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Project Nimbus: Early Access


Project Nimbus is a relatively ambitious game developed by the independent studio GameCrafterTeam. This studio was established in 2008 in Thailand, but has only been operating in video games for the global market since 2012, with titles like Smash Cat ou Hypersonic 4.

The culmination of the game Project Nimbus was made thanks to a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, the development had already started before that, but the enthusiasm of the people allowed to push the development of the game further and add to it. features. Too bad, some will say, that the addition of the spanish language is not part of it! Indeed, the game is only available in English and Thai.



 

History of Project Nimbus

In less than half a century, yet another world war will have ravaged the surface of our planet Earth. It will no longer be habitable and covered with water. The object of survival for the human species? The air is where we will now operate aboard flying cities and powerful ships. At the same time, the American TALOS armor, the spanish HERCULE armor or even the Japanese KURATAS mecha armor will only be outdated prototypes of another age ... The great nations emerging from this conflict are now much more powerful like "BattleFrame", a kind of humanoid flying vehicles piloted by a single pilot. But the members of the terrorist organization calling themselves the" Children of the Fallen / Lost Nations "do not intend to leave these governments, responsible according to them for the destruction of the surface of the Earth, rule the world again.


High-speed clashes between these "mechs"airs then take place, each equipped with a wide range of diverse and varied weapons making the combat dynamic.


It is during these clashes that YOU intervene, at the controls of one of these mechas, facing other mechas, planes, drones or a slew of missiles aimed directly at you!

 

Who do you play as?

A member of the USAF or of Mithril the armies of these nations, or one of these Children of the Fallen Nations? The three ! This is one of the very appreciable originalities of this game. In its campaign mode, you will follow a series of events sometimes from the point of view of one or the other of these groups.

Game features and functionality

The game is currently only in early access for the alpha, not even the beta. It should be taken into account that a certain number of elements are still likely to evolve!

Currently there are 2 game modes:

  • The campaign mode is divided into 4 acts. Only one is currently playable, but when the game is released all 4 will be available. In campaign mode, you follow a story, from mission to mission, taking part in the conflict as each of the parties involved, varying according to the missions. The mechas you pilot, as well as their weaponry, will vary from mission to mission, as will the types of objectives making this mode varied and not monotonous. Each mission has the right to its small briefing cinematic presenting the objectives and the parties involved, something to remind those of the excellent Crimson Skies for the nostalgic, although we are a cut below (but how to equal its level? ). A plus for me.


  • Survival mode where you face wave after wave of enemies, more and more numerous, varied, powerful and armed. Rest assured, you also unlock new weapons as the waves go. No limit to the number of waves, the only end will come from the time you hold! Little more: you can choose the mecha that you pilot during this mode, among those that you will meet during the campaign! Enough to encourage you to do this one.

For these 2 game modes, each time 3 levels of difficulty are available:


  • Sunday gamers (Casual gamer): easy mode that shouldn't be a problem for you
  • Recommended for gamers: normal game mode
  • Prepare to die: difficult game mode, reserved for those who want a challenge.

A third game mode may be available in the final version:

  • The player versus player mode, which is eagerly awaited, both for duels and for team matches (a button already allows you to communicate with the latter strongly presaging the addition of this mode!).

Let's talk about Gameplay

First of all, I would like to point out that it is still potentially subject to change by the time the game is finally released, but the principles should remain the same.

The movement is effected by movements along three axes: forward / backward using the classic Z and S keys; laterally right / left thanks to D and Q; and finally vertically up / down using the E and X keys. In addition to these three axes of movement, you can manage the right / left and up / down rotation in the manner of a classic fps with the movements of the mouse.


The space bar helps speed up your movement drastically in the current direction of travel (forward by default if you are not piloting in a particular direction). With the restriction, however, that you cannot be on permanent boost. You have an energy gauge for your booster. Once emptied, you cannot accelerate again until you have reloaded a bit. Charging occurs naturally over time and is quite fast. This boost makes the fights even more dynamic.


You have the possibility of slowing down time momentarily to better control your movements as well as the interception of missiles by aiming more accurately. The interception of missiles can be done by means of decoys to be released by the F key, or thanks to the basic weapon: your submachine gun.

