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Square Enix Releases New Front Mission Online Details
10.23.04 - 10:23 PM

With the beta testing phase of its newest PlayOnline title Front Mission Online commencing on November 4th, Square Enix has released new information on the popular mech series' newest installment. Upon beginning the game for the first time, players will be able to choose between the series' two rivalling factions O.C.U. and U.S.N. To ensure a balanced distribution, players will be automatically assigned to either faction in the beta test, though. It will only be possible to have one Wanzer unit per account.

Currently, there are not a lot of options as far as the customization of your character's looks are concerned, but one can choose among various figures, such as slim or fat. Afterwards, users have to choose among four different types, which have a major impact on the growth of a character over the course of the game: Analytical types are intellectual types, best suited for missile or recon-related jobs. Dauntless types on the other hand are implusive and grow fastest, when put in the role of assault units or jammers. Perceptive types are reasonable fellows, whose strength is recon and sniper-related work. Resourceful types possess an intuitive character and are best suited for mechanic or communication work. Your character's type can't be changed later in the game, making the selection very important for the course of the game. The remaining selections include gender, family name and first name. Currently there are three different types of Wanzers, assault, missile and mechanic types. The respective models will look differently, depending on whether you have joined O.C.U. or U.S.N. The selection of the Wanzer type will determine your playing style in the early stages of the game.

Next is the creation of the password for your own home. By telling this password to fellow users, you can enable them to visit you and enjoy a private conversation. After completing the entire registration process, it is tutorial time. After the completion of the tutorial, it is possible to head for your first enemy encounter by using the Lobby's map selector. The maximum number of players allowed to play in the same map is restricted to 20, ten per team. The experience points gained from a victorious battle will help you raise your job level, while contribution points will raise your rank. Depending on your actions during a battle you will be rewarded with three different types of experience points (direct and indirect as well as action experience points) and two different types of contribution points (sortie and crushing points). A higher rank will translate into a higher salary and more capabilities in battle. Information on both salary and rank can be acquired from a human affairs officer in the Lobby. After the completion of a battle, players can also shop for their battle needs.

Front Mission Online for PlayStation 2 will be available in Japan sometime in early 2005. A PC version is planned for release afterwards.

Chris Winkler

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