Front Mission Online Impressions

Square Enix's next mech-combat game for the PS2 and PC will place the emphasis on real-time action rather than on turn-based strategy.

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TOKYO--During a recent visit to Square Enix's booth at the Tokyo Game Show, we were able to check out a video of Front Mission Online in action. To our surprise, what we found wasn't a turn-based strategy game but rather a third-person action game in which teams of PS2 and PC players appeared to be battling both against each other and against an enemy force controlled by the CPU. The wanzers (Front Mission mechs) all looked quite familiar, while the gameplay sequences reminded us of the action sequences that were used to show off the battles in previous Front Mission games. Unfortunately, the environments that were featured in the video we saw today weren't much more detailed than those in the strategy games, which have never looked good up close.

Although most of the video showed Front Mission Online being played from a third-person perspective, there were one or two first-person sequences that appeared to be linked to the use of certain weapons. We also noticed that the game appears to employ a Phantasy Star Online-style lobby screen in which each player will appear on the screen as a 3D model of a wanzer pilot with the ability to walk around and chat to other players using a keyboard.

We'll bring you more information on Front Mission Online as soon as it becomes available. For more updates, be sure to check GameSpot's coverage of the Tokyo Game Show 2004.

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