Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire Review
Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire is a lazy attempt to bring the Gundam license to the PlayStation 3, and it's a disappointment in almost every way.
- Mobile suits look great when they're standing still
- interesting campaign structure lets you pick and choose missions.
- Extremely sluggish frame rate nearly makes the game unplayable
- small, confined maps
- poor collision detection
- no online multiplayer
- lame special effects, weak weapons, bland backgrounds, and the list goes on.
It would seem that Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire has the makings of a good game. After all, what more do you need than a couple dozen towering mechs strapped with machine guns, rocket launchers, and beam sabers? How about a frame rate that occasionally approaches the double digits? How about online multiplayer? How about some semblance of thoughtful, intelligent game design? Crossfire has none of these things. Instead, it offers a couple dozen good-looking mechs, but that's about it. In fact, aside from its packaging and price, Crossfire gives very little indication of being a PlayStation 3 game. The graphics are poor, the frame rate is ridiculously slow, the gameplay is primitive, there's no online play, and simply no reason to play this game.
In the world of Gundam, there are two forces locked in an ongoing struggle for dominance: The Earth Federation and the Principality of Zeon. The game doesn't go into detail about why the two forces are fighting, so if you're looking for some context, you'll have to look to the plethora of Gundam anime, manga, and fan-created Web sites for more information. All you need to know is that both factions have some awesome weaponry in the form of massive mechanized "suits" at their disposal, which meet on the barren, fog-laden battlefields of futuristic Earth, where they trade blows until one side emerges the victor.
There are two modes of play in Crossfire. The single-player campaign is where you'll spend most of your time because the multiplayer is a joke. The only way to play this game multiplayer is two-player split-screen battles. There is no online play, which seems ridiculous because the majority of other PlayStation 3 launch titles have at least some sort of online support. The split-screen multiplayer that you get instead is completely shallow and almost unplayable because of a busted frame rate. You each choose a mobile suit (all of which have to first be unlocked in the single-player game) and battle until one mech is left standing. It's the kind of multiplayer experience that has been tacked on to second-rate licensed games for years, and it will do nothing to extend your time with this game.
The single-player campaign in Crossfire is much more involved, but that isn't saying very much. You can play as either the Earth Federation force or the Zeon force. Each side has its own selection of mobile suits, but regardless of which force you're fighting for, you'll encounter many of the same battles. Even though you'll be playing the same battles, you'll be doing so from different sides, which makes each mission feel unique to each faction. The campaign structure is based on a daily cycle, and you can accept or ignore missions as you see fit. Missions have a time limit, so you have to complete each one before a certain date or else it will be unavailable for the rest of the game. As days pass, your pilots heal from battle and your mobile suits are repaired. It also takes a set number of days to modify your mobile suits, have new ones delivered, and so on. You have to manage your time to an extent, but it's not such a constraint that you'll ever feel rushed to meet the mission deadlines. The campaign ends when you reach December 31 or finish the final battle. The campaign progression isn't exactly open-ended because you'll end up in the same place no matter what you do, but the structure works well if only because it gives you some freedom to pick and choose your missions.
Skipping a few of the optional missions won't have much of an effect on your overall campaign, but there is some incentive for completing as many missions as possible. At the end of each mission, you're given a rank that is based on your time, remaining health, and enemies destroyed. You're also awarded points based on how you perform, which can be redeemed to purchase new mobile suits, hire new pilots, and upgrade your current fleet of mobile suits. The upgrade system is very shallow and not especially fulfilling. You can upgrade each mobile suit in one of three areas: attack, which will increase the damage inflicted on enemies; weapons, which gives you access to new weapons and lets you carry more ammunition; and defense, which increases the amount of damage you can take. You'll also see an appreciable performance boost as you level up your mechs, but if you're looking for a level of customization that is typical of other mech combat games, you won't find it in Crossfire.
Most of the mobile suits are humanoid in design, with two legs, two arms, a head, and a torso. They run around and behave much like humans, but because the suits are several stories tall and weigh hundreds of tons, they tend to be slow and clumsy. Wisely, the mech engineers have equipped each suit with rocket boosters, which are essential because they let you move fast enough to evade most attacks. Without the rocket boosters, the mobile suits move so unbearably slow that you're better off waiting the few seconds for them to cool off so you can use them again than trying to move around unaided. You move your mobile suit with the left analog stick and adjust the camera with the right analog stick. Oddly, the motion-sensor feature of the Sixaxis controller goes completely unused.
Each mobile suit can be equipped with a melee weapon, which is assigned to the triangle button. These melee weapons can be extremely powerful but, of course, are only effective at close range. Not only does getting in close put you directly in harm's way, but poor collision detection makes melee fighting very frustrating. You'll often whiff pathetically when you take a swing, even if you're right next to your target.
Most of the time, you'll rely on ranged weapons, such as machine guns, beam cannons, and missile launchers that can be equipped to your mobile suit. These weapons are assigned to the square and R1 buttons. You can press the R2 button to activate sniper mode to pick off enemies from afar, but it's easier to use the lock-on targeting feature. By pressing the L1 button, you'll lock on to a target, and the camera will stay focused on it. This lets you circle strafe and fill your enemy full of lead until it dies or you run out of ammo. In each level, there is also a supply depot that you can visit to replenish your ammo, but doing so will put you out of commission for about 10 seconds and leave you completely vulnerable to attack.
- Player Reviews: 60
- Game Universe:
- Mobile Suit Gundam Seed (PS2, DS),
- Gundam Seed: Federation vs. Z.A.F.T. (ARC, PS2),
- Dynasty Warriors: Gundam (PS3, X360),
- Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 (PS3, X360),
- Mobile Ops: The One Year War (X360),
- SD Gundam G Generation 3D (3DS),
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire (PS3),
- Mobile Suit Gundam Seed: Never Ending Tomorrow (PS2),
- Gundam Battle Tactics (PSP),
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Gundam vs. Zeta Gundam (PS2)
- Offline Modes:
- Number of Players: