Front Mission is a video game series that goes back to the mid ’90s on the 16-bit Super Nintendo. The stories revolve around fictional nations at war in a futuristic setting where walking robot suits have replaced tanks. To some the premise might sound silly, but I like to think of them as medieval suits of armor taken to the extreme. Over the years the series has explored a variety of genres including side-scrolling action, isometric turn-based strategy, real-time strategy, and online.
The powered suits, called Wanzers, can be upgraded and reconfigured using a laundry list of parts. In the strategy games you control a squad of soldiers on the battlefield by moving them around like chess pieces. A unit’s mobility differs depending on how it is equipped, and when in range, you can target specific parts on an enemy Wanzer to disable them, and they can do the same to you. Take out a Wanzer’s legs and it won’t be able to move, for example.
Square-Enix’s upcoming XBOX360/PS3 game puts the player in control of a single Wanzer and is basically a 3rd person shooting game. In this clip you can get a pretty good idea what the game is all about:
I’ve played the series on and off over the years, but now after having seen hundreds of videos of robotic legged locomotion, the animation on these Wanzers really stands out as being totally unrealistic. I suppose sometimes you have to sacrifice realism in the name of fun (who wants to pilot a robot that takes forever to change direction?).