Game: Daemon x Machina
System: Nintendo Switch
Publisher/Developer: Marvelous inc/Nintendo
Age Rating: Teen (USA)
Release Date: Summer 2019
Daemon X Machina is a brand-new Nintendo Switch title with the strategy of a mech game at the speed of an action game! After the last Nintendo Direct (recap here), a free demo for the upcoming Switch exclusive Daemon X Machina was released. It’s called The Prototype Missions, and if you want to give it a try you have to be quick: it’s available from the e-shop till the 11th of March. After playing, select players will receive an email containing a link to an online survey where they can provide feedback about the game to Director Kenichiro Tsukuda and the development team.
Having heard the basic premise of the game’s setting from E3 coverage and interviews it was nice to see it implemented in the game. As there are mission start conversations, radio talk and cut scenes.
The fragments of the moon are known as femto and most people live underground. Your player character and some of those in the story are Outers. These are people who have gained ability through femto and can augment their bodies. They are used as mercenaries who equip Arsenals (the mechs).
Since the moon fell a new form of AI known as The Immortals came to be. This can also corrupt other AI’s and weapons. The area you operate is known as the Oval Link and is often attacked by The Immortals. Orbital the company you work for is employed by, and has mercenaries in, various factions with different territories.
There are four missions in the demo, the first is a tutorial. The second is an eradication mission, the third a defence mission and fourth a boss fight. The Arsenal can have weapons in each hand, as well as shoulders. These can be guns, a melee weapon or even a shield. You can fly by jumping up, you do gradually descend so jumping and boosting within your stamina limit is important.
Getting hit pretty hard will drop your stamina and force you to the ground. Your Arsenal can also traverse on ground, after a short while it glides around. Downed enemies can drop ammo. You can also exit your Arsenal but for these demo missions I don’t see any reason to do.
You can also pick up various items such as mines or cars, and place or throw them at enemies. Certain trucks can be blown up, the blue ones create temporary healing areas. Red ones will generate a heat source and cause damage.
Some destroyed enemies can be salvaged for either weapons or body parts. It appears you can only salvage one piece off per enemy, so in the full version make your choice wisely. After the order is complete you have a minute before you return to base to pick up anything you missed or you can head straight back.
A bit into the demo you can access the Lab which allows you to customize your Outer. Not just appearance, there is also a skill tree. Each order you succeed in earns you credits, calling in for help or taking too much damage will lower your pay.
These credits can be spent on upgrading yourself. This will modify your appearance in several ways so don’t get too attached. For example wanting to upgrade my speed resulted in my legs being replaced with robot legs. I know it said my appearance might be changed but I think you might want to tell someone you’re going to cut their legs off!
Your Arsenal can also be equipped in the Hangar with new weapons and body parts. The body parts have a memory use so if you exceed that the overall performance will suffer. It is also customisable with colours and decals.
Overall I thought the demo was pretty good. The resolution in handheld could do a bit better but in both modes I didn’t feel there was any frame issues. There was stuttering in the loading screens which I found weird. There’s not many more appearance options I want as upgrading your Outer drastically changes their it. That said, a few more hairstyles would be nice.
Control wise I would really like motion control for the aiming. Or at the VERY least some stick sensitivity options. I also need some display options to change the HUD sizes. The radar should definitely have some indicator so you know if something is above or below you. I’m not sure I like the smoke effects as they look a bit cartoony. I’ve also noticed that the resolution of the screenshots makes it look something awful in comparison to how it is in action.
I’m still very much looking forward to the release of this game and hope it is soon!