Front Mission Evolved Q&A - More Story Details, More Gameplay Details

Producer Shinji Hashimoto shares more details on the next chapter in the Front Mission series.

For years, the Front Mission series has delivered an intriguing combination of strategic gameplay and nerdy mech customization for giant-robot enthusiasts. The series is now set to return with a new game, Front Mission Evolved, which will break new ground as a third-person shooter (with nerdy mech customization). Producer Shinji Hashimoto explains.

GameSpot: Give us an overview of Front Mission Evolved. What are the more important new features in the game?

Shinji Hashimoto: One of the most important features is that the game is a third-person shooter. Players will pilot robots called wanzers to defeat enemies and fulfill their objectives. Depending on [which level you're playing], you can play as a human as well. There have been a few scenes in past games where this was possible, but this is the first time [in the series that] playing as a human has been built into the main system.

There is also a new system called "E.D.G.E." In previous Front Mission games, bioneural devices, or "fenrirs," were introduced as "core weapons" (systems), but players either couldn't use them at all or couldn't really experience anything out of the ordinary when using them. The E.D.G.E system is a major aspect of Front Mission Evolved's storyline and is something that players can actually use.

Front Mission Evolved will take the series into brand-new territory. Third-person shooter territory.

GS: What aspects of previous games in the series are you most looking to build or improve on?

SH: We gave the agility backpack more power in order to heighten wanzer mobility. The agility backpack from the previous games could be used only as a means to travel to high places, but in this game, we've strengthened the skate mode, making it possible to glide across the ground.

GS: Why make the next Front Mission game a third-person shooter?

SH: The fact that we created this game in collaboration with a Western developer and also our goal to introduce the world of Front Mission to as many people around the world as possible were some of the reasons behind our decision to make this game a third-person shooter. We chose the shooter genre because it's something that many people are familiar with and has a strong compatibility with the style of the game itself, in terms of controlling wanzers. We also felt it would be a shame if players couldn't see their customized wanzers in action and chose the third-person view so that they can see themselves (or their backs, at least) onscreen.

GS: How will the strategic elements from the previous game affect the gameplay in Evolved?

SH: The genre is different, so [you might not see all the] strategic elements from the simulation-plus-role-playing Front Mission games. However, by choosing your backpack, you can take on different roles: an assault trooper with high mobility, a healer, or a defender that hinders enemy attacks. The strategic experience is more prominent when playing online. In the single-player game, you can explore optimal ways to clear a level by customizing your machine based on enemy placement.

GS: Tell us about the role your character plays in the game's story. Who is your character, and where does this character fit in the Front Mission timeline?

SH: The main character, Dylan, is a newly appointed wanzer pilot. Because his father is involved in the construction of wanzers, these mechs have been a part of his life since childhood. Thus, he possesses wanzer knowledge, techniques, and control skills that would put a veteran pilot to shame. He is very cheerful and honest and acts like a young boy at times.

GS: How does your character eventually end up as part of the war among factions?

SH: New York City is suddenly attacked while the main character is operating a test model. In order to rescue his father, he heads to New York in the test model and begins coordinating with the military amidst the confusion. He must now stand up against the enemies who attacked the city.

GS: One of the most enjoyable aspects of previous Front Mission games was customization of wanzers. How much customization will be available in Evolved?

SH: I can't give away the actual numbers yet, but over 10 wanzer models and several dozen weapons will be available. Battle skills are customizable, and there is now more freedom in camouflaging and coloring the wanzers.

GS: Can you give us any hints on what's planned for multiplayer?

SH: The experience is very close to that of the standard shooters. Deathmatch, team deathmatch, and domination are some of the [modes] that players may be familiar with.

GS: Finally, is there anything else you'd like to add about Front Mission: Evolved?

SH: I'd like to assure existing fans of the series that they shouldn't be concerned about the change of genre. The world stays true to what it has always been, wanzers are still a major component, and you can even become a pilot yourself. There is also an easy mode for people who aren't very familiar with action games.

Multiplayer will have several competitive modes.

For those who are playing Front Mission for the first time, you can enjoy Front Mission Evolved as a stand-alone action shooter, even if you aren't familiar with the rest of the series. It would be great if newcomers could give this game a try and get to know Front Mission and its world.

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69 comments
Alfreedoms
Alfreedoms

I'm not really sure about this new genre. I was expecting their old turn based strategic games!

