NS Review – Project Nimbus: Complete Edition (Switch)

Project Nimbus is a giant mech shooter where you play across 3 factions set in a future after World War 3. Inspired by greats such as Gundam and Ace Combat do these mechs crash and burn or fly high?

Story mode is the main meat of the game consisting of 26 missions (around 10-15 minutes each) switching between the factions giving you all angles of the story. It starts with a basic tutorial, which is fine and gives you the basics till the end when the objective isn’t clear, luckily the objective is usually clear except the blue arrows that direct you occasionally are very hard to notice. Before each mission you get an audio rundown of what’s going on plus some optional audio logs giving some nice background information creating a more immersive world and some reason for fighting. However if you play through the story without exiting to the menu you have to stay on the ball to tell which faction you’re currently fighting for.

Story mode introduces you to some of the main weapons.

There are 3 difficulty settings with the easiest having auto lock on and regenerating health allowing you to jump in and go for a romp in a giant mech just enjoying flying about blasting other mechs out of the sky, it definitely makes for an entertaining casual experience without the complexities of most mech games. All this is gone for the other two difficulties and is where the magic truly happens as it is an absolute joy getting an enemy in your crosshairs, pressing/holding R to lock on and making them go boom. For those uninitiated in the ways of the giant mech combat such as myself missions on the medium difficulty provide a satisfying challenge (after the first few) and thankfully when you die you go back to the start of objective you died on not the start of the mission. Controls can also be remapped which can be important for some with the Switch’s small buttons when playing handheld.

A visually satisfying “boom” indeed, even if not the most exquisite graphics.

Project Nimbus has a large variety of weapons keeping the combat fast paced, frantic and most importantly super fun and interesting. A great edition is that when you have a mech with a sword, locking onto an enemy allows you to do a sword rush by pressing A where you zoom up and slice an enemy inflicting massive damage, feeling very satisfying and worthwhile to pull off. There’s also your basic close range machine gun, a long range rail gun, multi enemy hitting missiles, auto locking missiles, drones to distract and attack enemies, flares and dummies to disrupt enemy missiles and there’s loads more weapons too but they roughly cover those archetypes. One problem with the weapons is that the miniscule icons look as different as two different brands baked beans making it hard to remember and pick the correct weapon for the job. There isn’t the endless customisation or complicated loadouts found in many mech games, Project Nimbus is all about arcadey action. You have all weapons for each mech available each mission and will be switching between them constantly while others reload. Each mech does have a slightly different loadout but in story mode at least you won’t need to worry about picking which is your favourite.

I can’t see you but my homing missiles can.

Warfront mode is straight to the action with 6 types of quick play mission including battle, base assault, base defense, interception, acquisition and assignation. To add to the longevity of this mode you slowly unlock and perform simple upgrades on 8 mechs for each of two factions adding a ton of replay value to the game. The only downside is that this mode does noticeable loading times.

If you want to just take any of the 12 giant mechs for a spin or test drive them, survival mode is your jam, where you take on endless waves of enemies.

Fatboy Slim wrote a song about this.

The graphics are pretty appalling by today’s standards but honestly when gameplay is this frantic (in the best possible way) who cares. It reminds me of Sin and Punishment 2 which has graphics as appealing as a mouldy turnip but the gameplay is so good you’ll be hard pressed to find someone that doesn’t say it’s a great game. Mechs aren’t too detailed but are just about detailed enough when in motion, backgrounds are bland but you play across enough different ones it’s not a big deal. Some mechs allow you to choose between 1st and 3rd person views which is a nice addition but a shame not all mechs can be played in 1st person.

Trust me it looks better in motion.

The sound is fine though nothing extraordinary, the whole battle you hear gun fire and updates on the intercom (importantly when various weapons have reloaded however this quiet and you really have to listen for it especially in 1st person view when there’s no visual bar to indicate the reload). There’s some forgettable background music too but once again I’m too enthralled by the action to actually care. Gameplay is king and Project Nimbus is fun to play. On the other hand I do wish mechs exploded with a more satisfying bang, something that makes you go “ooooh yeah!” Each time you destroy an enemy.

Shame I don’t hear a nice “boom” when I see one.

If you’re thinking this sounds good but I’ll wait for Daemon X Machina well I’m afraid comparing the two is like comparing a breakfast burrito to a three course meal (with no disrespect to Project Nimbus). A breakfast burrito, you pick it up, it tastes good and fills you up. A three course meal you decide which starter, do we have a sharing plate? What main do I want? What drink will go with my main? Do I save space for dessert? Am I missing out on a better choice?

Nice and simple upgrades.

Is Project Nimbus for you even if you’re not a huge mech fan? Well I like giant mechs as much as the next girl as they are freaking cool but I must admit I’ve only played mech games in passing. I’m afraid I’m going to keep harking back to the gameplay, to me it’s the most important thing and by far the best bit of Project Nimbus even if it does get a little repetitive. If you like zooming through the sky shooting things in an arcadey way then you’ll find a lot to like in Project Nimbus. It is especially suited to Switch with short missions and the great pick up play Warfront mode. Now if you excuse me I’ve got to get back to exploding some giant mechs in Project Nimbus: Complete Edition.

There’s many a mech to destroy in survival mode.

Project Nimbus: Complete Edition is available digitally on Nintendo Switch from 16th May 2019 for £15.99/€17.79/$19.99 with 10% off for the first week. Thank you to GameTomo for providing the download code

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