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Taking Mecha out for a Test Drive in Garrison: Archangel

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Garrison: Archangel is a mecha fighting arcade-em up in which you control a heavily customisable mecha and try to destroy other mechas.

A fight for the ages

Big robots fighting other big robots has always been a supremely cool thing, and a very popular thing in many forms of media. Garrison: Archangel not only lets you fight mechs with other mechs, but it also lets you make your very own mech, complete with a range of weapons, upgrades, and even make a custom colour scheme.

Gameplay is straightforward and intuitive, movement on the WASD keys, the spacebar giving you a rocket boost in whichever way you are moving, main attacks on the left and right mouse buttons, and special moves on the 1 and 3 keys. And while I’m talking about the weapons, Garrison: Archangel has a ton of them. From massive swords to cleave through steel and copper, massive rockets to rip and tear limbs, or even just a good old rifle to plink away at an enemy. All the weapons are varied, balanced and cater to different play styles and themes, with everything from the punchy robots of Pacific Rim to the weaponized mech of D.Va in Overwatch.

I’m standing on nothing, woh oh ohhh!

To ensure you don’t just spam a machine gun, and to encourage a varied playstyle, attacks and boosts will consume power from your core that will slowly refill over time so you can’t just whale on your enemy with a ruddy great sword. Since using your boost consumes power, if you go in for an attack without planning you can easily get stuck right next to an opponent with no energy and no way out

Everything about your mech can be thrown about, switching between several body parts for an increase to speed, power or damage. With several different mech bodies lying around, several can be outfitted to serve a variety of roles and play styles and with all the knick-knacks you can strap on to personalize it just right.

To challenge you and your overpowered suit of metal, you can pit yourself against up to 3 other people using local multiplayer, or you can make a battle royale match with the AI, which is actually pretty good if you give it a chance. Finally, to see just how well your new mecha works, there’s a training mode where you can just whale on a dummy robot, which if you hit it just right, at the right angle will fall over, leaving it face up on the floor and you on top of it, slashing and shooting it, which is very entertaining to watch.

*twitch*

The battles are actually really fun, no set up of parts feels like I messed up, they just need a specific way to work well. Jumping around the map and firing off a missile now and then is one way, or rushing in to twat them around the noggin’ is another. Each playstyle feels well balanced and open to everyone whilst still having room for experimentation with different items to better suit you, or practice to work better with the current mecha.

Garrison: Archangel is a very promising demo and has a lot of potential on show. The fighting mechanics and overall feel are very nice, and flow together beautifully, while the garage and mecha building is easily understandable, with a fairly decent range of parts. My only complaints on this build is that i would like a wider range of weapons and body parts, and a simplified interface to navigate around. Over time however Garrison: Archangel could grow into a great game and I hope it does well.

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