Square Enix isn’t a name I think of when I hear “Online 5v5 shooter”. Frankly the only time I think of guns and Square Enix at the same time, is when I consider how ridiculous the gunblade is. Be that as it may, Square is leaping into the third-person online shooter arena with a new game called Figure Head.
This game is 5v5 PC only (so far) mecha combat game. If you have watched anime such as Patlabour or played games like Armored Core and Vanquish, this might look somewhat familiar. The premise is thus; Meteor’s have pummeled the earth into a desolate wasteland and humanity, whats left of it, has retreated to underground bunkers/cities. The populous has built these robots to work outside the shelters and potentially be used to check the surface for viability again.
As with any great mecha anime, someone thought it would be good to give weapons to these workerbots, and allow them to battle it out for people’s amusement. Standard weaponry seems to be the choice of the day, with assault rifles, shotguns and shoulder mounted missile launchers being shown heavily throughout the trailer (below). Other more exotic weapons, such as the ever classic sniper rifle, Chain gun and popular anime support weapon back mounted mortar launchers are also shown.
One can safely assume that your mech will be customizeable, not only in weapons, but chassis and colour. We will have to wait and see on how customizeable these, but it does not look like it will reach the same level as the Armored Core series. Some interesting notes gleaned from the trailer, each mech has a weak point on their back, this looks to be some sort of heat sink/engine compartment. If this is true, many Dark Souls players will have a leg up, as they are used to skirting around for a critical hit in the back on enemies.
Speaking of customizeable, your avatar seems to be a young woman, which is not surprising due to the location this game comes from. Mech anime and games for a large part, are dominated by young heroes/heroines so Figure Head does not seem to buck that trend. As you will see in the video, you can change the appearance of your pilot/avatar, though again, it is unclear if that has extensive option or just a basic ‘create your character’ style choice.
Being both a PC exclusive (as far as we know) and being free-to-play has me slightly disappointed. I think mecha-combat games could do well on consoles as I believe the market for a solid single player campaign merged in with some fun/frantic multiplayer is rich right now. Here is the trailer, mind the sound as the music kicks in fairly loudly.