Robotech Invasion Xbox Official Website
by Global Star Software
Developed by Harmony Gold
Release Date: Out Now
Also on: PlayStation 2
When you purchase a new game your expectations of the game will differ according to the price you pay. Paying less than £20 for a new game (as opposed to last years hit title that's been re-released on a budget label) means that you expect the game to still be good but obviously not a big budget production like a £39.99 or £44.99 game. A lot of the time though these lower price titles still leave you disappointed. Robotech Invasion isn't one of these and whilst it's obviously not had the development budget of games such as Halo 2, it's still a solid and enjoyable title that is well worth it's asking price.
What I like about Robotech Invasion is that you need not be learned in the Robotech franchise. If you're like me, in that you know next to nothing about Robotech, it doesn't matter one iota because it's not necessary to do so. The manual gives a short and concise introduction to the background of the game but even if you decide to read this you still won't feel like you're missing out on anything. Essentially though the background is that in the 21st century humans discovered an alien technology known as Robotech which allowed them to pass the boundaries of the solar system. Of course with human beings conflict is never far away and soon war broke out with an alien race known as the Invid. The Invid made it their goal to conquer and transform Earth. Now it's up to you as part of the Robotech Expeditionary Force to prevent this from happening.
Robotech Invasion is essentially a FPS that allows you, when in outdoor environments, to transform into a motorcycle which makes crossing large distances much quicker. The downside to using the motorcycle is that although you can fire at enemies whilst in this mode it's much more difficult to do so. Whilst in FPS mode (you can alter the camera to play the game as a third person shooter if you wish to do so) it's much easier to aim and take down your enemies when you're moving around on two feet, so the chances are that when faced with enemies you'll want to switch back to your default mode rather than the armoured motorcycle. The control system is a solid one and holding the left trigger locks on to enemies which makes aiming easy. In a nod to Halo Melee attacks are also possible. Your HUD provides plenty of information and always makes it clear where to go.
It's great to see a title in this price range providing you with Xbox Live play as it gives the game added value for money. The modes of play on offer are Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag and Protocapture where you have to gain control and defend the Protoculture generators. All of these modes support up to 8 players and System Link play (also for 8 players) is also supported. Sadly though there's no support for split-screen multiplayer which feels like a bit of an oversight given that for most people this is the main multiplayer mode.
You certainly don't expect a new title in this price range to push the Xbox as far as it can go in terms of the quality of the graphics but Robotech Invasion certainly looks OK. The environments look a tad bland and some animations could have been better I suppose but on the whole it looks OK and the frame rate remains smooth throughout which is always a bonus on a console FPS. You also have access to night and thermal vision and whilst the visual effects for these don't look as good as those in games such as Rainbow Six 3 they still do their job nicely.
Robotech fans will be pleased to know the game has an option to enable subtitles and these subtitles are on by default. The cutscenes are subtitled, the conversations in the game are subtitled and the radio communications you receive whilst playing the game are subtitled. There aren't any captions but this doesn't cause any problems, however they would have been welcome. On the whole though the game won't cause deaf gamers any problems.
Whilst no one expected Robotech Invasion to be the best FPS on Xbox I believe for just under £20 it does a good job of providing value for money. The game on the whole is fairly enjoyable and whilst it doesn't do much different from other FPS games on the console (aside from being able to transform into a armoured motorcycle), what it does it does well. It's always good to see support for Xbox Live play but it's a shame that there's no split-screen multiplayer option. Fans of Robotech will really appreciate the game but those of us who aren't into the Robotech universe will still feel like we're getting value for money.
Overall Game Rating: 7.0/10
Robotech Invasion might not be the greatest FPS you can buy on the Xbox but what it does it does well. The control system is a solid one and the action is fairly enjoyable. Full support for Xbox Live has also been included, which is impressive at this price. It's a shame that no split-screen play has been included though.
Deaf Gamers Classification:
(Click the letter or here for details)
No problems at all for deaf gamers. Whilst there are no captions the game is fully subtitled so you'll have no problems playing the game.