Preview: CosmicBreak - Mechanized Penguins Must Die!
By Michael Sagoe (mikedot), OnRPG Journalist
Everybody loves mechs. Whether big or small, they hold a special place in most of our hearts as rad tools of destruction. Now with Cyberstep's latest title reaching the English speaking market, gamers can enjoy all the awesome-ness that mechs have to offer for free. Cosmic Break (CB) is a massive multiplayer online third person shooter featuring (you guessed it): Mechs! Players can participate in small-scale battles or massive wars for up to 60 players. You can also customize your mechs with up to 300 parts and team up with other players in three different unions. CB also features PvE options with mission and quest modes.
When I first started out, I selected a land type as my starting mech and gave it a quick paint job using a blue and orange color scheme. Next, a cut scene came up showing the guardians of the three available unions (BRD, WIZ and DOS) as they bickered with each other on who should welcome the new guy (the new guy being me.) The tutorial started shortly afterwards and controls were really easy to get used to. I squared off with a generic looking baddy robot and completed the tutorial in less in five minutes.
The three guardians
Back to the three guardians, I was told that I had to join one of their unions before continuing on. The BRD union was all about courage, the DOS union was based on power, and the WIZ union was all for wisdom (if you're a Legend of Zelda fan, this will all sound awfully familiar to you, won't it?) Anyway, I already decided beforehand that I wanted to go with the BRD union, because come on... Did Link, the Hero of Time ever defeat evil using power or wisdom? I don't think so!
Once I joined the BRD union, I had to complete another tutorial that goes over the game's mission mode. After that, I was free to do whatever I pleased, or so it seemed as there was an ongoing tutorial that I would have to complete in order to advance the game's mini-story episodes. Ignoring the extended tutorial for now, I skimmed through my available mechs and then jumped right into PvP.
My first match was a 15 vs. 15 union battle with BRD against DOS. Since it was the first match for everyone in the room as well, there was no real strategy or tactics planned with me and my teammates and so we all jumped into the fray. I figured that my starting land type mech would be my best bet for winning. Sadly, that wasn't the case. When the first match started, I ran into enemy lines blindly and attempted to Rambo my way to victory. It was a really big mistake that ended up costing my team a whole bunch of BP (Build Points that determine the cost of your mech and how many points you will loose when defeated.)
It became very clear that teamwork is essential to winning, so I started barking orders at my teammates using radio shortcut commands. I don't consider myself much of a tactician when comes to giving orders, but it would seem that some of my advice helped as my union managed to make a huge turn around with 5000 BP left.
The pacing of each battle I fought varied from slow to fast paced, mostly depending on the mech I was using. Land units were my top pick as they had the fastest land movement for me to weave in and out of combat. I also did pretty well with Air units and was able to pick off enemy land units with ease. There was also Artillery and Support units available, but I didn't bother with them since I couldn't afford them.
Afterwards, I checked out the quest mode. It's mode where you get to romp around with up to five players to explore planets for treasure. I didn't team up with anybody during quest mode, but I was able to manage on my own. Making my way through quest mode areas was pretty simple: Attack some random monsters on the field, find some items, defeat a sub-boss monster, get the key and move on to the next area. Rinse and repeat until you reach the end. Areas did get progressively tougher as I went along, though. I managed to reach an artic territory before getting defeated by robotic wildlife.
Killer robo pengiuns
CyberStep advertised Cosmic Break with "Moe Mecha Action", and there sure is plenty of that. Besides all the robo mechs you can pilot, there are also a bunch of anime-like characters in mech suits you can play, like Crimrose, Jinku Hu, Lily Rain, and more. Most moe mechs are pretty weak at first, but will grow stronger when players level them up using the cartridge system.
Crimrose battling more robotic wildlife
A lot of events were happening during testing, such as the Ghost Tree events held in quest mode. It was a great opportunity for players to get a hold of some extra in-game money to try out more of the available mechs, weapons, items and whatnot. My only gripe about the events was the timing. Typically, events started around 8PM PST, so for me these events started at 11PM EST. I only ever got to participate in one event because of the bad timing, so I'm hoping that CyberStep will pick some better event times when public service hits. Another gripe I had was with the horrendous lag that occurred during events. All players on the server channel would have to suffer through it and the aftermath lag when events ended was even worse.
Overall, I had a lot of fun playing Cosmic Break's open beta and I can't wait for it to go public with the promise of more mechs, more parts and more everything. I'm also crossing my fingers that more players will join to balance out the unions a bit more. Currently, the WIZ union has the highest population in the game, outranking my BRD union 3 to 1. Since the WIZ union had the highest population: WIZ members can control more shuffle room matches at a time and earn 100+ Cosmo Points (CP) a game, making it almost impossible for BRD and DOS to catch up. The balance of population may not happen when public service hits, but I sure hope it does.