

    I love game trailers that make me excited. The ‘grown up’ art stlye is up my alley. Something like this really makes starcraft 2 art style look so childish. want to play!

  18. Sunjammer says:

    “Wanzer” *snicker*

    • ZephyrSB says:

      That was pretty much the reaction of my housemate throughout my playthrough of one of the earlier FM games :)

  19. nayon says:

    What’s funny is how people complain about XCOM (turn based tactical strategy franchise turned shooter) and don’t complain about From Missin: Evolved (turn based tactical strategy franchise turned shooter)

    • Corporate Dog says:

      PC gamers tend to be crotchedy, set-in-their-ways, “old-timers” like me, while console gamers tend to be younger and less discerning?

      XCom could win me back with quality, because even while turn-based strategy fans have been wandering the desert for 40 years, I kinda like the throwback, “prequel” setting they’re digging out for themselves.

      I don’t know what ‘FM: Evolved’ could possibly do to win me over. The game looks like an Armored Core clone, which doesn’t exactly rev the engines for me.

    • Nick says:

      Not really, because they/we do/did in fact complain about it the first time it was posted.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      This isn’t pretending to be anything other than a spinoff (like Gun Hazard), though. It doesn’t really stop them from making FM6, either (which would likely be Japan-exclusive like FM5 anyway).

    • Dominic White says:

      There’s been plenty of complaints about this game from the console crowd. Less so in the west, because the Front Mission fanbase is tiny, though. There’s be a lot less complaining if the game looked good, but this is by the people who gave us G.I. Joe: Rise of COBRA recently, which is one of the worst licensed games released in recent memory.

      The big Japanese studios should just stop farming their licenses out to western studios. It just doesn’t work. Instead, they should look to Konami, who set up a special team to do remakes/updates of classic games. The Rebirth series (now covering Contra, Castlevania and Gradius) on the Wii are all great because of this.

  20. Al3xand3r says:

    I loved Front Mission 3. Why couldn’t they continue the franchise as is and make a different brand of mech action? They should also publish the turn based games on PC to expand their market, sure they have some JRPG-like stuff which PC gamers aren’t hot on but I think they’d find the core tactical gameplay more than worthwhile, and the story didn’t have obnoxious cut scenes and what not…

  21. zakkmiester says:

    Oh my gawd.
    It’s coming out for the PC?
    Something to fill my aching armored core gap?
    Oh gawd yes.

  22. EthZee says:

    Hm. I was previously fairly skeptical of this. But free Mechwarrior has softened my feelings and this trailer has piqued my interest. I wish to try this game. (I too was excited at the potential for customising my mech’s paintjob; also ROLLERSKATE MECHS)

    I will probably get this on the PS3, I need a good mech game for that. I tried Armored Core 4, and I found the mechs didn’t feel right in their handling. The mechs in MW4 are nice (especially with a joystick/HOTAS); if this can get the feel of stompy robot right I’ll be pleased.

  23. Grey_Ghost says:

    Ooh. reminds me of Earthsiege with the mech customization.

  24. geldonyetich says:

    Looks like everything that one could ask for in a Japanese-style (which tend to be a bit faster-paced) mech combat game and more.

  25. Magic H8 Ball says:

    Dominic White said:
    On paved or otherwise smooth surfaces, having an alternate wheeled/tracked method of transport is far more logical than trying to run and stomping holes in the ground.

    Wheels and/or tracks are always better than legs, no matter the surface.

    HermitUK said:
    It’s ironic that a lot of PC people consider the consoles to be the home of stupid games, and yet in the last decade or so they’ve had much more in the way of mainstream turn based games.

    Just because game is turn based doesn’t mean it’s not stupid. Continuing with the irony theme, console tactical RPGs are prime example of this – 90% of the time you win simply by having higher level than the enemy, remaining 10% you win by figuring out the level’s “puzzle”.

    • Strangelove says:

      Surely legs would be better than tracks in a (deep) swamp-like environment? Or in a scouting role, where the high vantage point makes the legged vehicle able to see more?