A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Front Mission Evolved is a third-person shooter with plenty of military violence. Though most of the action involves rockets and machine guns blowing up tanks and robots, players can also take aim at the occasional ground troop. The story makes it clear that the player’s character is a good guy, but he has a very casual attitude toward much of the wanton destruction and killing he sees (and sometimes perpetrates). Parents should also know that this game comes with an online mode that supports open voice chat. Common Sense Media does not recommend non-moderated online play for pre-teens. We suggest using the parental controls built into the game console to disable online communication features.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Once a turn-based strategy series, Front Mission has transformed into an action-packed third-person shooter in FRONT MISSION EVOLVED. Players control massive robots dubbed “wanzers” while battling enemy mechs, tanks, aircraft, and soldiers as they try to uncover the truth behind a burgeoning international conflict in the late 22nd century. The story focuses on a military contractor who believes his father is killed in the war’s very first battle. He takes the wanzer he was developing and joins the military with the aim of avenging his lost parent. A diverse selection of missions includes battles through metropolitan streets, races to escape areas of impending disaster, and riding shotgun in airships to pick off ground targets. Standard online multiplayer modes extend the experience beyond the campaign.
Is it any good?
It seems a shame that a well-liked franchise in the sparsely populated turn-based strategy genre should remake itself into a third-person shooter -- an overcrowded category, if ever there was one. Still, the makeover has been executed with skill, preserving much of what fans liked about the franchise -- such as deep robot customization options and fantastic presentation -- while converting the primary play into something that ought to appease more action-hungry gamers.
Tight controls and a satisfying feeling of power make running and gunning around, say, the streets of future New York, a fair bit of fun. Smart enemies capable of seeking cover and flanking the player add depth to the challenge. Still, developer Square Enix is walking a fine line here -- risking the alienation of longtime strategy fans on one side while courting action gamers with no shortage of options to sate their hobby on the other. Front Mission Evolved could go by the wayside this fall.
Online interaction: This game supports online play with open voice communication.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the game industry’s general persistence in presenting female characters as sexual objects -- even in a game like this, in which the provocatively clad woman in question is a hard-boiled military officer. Can you foresee a time when this won’t be the case? What would have to happen in gaming culture and within the industry for this to change?
Families can also discuss the casual attitude toward killing possessed by many video game characters, including the hero in this game. Does such behavior make the violence we see easier to take, or does it make you question the morals of the characters committing it? How does the presentation of large scale violence in games differ from what we see in movies?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.