Excellent graphics and a decent story establish this game within the Robotech milieu. Needed a better multiplayer.
Donkeljohn wrote this review on .
The story of Robotech: Battlecry starts you right where the television series begins, and then sometimes takes you in interesting new directions. Earth is under attack from an alien race known as the Zentradi. Their size is only dwarfed by the vast destruction they leave in their wake. You play as Jack Archer, from his early days as a rookie pilot to an old ace in the enduring conflict. Purists should not be turned off by the parallel storyline, but may be disappointed by the lack of appearances from television series characters.
The sounds in the game stay true to those in the series. The music leans heavily upon the scores used in the 83 episodes of Robotech’s animated series, but have some new material as well. The movement of the mecha are reflected in the mechanical sounds, and plodding footfalls, but just don’t seem to be enough to convey the full weight of your tall war machine.
Your veritech fighter can change from jet fighter to a half-robot/half plane mode (known as guardian mode), and into a full-robotic “battloid” mode. Each mode has different capabilities. The fighter has superior speed and maneuverability. The battloid has full use of the gunpod for burst fire, or shooting down the spaghetti missiles which come your way. Guardian has a bit of both plane and battloid modes, but not to the degree of the aforementioned modes. You can fire missiles, just as in plane mode, but the unique flavor of the guardian mode is in the ability to pick up objects. You will find search-and-rescue missions and delivery missions within the game which will mandate the proficient use of the guardian mode.
The immersion in the Robotech universe, by far is the biggest selling point for this title. It is difficult to not feel part of Robotech Defense Force (RDF) when you play. The tutorial does an admirable job showing you the game functions as though you were enrolled in RDF training exercises. The scale of your veritech shows a passable size comparison next to the little cars, and diminutive humans portrayed in the game.
Each single-player and multi-player map is created with the look, feel, and action of the series. The seemingly enormous Zentradi cruisers are definitely large in scope. The canyons are a pleasure to fly through. The SDF-1 is portrayed as majestically in the background of one level as you would expect. While all of the vessels and mecha look impressive, interaction with the large ships is rather limited.
The use of different missions within the varied areas makes for interesting, but not always compelling levels. One mission you are flying escort through an asteroid field, while another sees you racing through canyons to save your comrade who has been immobilized. The most impressive level is set in the midst of an interstellar graveyard of broken up ship pieces. The chunks of debris tumble and drift, making for excellent and variable cover from your enemies.
As you play through the single-player missions you will unlock new fighters with different armor, speed, and fire-power ratings. The mecha may also be customized to reflect paint scheme preferences. In multiplayer modes and some single-player modes you may also use special armor packages to help you launch more missiles at you enemies, and withstand more damage. Without giving away any spoilers, fans of Mirya’s female Zentradi power armor will be pleased to know that you may unlock that nimble mech for play in the multiplayer mode.
The epic confrontations of pilots within the Robotech storyline created a perfect launching pad for the Robotech multiplayer. Unfortunately, confronting a second player is only somewhat satisfying. The multiplayer maps are unnecessarily constrained in area. Just when you are exploring the distance you can draw you are pulled back down by map boundaries. This is increasingly disturbing because in many maps you get a feeling that you could fly for forever. This sentiment is both a tribute and a complaint regarding the design of the levels.
With adequate time, and enough experience you will feel like a natural in your protoculture-powered machine. Though missions are hit-and-miss, and the multiplayer options could have been expanded to incorporate a truer feeling of freedom, it is safe to say the Robotech experience is well packaged in this excellent title.