As much as I appreciate Harebrained Scheme's recent BattleTech game, my robo-tactical heart will forever belong to Square Enix's Front Mission series. If Crypt Of The NecroDancer studio Brace Yourself Games are trying to win that me over with their turn-based mech game Phantom Brigade, I can say that it's working better than flowers.
Phantom Brigade has been around for a while. First unveiled in 2016, it was being developed by Tetragon Studios, who have since merged with Brace Yourself. They just released their first trailer, giving us our first peek at its world of future mech warfare and one very big laser rifle. Check it out below, along with a trailer for the studio's other upcoming game, Industries of Titan.
While Phantom Brigade looks a lot like Front Mission (especially in its four-component targeting model), it has some interesting ideas of its own. Its mechs aren't enormous engines of ultra-war, but rather walking tanks the height of a small house. They do carry some very powerful guns, which can cut apart physically modelled buildings, crushing enemies under the rubble. Judging by some early footage, the game uses an action point system, giving you a lot of options in any given turn.
The now-merged Tetragon/Brace Yourself collective have been busy bees. As well as Phantom Brigade, they snuck out a trailer for city-building RTS Industries Of Titan which Alice Prime first took a peek at back almost exactly a year ago. Below, a peek at its capital ship combat. As an aside, I am still in awe of that title's wordplay.
Despite the Front Mission series being in hibernation since 2010's wonky Front Mission Evolved, it seems Phantom Brigade isn't the only stompybot successor on the horizon. Square Enix were demoing Left Alive at PAX West, a new third-person shooter set in the Front Mission universe. Also of note is Dual Gear, a game which is blending Front Mission's systems and aesthetic with the real-time/turn-based hybrid combat of Valkyria Chronicles. I figure with so many on the way, at least one of them has to be good, eh?
We've no idea when Phantom Brigade is coming out, but you can get a better look at it on its Steam page here, and the official site here. Those wanting a closer peek at its systems should check out Tetragon developer Chad Jenkins's old YouTube channel, featuring lots of early alpha-build footage.