Assault Gunners is a game that was released in 2012 exclusively to Japan for PlayStation Vita, which had a few downloadable expansions that included some new missions and other content. Assault Gunners HD is essentially the same game, but with all of the extra content included, as well as some polish to the graphics. If you like giant robots fighting each other in spectacular fashion, then you’re unfortunately not going to find a lot of that in Assault Gunners HD Edition. There are definitely mechs fighting one another in large environments, but the battles are anything but spectacular.
The story of Assault Gunners in both the main campaign and extra downloadable missions is told through boring text scrolls before and after missions, which follows a plot involving humanities colonization of Mars and the creation of the A.I known as ANTS. There are 35 missions to complete in the main game, but the HD Edition of Assault Gunners adds 15 more missions from the downloadable content that was released. These missions are more of the same and just as dull as missions from the main campaign. If you were hoping for an interesting story to keep pulling you through each mission, then you’ll be very disappointed at what is here.
Despite the game being brought to the PlayStation 4 for the HD Edition, Assault Gunners is still a very bland looking game. Environments are dull and seem to stretch out forever, but with nothing interesting to look while moving around. The enemy mechs you encounter aren’t that great either.
Most of the robots look very basic in their overall design and move around with jagged motions that look weird. Enemies are often copied and pasted into battles when engaging large group battles, but in a way that looks poorly thought out and boring. There are times when it can be difficult to tell some smaller enemies apart from the background because of poor color scheme choices for the mechs and the surrounding environment, leading to attacks that seemingly come from nowhere in tight areas.
The fighting in Assault Gunners HD is only fun for a very short time, after which becomes mindless and boring with each successive mission. Enemies just aimlessly linger around until you fire upon them and or standby to be destroyed in one hit. This happens for the majority of the game, including the boss fights that feature larger machines that you must destroy. Controlling your custom mech within the first few missions can feel clunky and stiff, with turning around to aim or reorient yourself can be difficult.
Once you pick up the first few robot part upgrades for your mech, then movement becomes much easier. Yet it’s very annoying how traversing the area isn’t smooth at first, which will turn many off by how restrictive it feels. There are many parts to obtain and use to customize your mech, which changes up some of the weapons and abilities you have during missions. Upgrading parts can boost the effectiveness of your robot’s attacks, which is good for completing certain missions faster than normal.
There are a few extras included with Assault Gunners HD, such as additional Inferno Mode survival maps, more weapons, and some fully voice-acted navigators to listen to. However, if you didn’t like most of the game’s terrible shortcomings, then this new content won’t do much to boost your enjoyment of it. It’s just more of the same.
It would’ve been great to have something else to unlock as rewards for completing missions, such as bonus artwork or other kinds of extra goodies. However, you don’t really get anything, outside of additional mech parts, for doing so. It makes playing through the game and powering through the hassle of its problems feel like a waste.
Assault Gunners HD Edition is a very basic mech game for those that like giant robots. The visuals are dull, the story is bare-bones and not good, and the gameplay is mediocre throughout most of the experience. Unless you have a big affinity for Japanese robots fighting in big battles, then you’re not going to find much good here. Assault Gunners may have been a somewhat decent experience back on the PlayStation Vita in 2012, but there’s nothing special about it now to warrant anyone diving into the HD Edition of the game. It might be best to keep this one grounded.
This review was based on a digital review code for Assault Gunners HD Edition on PlayStation 4, provided by Marvelous.