What Am I Fighting For, Again?
HIGH Solid mech combat with unique modes.
LOW The story is all over the place.
WTF The comatose mission in act 3.
In Project Nimbus, World War 3 devastated the planet and major cities have gone skyward to stay above the flooded Earth. The US-led Coalition of Free Nations (CFN) skirmishes with the United Continental Nations (UCN) led by Russia. Both sides also deal with a terrorist organization known as the Children of Fallen Nations – they’re the downtrodden who didn’t have the power or resources to raise themselves above the sea. How does this conflict occur? With mechs!
Project Nimbus: Complete Edition is an aerial mech combat game. Players take control of a pilot fighting for one of the three factions, and which one changes depending on which the part of the story they’re in. No matter what faction they’re fighting for, each mech has to complete objectives like defeating all enemies, defending an area, or destroying specific buildings within a time limit.
Each of the 20 mechs (one is exclusive to Kickstarter backers) have unique weapons and handle differently from each other. Some are faster and come loaded with rapid-fire guns for hit-and-run tactics, while others are slower but make up for it with heavy lasers, and some have energy blades for melee combat. Further, some can turn into fighter jets, making gameplay feel similar to an airplane action title like Ace Combat. Regardless of the mech, managing ammo and staying in the optimal range for each weapon are key to winning.
Along with a campaign, Project Nimbus also includes a Survival and a “Warfront” mode.
In Survival, players control their favorite mech and try and survive wave after wave of hostiles in a neverending dogfight. Warfront, on the other hand, is more immersive. Players start as a novice pilot with an old, beaten-up mech, and go on missions to rise in the ranks of their chosen army. As they complete missions, new mechs unlock and players will also earn resources for upgrades.
While the mechanical side is entertaining, the narrative in Project Nimbus can’t say the same. The storytelling is shallow, yet difficult to follow at the same time, and is also poorly-paced.
Players start as one character, and then switch to a new one as the story progresses. Then, the previous pilot is never heard from again until they show up on the battlefield as an enemy. Until halfway through the third act, I didn’t know who the protagonist was supposed to be, or even which group I was fighting for — one moment I was supporting the CFN forces attacking a Russian stronghold, and in the next mission I’d be playing the UNC soldiers taking revenge for the mission I just completed.
Then, in the third act, things slowed to a crawl for several minutes while the devs had me walking forward – no mech and no combat, just literally walking forward. The ending that followed felt as rushed as the final episode of a TV show canceled halfway through its first season.
The design of Project Nimbus is as weak as the story. For example, one level has a barrage of missiles launch from an army base and I was required to destroy them all. While most high priority targets are highlighted in purple, one of the missiles was not, so I left it alone. By the time I realized I needed to shoot down that missile, it was out of range. I was also annoyed with the punishing checkpoint system. Some missions had checkpoints in areas that made sense (like right before a boss showed up) while other missions didn’t have a single checkpoint at all.
Project Nimbus left me feeling mixed. I wanted more from the campaign, both in mechanics and story. On the other hand, the mechs are responsive and the Warfront mode kept me coming back. I can’t wholeheartedly recommend it, but hardcore mech fans may find something here to like.
Disclosures: This game is developed and published by Gametomo. It is currently available on PC, and Switch. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on the Switch. Approximately 15 hours of play were devoted to the single-player mode, and the game was completed. There are no multiplayer modes.
Parents: According to the ESRB, this game is rated T and contains Language and Violence. The game is mech combat, and soldiers will infrequently swear. Death isn’t bloody, but players are shooting down other mechs.
Colorblind Modes: There are no colorblind modes.
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: There are subtitles available, but text is not resizable. Additionally, the game is completely in-air combat, and white text against the clouds in the sky are tough to read easily. The game is not fully accessible.
Remappable Controls: Controls are fully remappable.
While Sonic and Street Fighter were great places to start, his first love was Final Fantasy X when his dad bought a PS2. Ever since, that love for gaming has evolved -- there are a number of game worlds out there, and he intends to explore them all. RPG to horror, platformers to casual and everything in between -- if it’s available, he’ll play it.
While his time is short between writing reviews, tabletop gaming, and attempting to start a cheesecake business, he has caught all 806 pokemon and can speedrun Star Fox 64 in less than 40 minutes. He’s always looking for new things to try and new challenges to conquer. You can find him on Twitter -- @eugene_sax.