To the announcement of Nintendo Switch, among the many questions posed by video gamers around the world was that concerning the variety of the offered stock. In recent years, especially with the release of Nintendo Wii, the Japanese company has established itself on the market as the producer of family consoles. It was therefore more than legitimate for hardcore gamers to turn their gaze to other shores, looking for what could satisfy their consumer profile in the best possible way. Nintendo Switch, in these three years of activity, is succeeding in attracting the attention of those who are looking for challenging games, with complex mechanics and deep themes. One of the titles that is added to this list and that could satisfy the most varied palates is its own Daemon X Machina.
Developed by Marvelous, Daemon X Machina is a third person action shooter that incorporates many structural and role play elements from its predecessors such as Destiny e Monster Hunter World. After the impact of a piece of the Moon on Earth, many artificial intelligences in the world rebelled against humans and developed into a new life form, called Immortal. Even some humans have suffered the effects of this cataclysm, acquiring unique abilities that make them different from their peers. They were called Outer and most of them decided to put their skills at the service of the human race. Taking advantage of the powerful mechs, called Arsenal, the Outer perform missions under the tutelage of Orbital, a neutral corporation that deals with managing the various tasks assigned by the various companies left on earth. These missions involve the annihilation of the Immortals in an attempt to discover how to stop the new threat, but they are also missions that help the development of the companies involved, and it is not uncommon for two companies to propose to the Outer different missions that can hinder those of other Outer, forcing them to clash. Perhaps all in all, for these companies business comes before everyone's welfare.
Before launching into the game, I want to emphasize the beauty of the musical theme present in the initial menu, to the point that I stopped to listen to it in its entirety before starting the experience. I invite each of you to do the same, even if you decide not to buy the game. A great applause to Junichi Nakatsuru and Rio Hamamoto, authors of the soundtrack, really pleasant and immersive in most of the title.
The first thing to do in Daemon X Machina is to create your own Outer. The character creation screen offers more than enough tools to give vent to your creativity, reaching a good level of customization.
In a previous preview, I had already pointed out how the game presents a narrative system based on single missions that carry the story forward, just like the ones already mentioned Destiny e Monster Hunter World. It is therefore easy to expect the presence of a central hub, namely the Hangar. Here you can check game progress, buy and sell items, change the appearance of your Arsenal and enhance it, artificially change your body to give it new abilities and even eat ice cream, a mechanic that matches the meals of Monster Hunter.
The game includes a multiplayer component, very limited when facing main story missions: these must be addressed in the company of other Outer people belonging to the story, because they have narrative implications that involve them. These Outer are part of different guilds, each with its own characteristics and purposes. By helping them, various benefits can be obtained, such as exclusive weapons in the store and the potential collaboration of their members during free missions, that is, those that do not directly concern the plot: in this way it is possible also for those who play offline to obtain a valuable support. on the battlefield. The missions provide as a reward for credits that can be spent on upgrading your Arsenal.
Although this progression structure soon falls into repetitiveness, the missions try to be as varied as possible, both in the assigned task and in the unforeseen events that occur.. We start from the simple elimination of hostile AI, up to the protection of an assigned point, the destruction of an enemy construction, the placement of explosives, the exploration of still unexplored areas and much more. The unexpected are always around the corner and create constant expectation during the mission, making us always keep our guard up. Whether it is the arrival of a hostile Outer group or the sudden appearance of a colossal Immortal, one never has the certainty of being completely safe. The Outer who interact with us have somewhat stereotypical personalities, but most of them have an interesting background to be discovered during mission preparation briefings and during the performance of the assigned task.
