When it comes to video games that portray the subject of warfare surrounding Mechs, they stand pretty tall amongst the gamers of the Eastern hemisphere. However, when it comes to the Western world, the quality of mech-orientated titles remain rather timid in terms of graphical presentations and gameplay. Admittedly, there have been a handful of titles that have successfully portrayed them as the colossus that they are, but there’s never really been a AAA title amongst them that stands head and shoulders above the other genres. Although the incoming release of Daemon X Machina, on the Nintendo Switch, looks interesting and is poised to become a title that help makes the whole premise of Mechs gain in height, it’s still a long wait for fans of the genre. However, there’s a new robot on the block and one that should help fill the void within your gaming library, as Project Nimbus: Complete Edition launches a release on the Nintendo Switch.
Developed by GameCrafterTeam and published through GameTomo, Project Nimbus: Complete Edition holds enough nuts and bolts to keep it together, with a variety of game modes, impressive presentation values and a role-playing element to add a layer of depth to the proceedings. From the start, it’s easy to see that a lot of time and effort has been put into the title, creating a variety of quite impressive-looking mechs, as well as some crisp sceneries and explosive weapon layouts. There are three game modes with which to play: Campaign, Survival and Warfront; each of them offering a slight variation in how they play, although some are quite limited by structure, whilst others do provide extra depth within their mechanics.
The game’s campaign follows the story of two warring factions that battle above the devastation of a destroyed Earth. There isn’t really any ground-based combat here, with the majority of your time hovering or flying amongst the clouds or within a few structural levels that take place around floating cities or within the confines of a battle-cruiser. In terms of its story, there’s nothing here that’s particularly compelling, although all of its cut-scenes are fully voice-acted and the levels upon which the story is played out do provide a good variety. However, the stars of the show are the mechs themselves. As the campaign plays out, you are tasked with piloting a variety of machines, each with their own distinct advantages and disadvantages within their arsenals. You don’t get to choose your machine, each mech is determined by the structure of the campaign.
All is not lost though, as piloting the mechs and more importantly, the gameplay around the aerial combat is an engaging affair with fast-paced combat that can be ranged or close-up with melee bouts. Once you get the hang of the control scheme, with directional input being from the left analogue and your altitude adjusted with the X and B buttons, as well as weapon selection and discharging being performed with the shoulder buttons, apart from melee, which is A, you soon begin to fly around each level and battling the enemy units with ease. The combat is fast and fluid and loosely reminded me of the Ace Combat series. In fact, despite its subject matter, I did feel that this title plays more like a flight sim in terms of its gameplay mechanics.
Their are two styles of viewpoints available, third-person and cockpit; each of them being easily switchable on-the-fly. Each of the levels contain a variety of wave-based formations, each of them being highlighted on the HUD with a red targeting cursor and using a wealth of weaponry from guns, missiles, drones and even, swordplay, you begin about despatching the enemy mechs, whilst watching your own back by deploying flares from missile warnings and watching the on-screen minimap for any enemy locations that may try and flank your position. Combat within the mechs, or Battle Frames as they are known in-game, is executed well, giving you a feeling of superiority as you switch between weapon types and fire barrages at the swarms of enemy mechs around you.
Despite its pleasing levels of engagement and variety in mech and mission styles, the gameplay does contain a level of repetition and more worryingly, at least for me, never really portrayed the sizing of the mechs in an effective manner. By this I mean I rarely felt as if I controlling a behemoth mechanical machine, or ever felt that I towered over my surroundings. Although there is element of repetition, each of the level designs do offer some variety with all out-assaults, escort and protection and even the ability to dock aboard motherships and change your mech with which to combat, although due to the linearity of its structure, this is only determinable by the objectives as outlined within the campaign.
Its second game mode, survival, presents pretty much what it implies really. Within this mode you are tasked with surviving for as long as possible against increasingly difficult waves of mechs. It offers a more arcade experience as you battle for pole-position of the highest scores on a series of online leaderboards. It retains the same levels of playability as the campaign, although its repetition is far more obvious within this mode. However, the third mode, Warfront, offers a more fleshed out experience when compared to campaign and survival. Within this game mode, you get to choose a mech and partake in a variety of mission objectives such as assassinations and base defences. However, with each successful sortie, you accrue XP and resources which allows you to upgrade your current mech, or purchase more powerful models. There isn’t anything too deep here, but does offer a role-playing experience and for me personally, was the best game mode out of the three.
Whatever mode of game you play, each of them are deliciously presented in terms of graphical presentations. Weaponry feels suitably meaty and level sceneries are nicely detailed. The skies fill with missile trails and explosions and the ambience is further bolstered with in-game chatter and a musical score that matches the action. It all adds to produce a compelling experience that, although may not necessarily draw you in all of the time, does provide an exciting experience for all of the time you are playing it. There were no technical issues that I found and everything glides along at smooth rate which makes the game more pleasing to play.
Overall, Project Nimbus: Complete Edition provides a nice little stop-gap for fans of the mech genre that are awaiting the imminent release of Daemon X. In fact, in terms of its genre, mech combat, this is easily the best looking and most playable title within the Switch’s library at present and depending on the values of Daemon X, may very well be a title that retains this position. Despite a level of repetition, all of its game modes and elements provide some values in its entertainment and its aesthetical presentations provide a good backdrop to the levels. The combat is immensely satisfying and its control scheme is easy to get to grips with, although it may take a little time to get used too. As far as mech games go though, this is certainly a title that stands tall.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Switch code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Project Nimbus: Complete Edition Review
Gameplay - 8/10
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 8/10
Replay Value - 8/10
User Review( votes)
Project Nimbus: Complete Edition provides a nice little stop-gap for fans of the mech genre that are awaiting the imminent release of Daemon X Machina.