Posted 16 December 2008 - 01:30 AM
My friend downloaded the demo while he was over a couple of weeks ago, and I had to curse him because after only a few minutes playing I knew I must own this. Cue an early mornning trip out to Gamestop.
It's taken me from then till now to actually beat it. My time shows around 60 hours, but that's deceptive on a couple of fronts. One is that I often had to go back and retry missions(easily an hour down the drain when one goes bad near the end), and the other problem is that I have a habit of leaving the game running while watching a tv show or eating.... Actual game length is prob in the 40-50 hour range.
Anyhow, it's a turn based stategy game, a little bit like FF Tactics. Cept here you're running around each turn almost like you're in the middle of a call of duty game. Each turn you get a set number of command points to move your troops. When you select a unit, you move them around third person, and you are actually under live fire while moving. You can stop, aim, and shoot any time during this turn, and can move as far as the action points for that unit will take you. Hiding in grass and crouching behind sandbags help give you ways to protect your units during the other turn as well. You go on a variety of missions, from stopping giant tanks to storming town streets and fortresses.
There are five classes of soldiers, and also your team of officers, who are mostly made up of these classes, plus the tank commander. The classes are scouts, engineers, shocktroopers, lancers, and snipers, each with thier own strengths and weaknesses. Though later on the scouts become a massive force to be reckoned with. You pull your troops from an available pool that expands out to 50, though you only ever have 11 units on the field at maximum. Each unit has a name, a little backstory that gets bigger as you continue to use them, and even their own voice in which they tend to say a few lines. I grew quite attached to my troops, and managed to go through the game without permanently losing a single one.
There are some mystical parts, but mostly it's an in the trenches tanks and soldiers war game, though with a pretty upbeat cast of characters. There's some emotional parts, some really fun parts, and some parts which will make you want to tear your hair out in frustration.
The art is wonderful, and the first thing that seemed to draw a lot of people's interest, including mine. It stays great throughout the game, and though a few of the cutscenes are a bit cheaty on showing action, overall they are very well done, especially since it is a strategy type game. And speaking of cutscenes, my lord. If you like lots of story, this will not dissapoint. The game plays out through a book, most chapters having 1 battle and a few having 2. But each chapter also usually has 5 or more little cutscenes. A few of the videos are quite awesome, especially when the much dreaded valkyria and a few superweapons show up.
Anyways, if you enjoy tactical games like this, I highly recommend picking it up. It's easily the best RPG that's been on the ps3, and is probably my favorite game for the system so far.
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