WhenAswineFlew
WhenAswineFlew

OVER 10 wanzer models. That means there are only 11, and the calm and rexon made it go up to 11. Thats weak.

roguemetroid
roguemetroid

I didn't play the FM1 or 2, but IMO FM3 for the Playstation One was the best in the series. FM4 for the PS2 was a piece of crap. I can barely read the text because it was so small and the story was boring. Even though the link combos in FM4 was cool, it got nothing on the abilities of FM3. But that's only my opinion. I think FME is going to be great! Now we can finally get to experience the action of combat our selves!

FedCom
FedCom

I love all the people who think Front Mission is leaving its roots with this game. FMO was a third person action game 4 years ago and Gunhazard was an action game too. To bad they were Japanese only. Gunhazard was good.

Hanzo_Jinn
Hanzo_Jinn

Bah, 3rd person shooter? I have a FM4 save file with over 300 hours...I play that game every year...Wish they brought 5 to NA, this new one looks LAME...But I know I'll rent it..LOL

X-7
X-7

I hope it is better than the past couple of AC's.

Leventon
Leventon

yay front mission has turned from greatest strategy rpg to armored core clone WAY are they trying to ruin so many great games recently

eLite0101
eLite0101

If 3D action game, then at least as proper deep "simulator" like Mechwarrior series were, not just dumb shooter for God sake!

Samurai8X
Samurai8X

Front mission 3-ish game with great graphics whould be right. not this. i beat front mission 3 twice an front mission 4 once.

pelvist
pelvist

I wonder if they decided to release this one on PC because they have an MMO coming up?

awesome
awesome

" It would be great if newcomers could give this game a try and get to know Front Mission and its world. " NOOOoooo leave that new crap for the Wii- like the dumbed down Monster Hunter Tri.. Front Mission should have stayed as a turn based strategy game like the 'true' fans have loved and deserved :-(

Devil_Dante
Devil_Dante

"The fact that we created this game in collaboration with a Western developer and also our goal to introduce the world of Front Mission to as many people around the world as possible were some of the reasons behind our decision to make this game a third-person shooter." Why didn't you bring out Front Mission 4 to europe and Front Mission 5 to America and Europe then, surely that would've expanded peoples interest in the game...?

Agent-M
Agent-M

I hope Transformers is a great game.

Psycold
Psycold

I like the third person view idea because I loved Armored Core, but I loved Mech Warrior even more....Mech Warrior 2 is older than any Armored Core game and it still had the ability to switch between first and third person. I hope they implement this as well.

ala_carcuss
ala_carcuss

The relentless decline of the gaming industry continues.... Streamline THIS!! your f*cktards!!!!!!!!!!

MagicAg
MagicAg

Haha, the same game team made G.I.Joe:the rise of cobra,what do you expect

Scrotous
Scrotous

Ah wtf, i was hoping it was turn based strategy again, still looks good though.

gordogomez2
gordogomez2

3rd person will kill the game's spirit. I hate when developers do this kind of things! :(

br1an625
br1an625

I am concerned with the change of genre because I'd like to play a FM SRPG ... not a FM TPS. :-((((

bodylotion
bodylotion

Looks like the game "Armored Core" but on Rollerskates or something.

Sirbobislost
Sirbobislost

Ok I'm probally not the only one worried by the swap to third person front mission 3 was one of my favourite ps1 games I put nearly as many hours into that as I did with ff7 and that's saying alot. This will be the first frontmission game I've been able to get my hands on since 3 ( I did have an import of 4 but after 4 hours my ps2 ate it :( ) so I'm dissapointed it's changed but I won't write it off yet it'll get a chance to earn my love like all games do but only 10 wanzers? that seems a rather low number to me

EGM_BlizzardKil
EGM_BlizzardKil

I love customizing my robots. What shall i put on it today? how about 4 HIGH POWERED CHAIN GUN ROCKET LAUNCHERS? hehehe OP...

FoolWaywardLone
FoolWaywardLone

They should throw in a bonus disc with a translated Front Mission 5.

KALHETMAN
KALHETMAN

OMG... ... Nooooooooooooooooooooo...... I jump up and happines enter my mind - new FRONT MISSION^^... I almost die in effect reading is no Turn Base ... This is ridiculous... One of best games ever (few years ago I buy especial japanese PS3 only for play Front Mission 5) - I love all 5 parts of the game and now when see the "Evolved" - only can cry... WHY NO NEW TURN BASE RPG GAME???

Halloll
Halloll

How do you kill a strategy rpg franchises? Turn it into a shooter. Yah kill everything that moves. and they seem to be ripping the story from front mission 3 except its in New York instead of Japan

jetpanw
jetpanw

To me, the best thing in the original Front Mission is a great story. Although SE gives this "evolved" to the western developer. I hope the story is still good.

