|Developer(s)||Vicious Cycle Software|
|Producer(s)||Rodney W. Harper|
October 5, 2004 (Xbox)|
October 6, 2004 (PS2)
|Mode(s)||Single player, Multiplayer|
Robotech: Invasion is a first-person shooter video game set in the Invid Invasion era of the Robotech saga, itself based in the Japanese anime series Genesis Climber Mospeada. Developed by Vicious Cycle Software and published by Global Star (following parent company Take-Two Interactive's acquisition of TDK Mediactive, which published Robotech: Battlecry), Invasion was the last Robotech game to be released on home video consoles, and the only Robotech game made for consoles not compatible with the Xbox 360.
The game starts out with the Robotech Expeditionary Force returning to Earth and fighting the Invid Forces. One of the ships crashes on Earth and the crew begins fighting the Invid close to one of their hives. One member of the crew (the main character) makes a mad dash on foot to assault the hive but is knocked out by an Invid Trooper.
Four years pass and humanity is still fighting the Invid. The member that was knocked out wakes up with no memory in the rear of a truck being driven by soldiers, he then dons the name Locke by taking the armor of a fallen soldier that went by that name. Then meets up with squad leader, Silas and his partner Arturo. With the squad low on ammo, Locke looks for Sam, a member that is guarding protoculture ammo reserves. After Locke needs his cyclone repaired he meets Guppy, who repairs his cyclone and tells him to meet her in a Town called Greystone. Soon after they find an abandoned ship and replenish their equipment. Finally (and after various skirmishes with the Invid and other hostile humans) they head on to Reflex Point, where the final attack on the Invid Invaders is set to take place at the end of the game.
The second Robotech game produced by Vicious Cycle, VC chose to focus on the next most popular section of Robotech, The New Generation, in part due to the choice of mecha available, the famous Cyclone. Instead of the distinctive, but by then overused, cell-shaded style of Battlecry, Invasion has a more normal 3D textured graphic look. As with Robotech: Battlecry, Invasion used a number of the original Robotech voice cast to reprise their old roles for cameos and voice many of the new characters introduced in the game.
During production of the Robotech game several unused mecha and armor designs from the original Japanese series, which can be found in an artbook called The Imai Files, were used or served as inspiration for new designs.
Due to lower than expected sales of Robotech: Battlecry on the Nintendo GameCube, due in part to the delayed release of the GameCube version, VC chose to only develop the game for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. It was also decided to release a single version, instead of both a normal and a bonus-packed Collectors Edition like those seen with Robotech: Battlecry. Treated as a budget game, Invasion was deemed a fan-only title by many reviewers who favored other games in the same style released around the same time such as the extremely popular Halo 2. Ultimately sales of Invasion were much lower than Robotech: Battlecry.
The musical score of Invasion was composed by Jesper Kyd, a famed video-game music composer. While this was hyped up by Vicious Cycle and mentioned on the back cover of the game, Kyd's lack of exposure to Robotech meant his score had little links to the original TV score. For this reason many fans of the series consider it to be inferior to Robotech: Battlecry's more familiar modern remixes of the TV series score. Like Battlecry, Invasion's soundtrack was released on audio CD, though available separately and not as part of a Collectors Edition.
Much like Robotech: Battlecry made an official design out of a slight variation in the VF-1R Veritech, Invasion made use of two formerly unofficial designs, the unrealized Devastator and the fan-created Shadow Dancer. Unlike the heavy licensor support the VF-1R received, these designs got little fanfare and slipped back into obscurity.
The fate of Jack Archer
Thanks to the open ended nature of the end of the Robotech: Battlecry game, the fate and future of main character Jack Archer was unclear. Many fans automatically assumed, perhaps incorrectly, that any future game sequel would feature an appearance by him or at least a clue to his fate, despite the large gap of time between the events of Battlecry and the Invid Invasion. Not wanting to disappoint, VC inserted a hidden easter egg which added fuel to the fire of fan debate. However all the Easter egg shows is a message spray painted as if it were graffiti, saying "Jack is alive!!", you do not discover what exactly happens to him.
Compared to Robotech: Battlecry, Robotech: Invasion was a critical disappointment, receiving mixed reviews upon its release. Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the game a 5.7 out of 10, calling it "pretty dull, even for a first-person shooter." GameSpy gave it a 2.5 out of 5 and called it "a decent enough shooter that just doesn't do enough to stand out in the Xbox's crowded FPS market." GamePro gave it a 2 out of 5 and commented that "with horrible graphics that look like something an owl regurgitated, broken controls that must be wrestled with at every turn, and level designs that could turn the undead, Robotech: Invasion is an utter waste of money." GameSpot gave it a 6.3 out of 10 and reported that "the game's single-player campaign still suffers from the same bland gameplay and mission design that plagued its predecessor."
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- Electronic Gaming Monthly, December 2004, p. 150