Mobile Ops: One Year War
Mecha action like you've never seen it before.
Preview by Aaron Drewniak (Email)
May 15th 2006
The Basics: On foot, in tanks, or in a hundred ton futuristic mecha, it's time to ravage your enemies in this latest videogame spin off the Gundam juggernaut. While not all the details have been ironed out yet, Mobile Ops will feature a robust single player campaign, and an extensive online mode, where you'll be able to take part in massive battles with your trusty rifle or your own customized Mobile Suit. All the machines and all the weaponry from the original Gundam series will be represented, from assault rifles to energy swords. An open wilderness was the only level shown in the demo, but the final game promises a diverse assortment of environments to conquer in this earth-shaking team-based shooter.
What we think: Gundam has been franchise fuel for a long line of videogames, though the only one worth owning thus far was One Year War on the PS2, by Namco. Now they're hedging their bets by making two entirely different games for Xbox 360 and PS3, and the 360 one is the one I dig. The controls are clearly modeled after Halo, and while the grasslands was fairly weak graphically for a 360 title, the Mobile Suits were stark and lovingly detailed, looking less like the product of anime, and more like something that could be strolling down the street, crushing any cars in its path. It was a bit hard to judge considering how limited the demo was, and also with no hard details on what modes or how many players online will support, but the control was both intuitive and responsive, while mecha to mecha battles had plenty of impact.
The one thing all Gundam games lacked so far was a sense of scale. The "giant" robots seemed like no more than toys when everything was just as massive as they were. By bringing it down to a personal level, and actually making on foot fighting fun and useful, Dimps has created the most authentic feeling to date. I can't wait to see what features the final game carries, scheduled for release this holiday season.