When you see the title Damascus Gear: Operation Tokyo you would think that there would be an interesting world and story that lies ahead, but unfortunately this isn’t the case. I’m normally fairly interested in futuristic games that explore the idea of controlling mechanical robots.
There is some sort of story here but not strong enough to really keep you absorbed during the gameplay. The game is set in the future where you fight the mechs known as GEARS. There are survivors that have gone underground until they find a way to fight back. The task in this game is to build your own mech and set out into Tokyo. Barricaded roads and streets open up as you progress, making the hunt that bit longer and interesting. There’s a mini-map that displays nearby targets in your vicinity that helps pilot you towards the action as it’s a race against time to complete objectives.
The combat in the game is decent enough to keep you entertained. The camera is set in an isometric view. You control the movement of your GEAR with the left analog stick, the face buttons have attacks, dash is set to the R bumper and you can heal with the left bumper. There’s no way to manually aim or cycle through targets; something that feels unnecessary considering the right analog stick goes unused. This means you’ll need to frequently reposition yourself to fire at targets, since they must be in front of you, and even then you’ve got to hope the game will select the right one. It feels satisfying enough to destroy targets but at times the movement can feel a little heavy and cumbersome. Missions comprise themselves of a various selection of tasks, including eliminating enemies, delivering items, escort missions, and more. You normally have a set time limit to complete the various tasks.
Some of the main issues I had with the game were the A.I. teammates. They often head off ahead in different directions with no real tactical ability. Also the bosses offered no real difficultly. The load times for a mission can get fairly lengthy. Some missions load in 10 seconds, but others can take up to 15-20 seconds to load. This can get a little frustrating at times.
During missions you destroy many enemies and collect parts, which you can then use to upgrade and customize your GEAR. There’s a lot to play with here, which is what I enjoyed the most. You can change almost everything from weapons, parts, colour and aesthetics of your mech. You can only upgrade a certain amount so be careful in choosing loadouts. This is probably the best feature of the game and is a shame that the actual game isn’t enough to match it. Within a couple of hours, I felt as though I was playing the same missions in the same environments over and over, which is a shame in comparison to how extensive the customization options are.
The visuals are decent but not great. The machinery is well designed and interesting but the actual world feels empty and not very open to explore. Areas feel desolate and repetitive which is a shame because it’s an interesting setting that could have been designed better.
Damascus Gear: Operation Tokyo has some good elements to it, especially with its huge upgrade system and decent enough combat. Your teammates and enemies can be extremely frustrating at times during the game. If you are looking for a game like Diablo on the PS Vita, then you should check out Damascus Gear Operation Tokyo. It’s a shame though that this game feels so limited and repetitive in terms of story and gameplay.
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