Today, we are taking a look at a project still fresh off of Steam: Project Nimbus. A stylized, shining homage to the mech animes of infamous fame – and designed using the Unreal development kit – this game is a solid build.
Let’s talk about the feature here: the mechs themselves. They are definitely designed with a heavy Japanese influence – especially in the vein of the Gundam Wing series – even up to the semblance of mechanical wings on some. Regardless, they look spot on. In Project Nimbus, players are granted the option of taking various mechs through either a campaign or survival mode. The campaign extends across a reasonable amount of chapters with the basic goal being to defeat the enemy mechs and ships, while survival tests how long you can survive against its onslaught; fairly straightforward.
All of the mechs on offer have various names, pros, cons and even varying weapons to them. This kept the combat a lot of fun for us during our play sessions, and it was great being able to experiment with the different creations early on and get a feel for how they handled.
As well as there being a nice flavor and individuality in both the choice and the design of the roster, the game’s combat is fast paced and handles extremely well. Turns, boosts and shots are all precise and executed on the drop of a dime. There are also three modes of difficulty: casual gamer, gamer preferred and prepare to die (and boy, should you). The difference in difficulty between the three is noticeable but never does it feel beyond acceptable; the challenge added is actually a ton of fun. It does take a bit of practice, but feels very close to some of the military shooter games of yesteryear, adding to its overall feel of being both fresh and a bit nostalgic – even if you aren’t a fan of anime.
The story isn’t overtly stated. From what you’re told, you are a standard, sassy pilot fighting a war against a force called the Children of Fallen Nations. While this is not exactly original, it does lend itself to the game’s style. The feeling is of an early, epic anime which features around a monumental mech war. Anybody who’s watched those might remember that the stories weren’t exactly the most complex or deep. They didn’t need to be, though – and nor here does it distract from Project Nimbus in the slightest. If anything, we found ourselves having a good chuckle and feeling nostalgic once more. There are some interesting twists and turns along the way, but spoiling them would just be plain cruel. It is certainly an experience worth having.
Just as well as the plot, the voice acting here is another flashback to those days of old school entertainment, overdramatic reactions and everything being over 9000! The cutscenes feature several different voice actors all giving their best to lend to the atmosphere. Some of them mesh well with the image the game is putting out, while others definitely take us back to those cringeworthy voice actors that we grew to love ever so much in our youth.
Project Nimbus, to its credit, does look pretty amazing. The mechs are gorgeous, the menus, the grids and even the battle zones are all impressive. If there is one downside its that things can be a bit… shiny, at times. You can insert an obvious J.J Abrams lens flare joke here, if you wish. It’s never full-on aggravating but it can be a bit distracting at times, though we’re giving leeway for the fact that shiny, lovely technology is the constant star of this game. The tech itself, beyond the mechs, does look nice but it’s not a far stretch from what most anime and science fiction fans have seen thus far. The ship models are bound to remind you of something from some certain franchise, and the names for some of the weapons teeter the fine line between homage and flat-out clone.
Despite all of that, there is a lot to love in Project Nimbus. The gameplay is great, the design and the colors are not only a great throwback to the anime genre but a great new addition to mech combat games. Everything feels as though a lot of love went into it and the attention to detail in certain aspects does not go unappreciated.
If you’re a fan of mechs, anime or just straight up flying around and shouting “PEW PEW PEW!” while firing at robots, we recommend Project Nimbus highly.