Yossi1007
Yossi1007

I HATE BIG ROBOTS FUTURE GAMES but this looks nice BUT I WILL ACCEPT A Megas XLR GAME gamespot know how to put a snow picture instead of building and ruin it BTW WHATS WITH THIS TRAILER it would be way convincing to buy if we were actually able to see the building COLLAPSE!!!!!

Guyver81
Guyver81

I played Front Mission 1 to 4 and its all RPG Tactical Strategic type.. Not a Third Person Shooter -_-'. I love Front Mission because its "Front Mission" not some Action simulation Mech game. Here i am... imagining it to be an RPG Tactical Strategic game.. with all the processing power and Graphic of a PC. But its not! -_-'

vicsrealms
vicsrealms

The thing I loved about the original Front Mission, was that it was a strategy rpg like Shining Force. Someone brought up that this was like Armored Core and front what I watched I can agree. Once again SE, you screwed up another good series.

aaroquesi
aaroquesi

Another Armored Core this is boring

DredWulf
DredWulf

kinda looks like a watered down Armored Core...hmm I prefer they stuck to the strategy game/rpg mold imho.

BangaaPride
BangaaPride

I've always liked Front Mission. I bought the first one on DS too! The question is, will this play okay? It looks good, but it also has the potential to drive people up the wall with control problems.

KarnFest
KarnFest

F'n A! This looks awesome! Pity cockpit view won't be available. They should make it available as a patch though! + bigger range of mechs.

SauhlGood
SauhlGood

obligatory japanese mech game with lots of fireworks.....check somebody should resurrect battletech/mechwarrior

nocturnalkisses
nocturnalkisses

i stand corrected. looks like you can get out of your robot. i will keep a close eye on this game then

nocturnalkisses
nocturnalkisses

idk about this game. i never played any of the front mission games because they were in first person. the only gripe i have with this game is the possibility of seemingly being untouchable or unbeatable. I don't like games where you cna just run through enemies with just brute strength or because you have the bigger gun. Maybe some strategy please? hopefully Front Mission will have tactics when it comes to defeating enemies. And one more thing is, will you constantly be in your robot? it would be cool to not be in it all the time (maybe your robot malfunctions at a point or is taken by the enemy) and have to defeat other robots and foot soldiers with tactics. And if anyone says thats a dumb idea for the devs to make you get out ur robot, look at MGS4. Take notes dev. That game got a perfect 10 because you had tactics when defeating enemies, in some parts of the games you WERE in a machine, and beautiful cut scenes.

icubod88
icubod88

oh man, this reminds me of the good old days with Heavy Gear, good times right there...

keren_man
keren_man

it is sad to know that Front Mission Evolved is "evolving" into a third person shooter, but this is just making me more curious to play this game. I look forward to play this game in my pc

silveraddiction
silveraddiction

OMG OMG OMG OMG.... Ive Played the PS1 and PS2 versions and its AWESOME! can wait for this one... waiting for thousand parts to assemble!

AncientDozer
AncientDozer

I look forward to playing this on my 360. I've always been a fan of the Front Missin Series. I've played all of them up to present. They have a rich backstory to the entire franchise and the characters are amazing.

Oggy1985
Oggy1985

Pure console port by the looks of graphics and gameplay. Don't like it at all for the PC. Plus, the story sounds shallow.

yixingtpot
yixingtpot

this looks pretty awesome, if it's on XBROKE too it will be dumbed down to dvd level again. So, i'll wait until it's $30 or less to get it.

severe_009
severe_009

Well lets see how will these turn-out... was hoping for another tactics game.. oh well...

47gunner
47gunner

i loved Front Mission" years ago(when i had a PS)but afte the long time i feel im ganna love it again....

KrzyJoe
KrzyJoe

@Snaptrap I totally agree that's the best mech game!

VXCOM
VXCOM

this game looks cool....seem theres alot of action pack with a lilbit drama....love the customization.... i wish there a game skill(not just urown skill) just like the old series.....n wish not all mech are big n bulky....need some fast n switf exoskel/ninja like thin ones...coz theres melee...slow melee=RIP..wish for an awesome Evolution in this series...n best of gameplay.. @power-baron this game in the last series is turn-based strategy but it says "Evolved"maybe thats wht they mean...new gameplay.... @JFHansen u can walk...but mech with bulky leg cant run fast..so they make it skate&glide=running...yeah sound sensible

Snaptrap
Snaptrap

No robot fighting game comes close to Virtual On.