To tackle these missions, good preparation is essential. Enemy AI can be eliminated with ranged firearms or melee weapons. The choice is up to us, depending on the style of play that is most congenial to us, but in the initial stages the game pushes more towards a distance approach. Since the fights are very hectic and require the constant movement of the player, to Marvelous have well thought of exploiting a fire system based on the coupling of a target. Once an enemy is framed on the screen, it will be locked and our Arsenal will always fire at him, even on the move. The loss of eye contact with the enemy obviously involves the loss of the coupling, which must be obtained again. In this way, Arsenal has the possibility of avoiding enemy attacks by exploiting the movement thrusters without running the risk of not being able to adequately respond to hostile fire. But be careful not to exhaust the power of the thrusters, otherwise you will find yourself in the inability to fly and move easily for a short period of time, remaining exposed to enemy attacks. Firearms are many and range from guns to assault rifles, from shotguns to sniper rifles, for a more stealth approach.
As for the melee, you can begin to concretely make use of it in half of the Grade D missions, then after a few hours of play. The most basic swords have only one attack available, but the best swords can combine different combos becoming much more effective. Arsenal being equipped with two fully operational hands, there is absolutely nothing to stop you from holding a firearm in the right hand and a weapon for melee in the left hand, thus creating unique sets that allow to make the most of every situation. The possibilities are innumerable.
Some weapons can be improved thanks to the accessory slots, which increase attack power, rate of fire, number of ammunition and so on. To the increase of these statistics also contributes our armor, customizable in head, bust, arms, legs and processor. There are armor plates that help in hooking speed, others that increase the defense against certain types of weapons and others that improve movement skills. The choice is only up to you, e I can assure you that if you are a fan of numbers and statistics this game offers a customization experience that really has nothing to envy to Monster Hunter.
You can carry up to four weapons, one for each arm and two for reserve. I guarantee you that you will always have to go out equipped to face any eventuality, because finding yourself with no chance of attacking almost always means being defeated. The worst situation I found myself in was on a main mission, which seemed at first to be a simple patrol assignment. I had forgotten to equip a spare rifle and at one point a colossal Immortal appeared, turning the mission into a boss fight. I ran out of ammunition when the boss was missing less than a quarter of his life, and I found myself unable to attack. The teammates in the missions serve mainly as support, so wait for them to be able to defeat the giant mech and hope that in the meantime they will also destroy its minions, thus spawning ammunition for my weapon, it was exasperating. I invite you not to repeat my mistake.
These fun and frenetic fights are accompanied by a graphic style that tends to favor saturated bright colors, emphasizing the Immortals' explosions and giving a great sense of fulfillment. However the game can best be appreciated only in dock mode: son the big screen of a television Daemon X Machina it's really nice to see, certainly nothing glaring but the few declines in framerates are very few, the faces of the characters are well defined although not very expressive and in the most frantic moments you always manage to have a clear idea of what is happening. In portable mode instead it seems to find yourself in front of another game. During the most agitated actions the game slows down noticeably, Outer and Arsenal lose their definition and the grip of the spaced joycon does not allow a precise mech control, accomplices also of the complex commands that do not adapt to portable use. I don't think it's unplayable, but the experience is conspicuously compromised, which is why I strongly suggest you use it every time you have the opportunity of a screen connected to the dock. Another sore point is the size of the maps in which the missions take place. The space available is rather limited, in most cases being reduced to rectangles that do not offer much breath, especially in battles against the giant Immortals. The exceptions are few, even in those cases nothing that can really be called broad. A real shame, considering how essential it is to move easily to face enemies in the best possible way.
Daemon X Machina unfortunately he did not enjoy the same media attention as other Nintendo titles. However, it is yet another game that demonstrates the many good options available to Nintendo Switch users, a console that continues to welcome quality games to play under its roof. We are not in front of a masterpiece, mind you, but Daemon X Machina it is certainly a valid title, able to satisfy different types of players. Whether you are a shooter fan, an action fan, a mech fan, a game with a large customization component that influences numbers and statistics or you're looking for a fresh online experience, Daemon X Machina offers a truly unique experience of its kind, which could be for you. So get ready to get on your Arsenal and save what's left of humanity.