HomeReviews4.5/5 ReviewFRONT MISSION 1st: Remake Review

FRONT MISSION 1st: Remake Review

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Many moons ago, there was a popular series of Tactical RPGs from Square Enix that went by the name of Front Mission. First released on the SNES in 1995, the series went from strength to strength, until someone got the bright idea of remaking the game for modern audiences. This was Front Mission 1st, released in 2003 for the PS1. And now we have a remake of the remake for Xbox in the form of FRONT MISSION 1st: Remake.

Developed and published by Forever Entertainment it arrives with all the extra content from the first remake. 

front mission 1st remake review 1
It’s all about the tactics and strategy in FRONT MISSION 1st: Remake on Xbox

The narrative was always good in the olden days, especially in those games that came from Square (as they were then). So it proves here with FRONT MISSION 1st: Remake. 

In the 2090’s wars are fought with giant machines called Wanzers. Now, being a bit of a history buff, I’m going to assume this is a play on the German Panzer, taking those tanks and walking them about – Walking Panzer = Wanzer? The two sides of the conflict are the Oceania Cooperative Union (O.C.U) and the United Continental States (U.C.S), who share a land border on Huffman Island. As you’d expect, combat is never far away, and soon war breaks out here. 

At the start of the game, we have the option of choosing which side of the conflict we wish to fight on, effectively giving us two campaigns to play through. Obviously the different stories have different heroes, and so which side you choose dictates what narrative you get to see. No shortage of content here!

There are also a couple of choices in how you want to play too – either with the classic 1995 graphics, or with some updated 2003 visuals. Not having played the original game, I went initially for the updated graphics, but both work very well. The models for the various Wanzers that you control, and the enemy ones that you face off against, are very nicely detailed. And the landscapes that you fight across – while looking like they were made in Minecraft – work nicely. 

front mission 1st remake review 2
How will you set up?

FRONT MISSION 1st: Remake is presented in the traditional top three quarter isometric view, and it is always easy to see what is going on. The story itself takes place via the medium of static cutscenes, with the picture of the speaker appearing so you are in no doubt as to who has said what. All in all, if you remember this from the first time around, or have played any of the many tactical RPGs since, you’ll be right at home here. 

Moving onto the actual gameplay and it is again very much business as usual. At least, with one noticeable exception. You see, on your turn, your team of Wanzers can be controlled one by one, capable of actioning all the usual things. If you wish to reposition your Wanzer, the usual array of highlighted squares can be moved to, and depending on the loadout you have chosen for each, they can either attack from range with a rocket launcher of some description, or get up close and personal to bring the hurt. Matching the loadout to the mission that you are going to undertake is pretty important. With a huge selection of customisation available, it just depends on your coffers to which gear you can bring. 

Each Wanzer has a choice of body parts, from body, both arms, legs and CPUs available to buy. Various weapons can be held in each hand, and can also be shoulder mounted. Having a gun and a melee weapon, alongside shoulder mounted rocket launchers has worked well for me. It’s pretty neat that each set of limbs also has different stats to mess around with. And when you have your ideal Wanzer built, you can even paint it should you wish. Having different team members with different roles is a very interesting tactic to try out – just keep track of who is who!

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Choices!

The main difference between FRONT MISSION 1st: Remake and other tactical RPGs is that each body part of the Wanzer can be targeted independently, even destroyed. You can’t choose which body part to target, sadly, but a Wanzer with destroyed legs can’t move as far. And if an arm is destroyed, the weapon that is held in that hand is dropped; as such a Wanzer can be left completely defenceless. It is only when the body is destroyed that the Wanzer is destroyed, and while you can heal the body using repair kits, you cannot repair any of the other sections in battle. 

Thankfully, if one of your Wanzers is destroyed, the driver is able to bail and be available for the next battle. Except that is, for the hero. If your main character is killed, it is game over and restart, thank you very much. 

FRONT MISSION 1st: Remake proves that they don’t make them like they used to. There are a couple of issues with the UI, mainly it not being clear, and it must be said that going into battle against the world will see you taught a big old lesson. But that only proves what a hard game this is. With practice you learn the tactics that work (never fight one on one, for instance, always have a buddy) and beating the AI, whether on the field of battle or in the arena, brings a very good feeling. 

In all, FRONT MISSION 1st: Remake is one of the better tactical RPGs on the market. Now how about the rest of the saga, please?

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Great tactical gameplay
  • Body part destruction is a highlight
  • Story is good
  • Difficulty is judged just right
Cons:
  • UI could be clearer
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to: Forever Entertainment
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC
  • Release date and price - 30 June 2023 | £29.24
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Great tactical gameplay</li> <li>Body part destruction is a highlight</li> <li>Story is good</li> <li>Difficulty is judged just right</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>UI could be clearer</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to: Forever Entertainment</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC <li>Release date and price - 30 June 2023 | £29.24</li> </ul>FRONT MISSION 1st: Remake Review
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