I recently completed this game on the PS3 and wanted to write a short post about it. It’s such an unusual game, and yet I enjoyed it a huge amount. The game is a mixture of anime, first-person shooter, turn-based strategy and roleplaying game, without really being any of those things fully. The game story unfolds through the use of animated stories about a bunch of central characters who have become involved in a war. Various chapters open up as the story develops, and each of those chapters has a number of battles. The stories aren’t interactive, you watch and listen. But the characters are interesting and the plot engaging.
When you get to a battle, you take control of a squad of troops who you can equip (and you can research new equipment), and train (to improve levels and gain new abilities) and then run through the fight. The battle itself is a mix of first-person and turn based. You pick a character to control from a turn-like map, you then control that character directly in first-person mode, running them through the battle dodging bullets. When you want to engage the enemy you switch to a control system that stops time and lets you aim at a single target, at which point you fire your weapon and then return to real time. You cycle through your squad, moving them and engaging the enemy over a number of rounds to achieve your objective. When you do, you’re rewarded with more story and more chapters.
That’s an ugly description of a beautiful game. The artwork is superb, the characters quirky and amusing and the game play truly engaging. If you have a PS3 this is a must buy – and it’s been out long enough now that you should be able to pick it up quite cheaply.