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Assault Gunners HD Edition (PlayStation 4) Review

By Gabriel Jones 20.03.2018

Review for Assault Gunners HD Edition on PlayStation 4

Mars has thrived for over 4.6 billion years. Unfortunately, that era of peace and tranquillity has come to an end. Humanity, fearing the imminent destruction of Earth, has started colonizing the Red Planet. In order to assist with the unprecedented level of terraforming, ANTs were developed. These automated mechs are controlled via the mother computer on Deimos. However, something seems to have gone wrong, because the ANTs are no longer following orders. Worse, they've started attacking the colonies. In order to squash this uprising, the mobile assault squad DAT has been deployed. In Assault Gunners HD, mankind has gotten themselves into another fine mess, and only a daring pilot can sort it out.

Inoffensive, that's the word that best describes Assault Gunners HD. Here's a game that's unexceptional, yet also harmless. It doesn't inspire, nor does it aggravate. It is entirely incapable of drawing strong emotions out of those who decide to play it. Who could possibly take interest in such a remarkably bland videogame? After all, gamers are a species that thrive on being pushed to the limit. Joy comes from teetering on the edge of oblivion. Perhaps this title is dedicated to those who have been pushed over the edge. They're stressed out by endless nights of competitive first-person-shooters or have dodged one too many bullet patterns. They're exhausted and their nerves are spent, so they require something inoffensive to refresh their spirits, before the next challenge presents itself.

Screenshot for Assault Gunners HD Edition on PlayStation 4

The war for Mars spans 35 missions, most of which can be completed in just a few minutes apiece. Generally, the goal is to destroy all of the ANTs. Despite the peculiar name, these automatons are basically tanks, robots, and ships. They group together in battalions, presumably to overwhelm their enemies with sheer firepower. It's hardly anything to stress over however, as they are quickly decimated by the DAT Units. Unlike other third-person shooters, mecha or otherwise, ammo is easy to come by, and there's never a need to reload. In almost every situation, pilots are free to hold down that fire button and crush the opposition.

In-between missions, pilots can visit the hangar to outfit their squad. While on the field, it's possible to acquire new equipment. Since up to four DAT Units can participate in battle, a good rule of thumb is to ensure that they all have the best possible armaments. Shotguns are always a safe bet, thanks to their spread and inexplicably long range. A shoulder-mounted cannon is exceptional for crowd control. Melee weapons are unlikely to get any use, unless the pilot has a death wish. Mechs can also be equipped with a variety of ability-enhancing parts, such as improved shields or radar. Again, there aren't any penalties for equipping several top-tier parts, so load up. Development points, also earned during combat, can be invested into more advanced bodies.

Screenshot for Assault Gunners HD Edition on PlayStation 4

ANTs aren't especially durable, nor are they much of a threat by themselves. However, given high enough numbers, they can quickly chew through a DAT's shields and armour. Furthermore, it's nearly impossible to avoid taking damage. Even after several rounds of significant upgrades, these mechs are still large and bulky. Also, their thrusters and shields share the same energy gauge, so they can't dash their way out of a desperate situation. What it all comes down to is a game of numbers and probabilities. Survival is never guaranteed, but the odds can be easily shifted in the player's favour. Strong torsos and legs significantly boost the DAT's defensive capabilities. There's also an add-on that boosts the drop-rate of healing items. A small crowd of hostiles is prone to leaving behind something that'll keep the squad's armour in mint condition.

The most noticeable aspect of an in-offensive game is its lack of challenge. Assault Gunners HD wasn't designed to be easy, but ended up that way due to numerous variables. It doesn't take much for enemies to reduce the player's squad to scrap, but the copious healing items ensure that their efforts are usually in vain. It's probably just as well, because otherwise the difficulty would feel really cheap. In some scenarios, ANTs can spawn instantly, sometimes completely surrounding pilots. Enemy ships will blend in with the walls and floors. They're also capable of shooting through solid stone or steel, and that's flat out unfair. If anything, the cheating AI serves as justification for players to take advantage of every game mechanic available to them. There's no reward in fighting honourably.

Screenshot for Assault Gunners HD Edition on PlayStation 4

Alongside the main game, there's also a set of Inferno missions. The goal is to destroy as many ANT waves as possible. Thankfully, restorative items aren't nearly as plentiful as in the campaign, so it's unlikely that pilots will survive for an especially long time. Most players aren't liable to stick around after one or two attempts, because these missions are extremely boring. The moment to moment action simply isn't nearly as exciting as it should be. Whenever an enemy is destroyed, the resulting explosion is about as impressive as a firecracker's. The assortment of weapons available to DAT Units is creatively bankrupt. There aren't any homing lasers, turrets, or anything that could be considered different from the norm.

Screenshot for Assault Gunners HD Edition on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

Much like a relic from a forgotten age, Assault Gunners HD Edition struggles to find its place in today's gaming landscape. There isn't anything wrong with dozens of missions centred on destroying anything that moves. Really, it's the charming simplicity that helps keep this shooter afloat. The main problem is that there just isn't any depth, nuance, or fun. Without those qualities, the game is unable to form an identity. Few people are willing to invest their free time into such an uninspired blast-a-thon. On the plus side, this title isn't all that punishing. Thanks to the short missions and generous upgrade-system, anyone with nothing better to do can become the saviour of Mars.

Developer

SHADE Inc.

Publisher

Marvelous

Genre

Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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