These are the basic mechanics for controlling your mech. Then comes the fight! For it :

  • Access to a wide variety of weapons: whether they are smart missiles, mini drones that will also intercept enemy missiles, sniper fire (my favorite), thermal missiles, a kind of laser sword or even a simple machine gun rotating barrel ... you will have a choice! Note however, some campaign mode missions will only give you access to a limited number of weapons! The change (or sometimes just the activation) is done using keys 1 to 6, or using your mouse wheel.
  • To hit an enemy you must first target them with left click and then use your weapons with left click. There is no real aiming to do, it is done automatically by tracking the target. This is the point that may disappoint some, not to put your own aiming skills into play ... but rest assured, you will still have the opportunity! In fact, the interception of machine gun missiles is done precisely by aiming them directly without any active target. Slow motion is practically essential to hit a missile given the speed of combat. Besides, given this one, I'm happy with the automatic target tracking that I was initially skeptical about.
  • However, each weapon has its own characteristics, including range, which will require playing them at the right time. The machine gun for example is effective at close range but not at long range!
  • Finally for aiming skills, they can intervene in another form. The target tracking system has several possible settings:
    • Active: you are then in maximum zoom mode on the target while you are on the move and the camera and your mecha will also automatically rotate to keep the target in the center. It is a mode that I do not like because it is too blurry, it lacks a bit of an overview of the situation given the zoom.
    • Semi-active: here the zoom will be only less and is much more pleasant, the tracking of the target and the camera movements will therefore be less brutal.
    • Disabled: No zoom in progress, the downside is that you will not turn to follow the target if it goes out of your field of vision.

The gameplay is all in all interesting and well thought out. The only complaints I have concerns the placement of the vertical movement. Here you have to sacrifice a direction of movement (front / back or sometimes lateral right) to be able to make a vertical movement, this prevents movement in the 3 simultaneous directions. For me, placing the movement by the little finger would be more judicious. By means of the shift keys and caps lock for example by thereby moving the slow motion on the Alt key for use by thumb (it is unlikely to use the boost in slow motion mode).

However, this slight problem should soon be configurable thanks to the addition of the customization of the commands. Everyone can therefore modify the settings according to their preferences.

There is only one thing left that makes the identity of a game apart from its gameplay and its history: its graphics.

 

Graphics

The game can be set to several screen resolutions, 4: 3 or 16: 9, as well as several levels of graphics quality ranging from "very low" to the humorous "graphics card overheating", mainly improving textures, light effects and sharpness / blur effects when moving.

Let's take a look at the design first: either we like it or we don't! The weaves are very characteristic, with very pointed shapes, very angular and leaving little room for curves. We are far from the design of an Ironman (which is technically not a mecha but an exoskeleton anyway), but we are closer to a Gundam with spiky wings.

The graphic style then: we have here graphics with fairly bright images, reflective surfaces and very nuanced, not the simplistic solid colors of other games. A 3D realism therefore rather in the spirit of manga or drawn, less real!

Finally the decorations! Big negative point of the game. The sets are rather simplistic for the most part, being limited to bodies of water for the ground and to various stretches of clouds in the sky. This point is difficult to improve, however, given the very concept of the game since it is about air combat and we rarely have lots of things in the sky! This concern is more annoying in the survival mode, which is more repetitive than the campaign mode, where you will sometimes be entitled to cities or a flying prison as a backdrop for your missions, breaking the monotony of the void in the air.

 

In summary

It's a very enjoyable game, if of course we like the mecha concept and simulation / air combat games. Gameplay and weapon diversity are well thought out although some adjustments could be made at this time. However, these adjustments should be possible without worry in the final version. The story is interesting and allows you to follow the evolution of the various camps, with a special mention for the briefings reminiscent of those of Crimson Skies. The graphics are realistic and well designed, the only downside for the moment being the relative poverty of the sets.

 

To conclude, I would like to add a word concerning the work of the developers. Since the launch of Early Access, there have been several updates, notably improving the fluidity of the game, or correcting certain details based on player feedback. The game team is very responsive and attentive to its players, communication is not one-sided, the developers responding regularly. A point which, in my opinion, deserves to be highlighted and congratulated.

If I have convinced you, and you agree with me that this game is worth it and that you will have a great time in it, you can get it through Steam.



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