Its been about two years since Daemon X Machina was announced at Nintendo’s E3 Direct and its finally launched on the Switch. From the trailers it looked like an amazing mech game with lots of potential. But reviews out thus far have been mixed, according to their headlines. I tried to avoid them before embarking on the journey myself, with slight failure.
So, game in hand, let’s see if it does well.
Off the bat, things were going off great. You get to customise your character almost top to toe, even change their grunt voice! Character models to me looked a bit wonky to me, though it might be by design that their skin is all swirly that way and that’s quickly forgotten as your character barely gets any more screentime than the first x-minutes you take customising them anyway. You can customise your Arsenal (your mech) from head to toe – you can even give it a name and adjust unlockable decal and place it exactly where you want it.
The characters you meet along the way and who take up a majority of your screentime (when you’re not fighting in your mech) are eccentric, to say the least… Yes, all of them. Steroid-heavy man who can’t stop yelling and screaming about breaking things? Check. Goth Lolita girl who talks about death and wishing everyone would die? Check. Self-righteous dude with long hair who speaks with a “holier than thou” tone? Check.
Eccentric, but extremely entertaining none the less!
Your main space is called the Hub and there’s not much that you can really do there. The Hub is where you’ll start your Missions and where you can upgrade and customise your Arsenal, eventually there are things that get unlocked like the Ice-Cream Bar that gives you stat boosts during your next Mission. There are NPCs around the Hub that you can’t interact with, and there’s a random dog sitting next to your Arsenal’s terminal that you most definitely can’t interact with and doesn’t really do anything or go anywhere.
I have no idea what the story of DaemonXMachina is. From what I’ve gathered, there was a meteor strike that hit Earth and something called Immortals from that meteor strike caused human-made AI machines to turn against their masters. Human-driven mechs are the only means of protecting humanity but the pilots are all mercenaries and they’re all sort of in their own “Clans”. There are two opposing “Companies” as well and when you start your journey as a mercenary, things between the companies start to get weird. Mercs are attacking other Merc which is apparently against the “Code” but they don’t care but everyone wants money so no one really questions it or does anything about it?
Yeah, I don’t get it.
Missions are basically the same throughout the game: destroy all the targets on the map with your Arsenal and friends. Cutscenes introducing fellow Mercs with no involvement of you (although they do mention you, the “Rookie”) followed by fight, fight, pew, pew, mission complete… Rinse and repeat.
And that’s all I have to say about that.
I have to be honest here and mention that after about an hour into playing the game, I got bored. I kept going, giving it a chance but after an extra 2 hours I stopped outright. All the game is to me is going through the motion of missions to further the vague story, weird cutscenes with awkward beats, no game-world exploration and near-zero interaction with anything in the game outside of cutscenes. Even then its every other character interacting with each other rather than you interacting with them. I’m not immersed in the slightest and things quickly become repetitive.
The game looked absolutely great in the trailers but the end product is absolutely disappointing to me. It is really sad to see a product that a huge team of people put so much love and effort into it only for it to turn out this way probably due to bad planning or bad execution of good planning (because the concept was great!).
This might be a game for mech-lovers who don’t mind a lot of repetition and not much else in their games, but that’s not me.
Blaise gib dis game…
Originally written for The AU Review. Review code kindly provided by the publisher. Screenshots are all mine tqvm 🙂
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