The dark and gritty story gives gamers a taste of prison life, as we watch poor Innocence thrust into a world where he is almost gang raped by fellow prisoners, before your character intervenes. After the intervention, Innocence and his new friend set out on a journey to regain their liberty and stand up against their fascist oppressors.
The deep story takes huge risks that actually immerse the player by allowing them to fully partake in the lives of the game world's inhabitants. The game begins with the story of Innocence and his version of everything before being attacked by an inmate called Fatso. However, the story then takes a sudden turn where players are controlling Roy Temperance who is the lead character, and it is up to him to protect Innocence from anything bad. While the change between characters takes a minute to grasp--we soon find that Roy's dominant personality makes him a much better leader than Innocence.
Players will spend most of their time fighting the tyrannical authorities of Mars which means most of your time is spent taking on deadly foes in combat. Mars: War Logs does a fine job when it comes to storytelling through the utilization of intriguing dialogue alongside immersive character interaction to keep the plot interesting and moving forward. It is not until Innocence finally makes his escape from the prisoner war camp that you really get to see the life that Mars has to offer. Every choice that you make in Mars: War Logs is crucial to the overall storyline and has huge consequences. Players will have to partake in system that involves several moral choices that impact how the game progresses. A fun aspect of the game is scrounging which allows players to use items around their environments to form unique weapons and armor. The battle system also has unique properties that allow Roy to gain the ability of technomancy where he can stun or shock enemies.
It really takes awhile to learn what is happening in the game since Roy and Innocence only reveal snippets of what they know. Players will get attacked by a wide array of enemies from convicts, gendarmes, and mutants. Combat can be overwhelming since enemies swarm you in a head-on style where players have to pick moments when they attack, block and dodge. Your character receives an item during the first of the game that lets you extract serum from the various enemies which can then be used as currency within the game. Mars: War Logs features solid yet repetitive combat that isn't particularly entertaining or remarkable. Players are unequipped for the battles ahead due to a very small arsenal and literally no help from their AI companion.
One of the most noticeable aspects of Mars: War Logs is its beautiful graphics that really make the planet of Mars stand out. The character models for enemies have a great deal of variety and the game's environments are intricately detailed. Most of the environments feel tight and cramped but still manage to deliver an overall satisfying gameplay experience.
All-in-all, Mars: War Logs is an enjoyable experience for gamers that delivers an intriguing storyline alongside beautiful graphics and superb voice acting. The game, however, has its share of problems which includes repetitive, clunky combat inside small, claustrophobic game environments. Mars: War Logs is a risky game that has a lot to like and brings some fun to the lackluster red planet.
Mars: War Logs is now available for Xbox 360 and PC. Mars: War Logs is rated M for Mature by the ESRB. For more information on the game, check out the official Mars: War Logs website.
Developer: Focus Home Interactive
Publisher: Spiders Studio
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 (reviewed), PC
Release Date: July 26, 2013
Score: 7 out of 10