by Matt Salmon
“Don’t worry, after WW3 we all get to fly around in some awesome mechs shooting things for no real reason…but hey, it looks good!”
Project Nimbus certainly is a refreshing game to hit the handheld system. For those of you who like big flying robot war games then this will certainly be the one for you and considering it’s got almost no competition it’s definitely worth looking at if this is your genre of choice!
Project Nimbus is set after WW3, a war that completely destroys the surface of the earth with, yeah you guessed it, nukes. The world is now split into 3 factions who are all fighting for control. The main story of this game is about finding why your characters are actually fighting and making sure that they are fighting for the right cause.
The story is alright but it really isn’t special in any shape or form. The real problem with the story is, it never feels like you are getting anywhere in it. If there is a big problem that is happening within a faction or anything it is sort of forgotten about and pushed to the side. Every mission seems to just have you kill people who, unless you pay very close attention, are completely unknown to you. There are some cutscenes in between but they just don’t add anything to the story or make you want to care for your character or situation.
There’s really not that much explaining to do, and if you are looking for a game that has a clear coherent story about morality and loyalty…then you won’t get it in Project Nimbus. Instead, you’ll be sitting there at the end feeling confused, unsure as to what you’ve been doing and wondering if it was really worth it?
The characters are fine, but again because of the lack of real in-depth storytelling, you get to the point where you just want to get into a mission and shoot stuff for a few minutes. I’m sure for some people you will like the characters especially the two leading female characters, but in terms of story structure, it’s really quite weak which is a shame as the actual premise is pretty good. The main story lasts about 8-10 hours so it is a good length, but it just sadly isn’t that gripping.
If you are looking for a game that has a clear coherent story about morality and loyalty…then you won’t get it in Project Nimbus.
When it comes to actual gameplay, it really depends on what your preferences are. There is a lot of fun to be had with Project Nimbus, the skies are all yours and you have a complete variety of weapons on your mech to use against the enemies. Combat feels pretty solid most of the time and there weren’t really many technical flaws in its auto-aiming or weapon balancing.
If you are really into games like Ace Combat then you will love this, there is tons of mobility within the game and so many ways to approach the mission. The air space is huge as well and you can fly almost anywhere until you eventually hit an invisible wall which is annoying but understandable.
Fighting mechs, or just another red target box
Each mech has its own different style of armoury but they always have two different types of weapons, these could be machine guns or heat-seeking missiles, it all varies from mech to mech. Combat is fun and most levels have you involved in these big battles. Taking out other mechs feels satisfying and seeing big explosions after you take out an enemy is very gratifying. However I will say that it does feel that most of the combat experience is just you pressing the lock-on button them just holding down the fire button, there didn’t feel like there was that much skill involved sometimes but that was just my experience.
One thing I didn’t personally like was the fact that you seemed to just be fighting red target boxes, you weren’t really able to see the actual other mechs you were fighting unless you got extremely and I mean extremely close to them. Kind of ruined the immersion a little bit and I would have rather have seen the enemies more than just a red box as I say.
On top of that, you sadly can’t customise your mech, you are limited to what mech you have and what weapons it has. It does change throughout the missions when it gets more upgrades, but unfortunately, you are unable to customise it all yourself. I think this would have been a great asset to the game but yeah if you are looking for a game with a lot of customisation then this sadly isn’t it.
Designs of the mechs are great and they look really good, especially in the main menu. I do question why for a flight simulator type game the things you are flying around in have legs, but that’s none of my business I guess. The whole look of the game though is very detailed and it looks great on the Switch. It uses the unreal engine and it certainly uses all the best features from it. Textures look good, lighting is solid and the all-round presentation looks great.
Map Design – A Lot To Be Desired
Map design, however, I was not a fan of. If it is an extremely open area, it sometimes has an extremely small city floating below it which just felt weirdly placed. The open areas felt very empty apart from these small cities and just didn’t wow me at all. But then, on the other hand, some of the other maps which were based within structures felt way too small and compact, meaning that your camera would clip through walls and make it hard to look around and see what you are doing.
Certain maps also had bugs. I clipped through walls and mountains countless times and after a while, it just became a regular occurrence. For me, the presentation of the game looked great but the design of levels wasn’t as good as I hoped. This is a shame really, as the whole theme of the game could have led to some really cool looking levels, but in reality, most look pretty similar and very underwhelming.
The one great thing about the Switch version of the game is that it comes out with absolutely everything. Every DLC, expansion and every update. You get a lot of content for your money in this game and that really needs to be praised. You also get “Survival mode” and “Warfront mode” which is for anyone who loves the combat so much, you can then take on endless waves of enemies to see how far you can get.
There is lots to do in the game but the main campaign will take up most of the gameplay, but as I say, if you are wanting to just play around with the combat then you have the chance to do so with the “Survival” and “Warfront” modes.
Project Nimbus performs really well on the switch, there was never any frame drops or technical problems, the game ran extremely smoothly most of the time. You are looking at an average battery life of 3 hours on handheld so you can get a good amount of gameplay on this game before you need to charge your console. Having said that, the fans on your switch will definitely kick in because of the graphics on Project Nimbus, so if you do play it handheld make sure you wear headphones because those fans are loud when you launch this game.
Overall Project Nimbus is a good arcade 3D flight shooter for anyone who is into that genre. If you have played games like Ace Combat and wanted a handheld version then Project Nimbus is definitely one to look out for. The combat is pretty solid most of the time but for me could have improved on a lot of things, mainly in its design. Maps are a bit basic and at times the camera will have you ripping out your hair. There are also a few bugs in maps that’ll have you going through certain parts of it, and I just wish there was more customisation options for the mechs.
For me personally, Project Nimbus was an alright game, I can completely see why certain players praise it. It does have it’s fun moments and as I say it’s combat is pretty fun. But should you get this game? It truly depends on your preference, if you like these types of games then you will love Project Nimbus but if you have never tried a 3D flight combat game, then this game may not be for you, especially as it doesn’t have a gripping story to hook you.
|Solid combat||Lack of a gripping story|
|Tons of range and mobility||No Mech customisation options|
|Satisfying combat||Level design can be buggy in places|