For the third game I’ve beaten in 2021, it was at this point where I decided to just beat all the mech games in my backlog. What I do remember about this game was that I couldn’t even play this game as the game would not detect my controller. Thankfully the game has been patched and now works. What I’ve discovered about Assault Gunners HD Edition is that you’ll find a simple third person shooter, simple customization, simple squad AI, and simple bosses.
The story of Assault Gunners HD has you as part of a mercenary group called DATS to help with keep the peace with terraforming Mars. After a few training missions, you’re quickly thrown into the thick as the robotic AI called ANTS are revolting putting the population of Mars at risk. Your mission is to destroy ANTS and discover who is behind making the AI act this way. The entire story is delivered before and after missions with scrolling text so don’t expect to develop any sort of connection. The story does the job to carry you from mission to mission and that’s about it.
The missions you’ll get are straightforward as well capture point, destroy all enemies or reach a destination in a time limit. The latter being the most difficult compared to the other mission types. You will fight hordes of enemies and as long as you stick together with your squad the ANTS are easily destroyed. Thankfully enemies drop plenty of ammo, shield health, health, weapon plans, and discovery points.
When I say this is a simple third person shooter, this is about as basic as you get in terms of gameplay and controls. All your face buttons are dedicated to selecting the weapons you bring into each mission and the shoulder buttons are set for firing and dashing/jumping. While the game doesn’t have auto aim like Armored Core or Metal Wolf Chaos, you have a reticle on screen making it easy to know if you’re going to hit an enemy with your firearm.
However, it wouldn’t be a mech game without customization and that is where if you’re a fan of mech games that you’ll get a nice variety of parts and weapons. Parts and weapons are unlocked as you pick up plans through each mission and while weapons are given to you, you’ll need to buy the parts using discovery points. Parts are divided between upper and lower and support your standard fare of mechs bi-pedal, reverse joint, hover, and tank. However, you’ll also need to level up your parts to gain more health, defense, and mobility. All of which make a notable difference to your and your squad’s performance in combat.
What makes Assault Gunners HD stand out is that for a single player game, you can bring in three additional AI into each mission. You can design each AI unit parts and weapons. On top of designing their mech you are also able to assign the AI (and yourself) one of four roles: Attacker, Heavy Gunner, Blocker, and Supporter. Each role slightly buffs improves your stats only to accommodate your preferred playstyle. During missions you’re able to command the AI to attack, defend, standby and hold using the D-pad. I enjoyed having the AI as their stats will reflect what weapons you give them and the health they have based on the parts you equip them with. The AI are extremely effective in combat but if you want more of a challenge, you can decide to fly solo.
Assault Gunners HD is a nice short game that took me about four hours to beat. If you’ve never played a mech game before and don’t want to feel overwhelmed with customization options this is a nice simple entry point.
Watch the playthrough here.