Title: DAEMON X MACHINA
Genre: Adventure, Shooter, Action
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 12
Release Date: 13/09/19
Price: £49.99 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
DAEMON X MACHINA is the latest release from Marvelous! Formerly Marvelous Entertainment, a Japanese Studio initially founded in 2011, with other switch titles such as the Kagura series, as well as No More Heroes. They also have producer Kenichiro Tsukuda, who led the development of the game and is famed for his storytelling and production of the Armored Core series of games for the PlayStation.
At its Core
DAEMON X MACHINA tells the post-apocalyptic story, of Man Vs Machine, as the Moon fell from the sky, triggering humans to build walls called “Ovals” to limit the disaster. Humans also utilise incredible advancements in technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help rebuild the planet. At the same time, this disaster also allowed The Immortals to arrive and attempt to turn the AI against the humans, in the strangest Skynet and transformers mash-up you’ve ever seen.
The consortiums behind saving the human race call on an elite mercenary group called The Reclaimers to save humanity and help to uncover the deepest darkest secrets behind The Immortals, definite Armored Core vibes shining through (The Ravens).
The game introduces the main protagonist, the rookie, with the player assigned as the newest recruit to The Reclaimers, and appointed to pilot a Giant Mech called an Arsenal. The name suggests we’re talking more than a couple of shoulder cannons here, and you’re right, you command multiple weapons across the mechs structure, shoulders, hands, pylons, and the level of customisation as you progress through the game is endless. Start by selecting your paint colour and decals, right down to the intricate detail of each gun and design, with missions filled with looting and even developing your weapons along the way. You could spend hours upon hours customising and changing to your heart’s content and then just sitting back and admiring your handiwork as your Arsenal is displayed in the control room.
Mech Design Out Of This World
Graphically the game is beautiful, with a stunning anime style, clever lighting effects, and lushly crafted city maps. The design of the Mech’s throughout are wonderfully industrial and detailed, a testament to the design process and hiring designers specifically for this task alone.
What I should touch on is the highly forgettable dialogue between each cutscene and text-based narratives between missions, with a seemingly infinite number of NPC’s, that rarely stay around for long or add anything of interest along the way. I wish they could help you to dig into the previously outlined sci-fi storyline, alas this never really materialises. Frankly, as much as it pains me to say, you may be better shaving the length of the game down, and skipping through much of this content to get to the missions themselves.
The gameplay is a 3rd person shooter, roaming a cityscape map, often flanked by other mercenaries, with the option to roam at ground level, or boost upwards and fly-around the environment, it almost blends its style between a shooter and a flight simulator.
Come With Me If You Want To Loot
The missions typically follow the conventional formula found in most Mech Games, scour the map for enemies, loot here and there, or protect a building or safe-zone from progressing to the next mission. Often this can feel very repetitive and dare I say, monotonous. However, some moments stretch the player to be a little more strategic in the approach. When battling a colossal mech, for example, you are challenged to avoid head-on combat, and even have the option to leave your mech suit, and roam around on foot. However, this is never really presented excitingly.
The difficulty levels strangely fluctuate through the campaign of missions from utterly simple, to mind-numbingly complex and then back again, and at all times never really feeling like the story is moving anywhere. I found myself waiting for a clever twist in the story or a sneaky peek behind the curtain of what could have been a deep and immersive story, but it never came and felt like a missed opportunity to create something very different in this space.
After the 20-25 hours it takes to run through the missions and main story quest of the game, it summarily feels like a lacking arcade game, created in a similar vein to games of the past and never really considering the needs of the modern gamer, to feel connected to its characters, to feel emotionally invested in the story, and to want to explore every crevice of dialogue and backstory to complete the experience of the game.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase DAEMON X MACHINA from the Nintendo eShop on the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch/DAEMON-X-MACHINA-1388304.html
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.