In order to gain attention, most crowdfunded games need some sort of hook. A particular stylistic decision, a gameplay element, or unique mechanics are often used to pull people in to backing. Cross Fate, the 3D tactical action game with visual novel storytelling by Studio XF8, whose Kickstarter campaign has recently started, is offering up their blend of narrative mechanics along with one of the more simple truths – that giant robots are really cool.
Relying on a more classic tactical action game experience to handle its conflicts, Studio XF8 have decided to include visual novel elements to tell their story. With multiple decisions along the way in regards to the way the protagonist interacts with the world and other characters, it should be interesting to see how this impacts both the story and gameplay itself. Also promised are character creation elements, letting you choose the protagonist’s background in order to change how his personality develops through the game.
The developers already have an aesthetic set out for the visual novel segments, and it looks good. The characters are well-drawn and are unique enough that despite their uniforms they are easily recognizable. The mock up concept work for the 3D combat is decent too, and with some polish could be very appealing. Since the mecha will be customizable, it’s good to see that already the team has worked on making sure the customization options are visible on the robots in the action segments.
The protagonist is the Commander of the Amatsu Advance Pilot Program, a special branch of the Galaxy Alliance Control specializing in the use of Variable Troopers (the in-universe name for the giant robots). You are tasked with leading your squad through a series of events and combats to retrieve a powerful weapon capable of destroying all organic life, after pirates seize the deadly cargo. As you play through the story, you will be caught up in various intrigues from faction wars to terrorist plots. Your exploration and decision making will lead you through battle and the story itself.
Cross Fate at its early stage of development looks like it brings some interesting concepts to the table. I want to see where it goes, and I think it will be worth paying attention to, especially for people who are particularly into giant robots. Hopefully the visual novel and tactical action elements can be balanced nicely, so the game can appeal to fans of both without pushing anyone away. Still, Studio XF8 appears to have a little something for everyone with this game, and if it pans out, it should be a lot of fun.