The amount of enjoyment you'll derive from Mobile Suit Gundam: Zeonic Front may be directly related to your love of the series.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Zeonic Front takes place in the alternate universe where the popular Gundam movies and television series take place. In the year 0079 of the universal century, the Earth Federation is under attack by the rebellious Duchy of Zeon, who spearhead their attacks with the strength of mechanized humanoid fighting units known as mobile suits. The power of these mobile suits is such that the EF's forces have been all but completely eliminated, until hope emerges in the form of the experimental prototype mobile suit Gundam.
Setting Zeonic Front apart from other games that take place in a wartime setting is its unique hook--for the duration of Zeonic Front, you assume the role of the "bad guys" who oppose the Earth Federation, which is romanticized in the original series. Utilizing mobiles suits that are vastly inferior to the unbelievable weapons of destruction used by the opposition may seem like a daunting task, but there's definitely a certain appeal to reprising the role of a hated enemy. Certain missions fit into the Gundam storyline very nicely and allow you to encounter some of the characters and mobile suits made famous in the series, such as Char Aznable and his Zaku II, the Guncannon and Guntank, and Amuro Ray. Sadly, cameo appearances by the popular Federation mobile suits are spoiled by your inability to destroy them in a direct confrontation, as the cameos take place only during reconnaissance missions.
Controlling the individual Zeon mobile suits is accomplished with a fairly intuitive control scheme. The left analog stick controls movement, while the right analog stick turns and smoothly positions the targeting reticle. The R1 button allows you to utilize your various weapons against enemies, which can include rapid-fire machine guns, the traditional shoulder-mounted Zaku bazooka, and even those Vulcan "hand" guns that fire their explosive payloads from chambers located in the fingers of the mobile suits. At short range, your mobile units can deal immense damage to enemies with axes or heat sabers, although ranged attacks will be the offensive tactic of choice for the greater part of the game. Each mobile suit can equip a certain amount of support equipment to further assist its explorations and assaults, including cloaking devices, sensor boosters, the ability to call on tank or air support, and various types of grenades, among other things.
However, the strategic elements of the game are what convert it from an otherwise simple third-person action experience into a surprisingly deep squad-based tactical shooter featuring cool giant robots. The key strategy in Zeonic Front is the exploitation of your enemy's greatest weakness, which is apparently an extreme vulnerability to flank and rear attacks. Enemy mobile suits will literally stand still and be slowly slaughtered by machine-gun fire if you're able to attack them from the correct vantage point. To best maneuver your units into position, you'll have to make use of three different types of surveillance: radar, thermal, and sonar. Radar will reveal enemy units at a moderate range, although it can be impeded by obstacles. Thermal reads heat signatures, and it will unveil enemies masked nearby, even if they're tucked beneath a canopy of trees or behind a building. Sonar has the largest range of the three, but it relies on reading enemy movement to reveal positioning and is thus nearly useless against stationary targets.
Before each sortie, you are allowed to select which of your enlisted pilots will be participating in that particular mission, as well as what mobile suit they'll be piloting and what support equipment they will be utilizing. Before every mission, an overhead map that displays the routes and key points of interest can be viewed. Up to three squads of mobile suits can participate in the missions, and you can select how their AI will react to enemy units, although many times you will actively take control of each squad's leader, which is done smoothly and painlessly. To properly control three squads at once across some relatively large maps, however, you'll need to modify routes and set operations points where orders can be relayed. Squads can be commanded to attack or to continue along their predetermined route.
- Player Reviews: 6
- Game Universe:
- Mobile Suit Gundam Seed (PS2, DS),
- Gundam Seed: Federation vs. Z.A.F.T. (ARC, PS2),
- Dynasty Warriors: Gundam (PS3, X360),
- Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 (PS3, X360),
- Mobile Ops: The One Year War (X360),
- SD Gundam G Generation 3D (3DS),
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire (PS3),
- Mobile Suit Gundam Seed: Never Ending Tomorrow (PS2),
- Gundam Battle Tactics (PSP),
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Gundam vs. Zeta Gundam (PS2)
- Number of Players: