We all associate first-person shooters with an older audience but Robotech Invasion is clearly aimed at priming a younger gamer for a career in the genre later in life. It's not quite Halo for kids but it's along those lines. The last time a Robotech title graced Xbox, it failed to seriously capture anyone's imagination, though it did sport some lovely cel-shaded visuals for its time.
Fast-forward two years and the franchise has taken a new direction under the guidance of Vicious Cycle and at a cool price point of just 20. And seeing as though the first-person shooter is well and truly in fashion at the moment, why not bring out the big guns?
The fun takes places in the 21st century where humans have made a cool discovery known as Robotech that has made space travel easier than finding your way home on a bus when the trains are cancelled. But good times soon went bad when we made contact with an alien race called the Invid that's eyeing Earth as its new gaff. And yep, you guessed it; it's up to you to save the day. Without giving too much away, there are a few surprises along the way, assuming the role of a second character being the biggest.
After firing the game up and jumping straight ?in we were surprised to see how smooth the first-person controls turned out to be. Too many FPS games are spoilt by bad, twitchy controls. But moving, looking and more importantly shooting are all rock solid in Invasion. Gameplay is very linear and the quick pace of the plot doesn't really allow you much time to explore the huge environments. As you can see from the shots on this page, the heads-up-display (HUD) is quite different from other shooters. So different in fact it's a bit on the annoying side because it overwhelms the action on screen. On this display is a big green arrow that constantly lets you know where you should be heading next. It almost feels like your hand's being held all the way through.
There's a lot of repetitive gameplay too that won't challenge anyone who's played at least one shooter before in their gaming career. The gameplay is objective-driven but a lot of the time you'll be doubling back on yourself and shooting the same type of enemies making the whole experience drag rather than excite.
But take this as an FPS that younger gamers will find it easy to get to grips with and you won't go wrong. It's not an exciting, adrenaline-pumping game and it does border on the easy side, but with multiplayer options (online and offline) for up to eight players, we could soon see the birth of tomorrow's generation of FPS warriors. If you're already at that stage though, you won't this very challenging at all.
A budget-priced but very average cartoon-inspired shooter that will appeal to kids more than adults.