Daemon X Machina Review (Switch)


Although it's always a good idea to ask for help when you feel you need it, in the long run it doesn't always benefit you. This is something behind the team Daemon X Machina could end up learning when the game comes out this week. After developer Marvelous released a demo in February and explained that he wanted feedback on how to improve the game, a number of players instead interpreted it as a product that was about to be completed, and so he decided that because it was a they could not have bought it on the shiny side.

Fast forward seven months and it is fair to say that Marvellous was absolutely right: Daemon X Machina has certainly improved in many ways thanks to user feedback. It raises two questions, though: exactly how much has Has it improved and is it too late to recover those disappointed by that extremely early demo? We can't answer this last – only time and rankings will tell – but we can at least confirm that the finished game is solid work, even if it is absolutely not a essential one.

As a nameless beginner mercenary, specializing in flying giant mechs, your job is to tackle a series of paid missions to do your part in the war against artificial intelligence, which has rebelled against the human race after a colliding moon sent some strange radiation across the planet. Not all bad news: this radiation has also increased your skills, which means that your fully customizable avatar has more to offer than your typical civilian. To accompany you on your missions there are mercenaries of other factions, who present themselves and retire depending on whether they want a piece of each mission.

This whole idea of ​​characters popping in and out can make it difficult to get an understanding of the plot in the beginning, and as the plot develops and you start getting a load of conspiracy theories and “you can trust this faction, you can trust of that, we can also trust the company we are working for "shenanigans, it can be a bit complicated to keep up with things. It is not the fault of the acting of the voice (which is generally high quality) or even of the dialogue itself, which is well written.There are far too many active components in play here: it's like playing chess and swapping pieces with new ones every few turns.The fact that many animated scenes between missions simply involve different characters that arise to stay practically motionless in a room and talk to each other does nothing to help things: even if what they are saying is interesting, the set-up is boring as sea water and can It can be difficult to stay focused.

Games like this talk on the battlefield, of course, and this is where Daemon X Machina mostly shines. Mech games can be a little tiring to control, but this is not the case at all: your Arsenal (which is what the mechs of the game are called) is child's play to command, and while the heavy list of commands may initially seem quite daunting, it only takes a couple of missions before you get around with all the grace of … well, a 50-foot robot. Pretty, though.

When you're in the air movement it's a simple case of looking in the direction you want to go and heading that way, while more extreme altitude changes can be controlled with the & # 39; B & # 39; (to increase rapidly to the top) or by pressing in the left stick (to kill your jets and quickly drop down). A useful button with the hyphen assigned to & # 39; R & # 39; It is an essential piece of the kit, especially as the game progresses and you find yourself in increasingly large shooting lines. When you are on the ground, you can also get out of your mech and run on foot, although this is rarely useful: technically it allows you to continue to be involved in the action while you wait for a partner to repair your downed mech, but you are so vulnerable in this state that almost always causes death, at least in the early stages of the game.

The fight, meanwhile, is just as satisfying. There is a generous assisted aiming at play here, which means that if you look in the general direction of an enemy, you will hold on to them and you will start shooting at them with a certain precision. Some of the self-appointed "hardcore" players may object to this, but it makes sense: many of the game's standard enemies are also lost in the air and would be a bit weird if your extremely expensive and technically impressive giant mech struggled to carefully break down a basic flying enemy. C & # 39; s something very rewarding in facing a group of five or six enemies and taking them off one at a time with relative ease.

This aiming aid also helps to compensate for the awkward feeling of the two-lever controls you usually get when you play Switch in portable mode: since you don't need to be absolutely right with your goal, it's much less frustrating . You have the option to switch to motion-controlled aiming if you wish, but we were quite happy with the standard settings that we didn't feel the need to change. If you have been discouraged by mech games in the past due to their apparent complexity, this is the accessible one you might have looked for.

Customization is the main order of the day here, though. In addition to the extensive options available to you when creating your pilot's and mech's appearance, there is a wealth of weapons that can be unlocked as you progress: some simply by completing the main and secondary missions, others looting the wreckage of downed enemies. While your mech starts with a basic combination of an assault rifle in one hand and a shield in the other, your hangar will soon be supplied with swords, laser guns, sniper rifles and the like. offering you many options.

Of course, you can't carry all your weapons in battle with you, but the game is at least generous in that sense: you can enter a mission with a weapon assigned to your left arm (which is fired with the "ZL" "), one assigned to your right (" ZR "), a rocket launcher on your shoulder (" L "), an auxiliary weapon such as grenades or mines (" Y ") and two other reserve weapons that you can attach to pylons above you and swap with the main ones whenever the situation requires it.This means that long battles – and can become very long, especially when bosses fight – can at least remain fun while you make the most of all the weapons at your disposal.

Inside it is a fun mech game, therefore, but Daemon X Machina is not without its flaws. Although you accept user feedback and modify the game accordingly, elements of the game can still be quite overwhelming, especially for beginners. Your HUD is composed of no less than 21 elements, ranging from three different calibers to all ammunition counters of your weapons to a whole series of icons that show the health of each element of your mech (head, body, legs and each arm). The detailed options menu allows you to disable one of these as you see fit, but they are all useful to a certain extent, so we don't necessarily recommend it: you just have to get through that initial period of adaptation.

It also becomes repetitive after a while. Most of the game is actually just a case of "doing a mission, being paid, watching a scene, doing the next mission" and as the plot gets more complex and your inventory gets progressively bigger (even if you can sell some off) start to understand that it's just a rinsing and repeating situation. Although there are some variations in the missions – one minute you're defending the buildings, the next you're facing other rogue mercenaries – there's still no way to escape a fairly rigid structure.

If you get bored of single player missions, there is also the possibility of taking part in some cooperations, both online and local, with up to three other players. These are generally quite fleshy (you will fight against giant bosses, demolishing groups of powerful enemy mechs, that sort of thing) and you will give decent cash rewards for completion, although in the grand scheme of things they are even more of the same kind of thing. If you hate the idea of ​​other humans, you can take them by yourself and while playing in the main story, you also unlock the AI ​​partners to recruit and fight by your side (although they are often useful as a chocolate teapot).

If you are still searching for Daemon X Machina, our advice is simple: download the free demo of the prologue currently available on Switch eShop. This gives you the first missions and, if you like them and decide to buy the full game, you can bring your own save file. While many other demos are too short to really understand the complete picture of the game they are representing, the fact that Daemon X Machina is such a formulaic experience means that, when you reach the end of the Prologue, get a good idea of ​​how it is structured most of the rest of the game. At that point, if you want more or less the same, you can feel safe knowing that if you buy the full game you'll get exactly that.


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