Robotech: Invasion Multiplayer Hands-On

We jump on our virtual cyclones and go online to try out the multiplayer in this upcoming Robotech action game.


After making 2002's Robotech: Battlecry, Vicious Cycle is following up the game with Robotech: Invasion, a grittier action offering set in the popular Robotech universe. And this time, the gameplay switches from the opening chapter of the Robotech saga to the closing one. We had the chance to play the game head-to-head on Xbox Live recently to see how its multiplayer is shaping up.

You can switch between first-person and third-person when in armor mode.
You can switch between first-person and third-person when in armor mode.

Set during the Invid portion of the Robotech story, Invasion invites you to play as a cyclone pilot who's waging a guerilla fight against the mysterious Invid invaders that have conquered Earth. The cyclone is the motorcycle mecha of Robotech. In its vehicle mode, it's a powerful bike armed with missile launchers. However, the cyclone can also transform into a formidable suit of power armor that wraps around the pilot. In the armor mode, you'll have access to powerful hand- and shoulder-mounted weapons, as well as a limited boost capability that comes courtesy of the cyclone's jump jets.

The multiplayer level we played consisted of a large, hydroelectric dam that spanned a river valley. In addition to being able to battle atop the dam, there were two ramps leading down to both sides of the valley floor, which itself was separated by the river. Meanwhile, above the dam is a waterfall that's reachable by a small trail or a springboard that catapults you into the air.

Obviously, part of the strategy in multiplayer is figuring out when to transform between cycle and armor modes. The cycle mode is obviously useful when you have large distances to cover quickly, but it can also be devastating if you can lock onto an enemy and fire a salvo of missiles in his or her direction. The missiles will track, to a limited degree, so if the target isn't moving too much, the missiles should hit. One helpful feature of the bike is that if you ride it off a cliff, the cyclone will automatically transform to power armor, thereby letting you survive the fall.

The cycle mode is useful for getting somewhere in a hurry.
The cycle mode is useful for getting somewhere in a hurry.

In power armor mode, you have your projectile and energy weapons at your disposal, as well as grenades that can be tossed at the enemy. Furthermore, you can toggle between third- and first-person views in this mode, depending on your tastes. In addition to machine guns and energy pistols, there are various weapons that you can pick up, including a rocket launcher and a shotgun-like blaster. However, the armor is obviously not as mobile as the motorcycle mode, so you'll trade speed for firepower.

The deathmatch mode is fast-paced and looks good. In addition, you can look forward to team deathmatch, capture the flag, and protocapture, where a team has to capture and hold onto three locations on the map to win. The game will feature support for up to eight players on Xbox Live and the PS2 online. Robotech: Invasion looks like it's nearly finished, so we can expect development to be wrapped up on the game in the coming weeks.

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