Review – Daemon X Machina (PC)

Back in just September of 2019, the excellent Daemon x Machina was introduced onto the Switch. Despite its shortcomings, we found it to be an excellent mech shooter. In a big surprise, a PC port of the game was announced. But does it fix any of the issues of the original release?

The story of Daemon x Machina is just nonsense to me and something that’s just there to push the gameplay along nicely. The world has been torn apart by war. There’s a ton of information to take in and it can be overwhelming to say the least. Thankfully, if you don’t find the story interesting you can skip all of it.

Daemon x Machina PC

Great use of colour give Daemon a unique and amazing art style

This is very much the same game that released on Switch a few months ago. The excellent fast-paced mech-based combat is identical. You control a mech, known as an “Arsenal”, that can fly sent out on missions to battle the AI that control the world and occasionally deal with other factions with their own agendas. Sadly, no work has been done to improve the controls. Changing and maintaining altitude continues to be the gameplay’s biggest downfall here. When you enter flight mode you will be launched up into the air and the only way to go lower is to click in the left stick. This will drop you to the ground until you click the fly button again. It takes some getting used to and even after a few hours, I still make mistakes.

Missions can get slightly repetitive as well. You will often be dealing with the same enemy types with only a few variations throughout. Thankfully, boss fights and mech battles come often and they are some of the best moments in the entire game. They provide both a visual treat and interesting gameplay challenges. You’ll need to manage your mech’s abilities and use the environment to your advantage.

Flying around a wide variety of gorgeous environments and shooting enemies is a total blast, no matter what. Kitting out your Arsenal with up to four weapons at a time; one in each hand and two on your back, ready to swap out at any time during a mission, is blissful. This includes all ranges of weapons such as: assault rifles, swords, shields, rocket launchers, and much more. Not only that, but you can quickly start equipping your Arsenal with shoulder mounted weapons and gadgets such as mines. This amount of versatility in mech customisation makes it truly feel like you being able to cater to your own play-style and preferences. You never feel locked in to certain weapons as you earn them at a generous pace.

Daemon x Machina PC

Immortals provide some of the best battles.

Occasionally, you will be stepping outside of your mech and battle on-foot with your almost as equally customisable pilot. You’ll be able to fit upgrades that drastically improve pilot usability at the cost of forced cosmetic changes. It’s a nice system that Daemon rarely ever forces onto you, since it knows its strength is in the mech combat. If your Arsenal does run out of health, you can eject and try to finish the mission on foot or repair it if you have the skill unlocked.

What surprised me is just how good the PC port actually is. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much, but it has transitioned over nicely. Daemon x Machina is proof that top tier art style can carry a game’s visual presentation and it looks even better on PC. The use of colours is wonderful with some beautiful environment design. It’s much nicer than the Switch version since it smoothes out any of the rough edges it had with its presentation at launch. Playing at 60+ FPS doesn’t take a powerhouse of a PC as well and makes the game just look and feel much nicer.

The default Keyboard and Mouse binds are kind of awkward to get used to and I would highly suggest using a controller for the best experience. Although, this has had its own issue. The only way I could get the game to pick up my controller inputs was to plug the controller in before booting the game up. Thankfully, controls are completely rebind-able, so with some adjustments it should still be perfectly fine to play on keyboard.

Daemon x Machina PC

The hub shows off your mech in all its glory.

Then we have the sound design, which can be best described as “anime”. From the cheesy voice acting that lends a certain charm, to the game’s world, all the way to the epic soundtrack. Not to mention the heavy metal that ramps up alongside the action and really puts you into the moment.

Daemon x Machina is a great port of a fantastic Switch game. The fast-paced mech transitions perfectly the PC with some minor improvements. I just wish they fixed some of the original release’s shortcomings.

 

Graphics: 10

Daemon X Machina on PC takes the excellent art direction to next level.

Gameplay: 7.0

Awkward flight controls and repetitive missions bring down an otherwise excellent mech game.

Sound: 9.0

Epic sound design that really immerses you into the game.

Fun Factor: 8.0

Arsenal customisation and boss fights are where Daemon X Machina is at its absolute best and should be checked out by fans of the genre.

Final Verdict: 8.5

Daemon x Machina is available now on PC and Switch.

Reviewed on PC.

A copy of Daemon x Machina was provided by the publisher.

Advertisements