Front Mission 4 is a Humongous Mecha Strategy RPG video game published and developed by Square Enix for the PlayStation 2 console. It was first released in Japan on December 18, 2003 with a release in North America on June 15, 2004. The game is a numbered sequel to Front Mission 3. But in the game's lore, it takes place after the events of Front Mission 2.
The game's Two Lines, No Waiting storylines take place throughout Europe and in Venezuela in 2096. Players assume the role of Elsa Eliane, formerly in the European Community's French Army with the rank of Master Sergeant. Her wanzer pilot experience and combat knowledge gave her the opportunity to be assigned to the Armored Tactics Research Corps, known as Durandal, to conduct research and analysis for improving wanzer tactics and strategies in the EC military. She's tasked by EC leaders, with the rest of Durandal, to investigate who's responsible for conducting blitzkrieg attack on EC military bases by mysterious wanzers.
The other character is Darril Traubel, a sergeant in the United States of the New Continent's 332nd Mobile Company. He's deployed to Venezuela to prevent its leader from following through with secession from the rest of the USN. Darril and his comrades stumble on a crashed USN Venezuelan military aircraft with a cargo of gold bullion of $25 million. They later decide to take it and desert from their duty station. Along the way, they get help from a Chinese-Venezuelan businessman named Chang, who takes up Darril's offer to flee the country before they're hunted by Veneuzelan forces. Darill and company also encountered mysterious wanzers that stormed the harbor they were trying to use to escape.
As both groups investigate and take out the unidentified forces, they find out that it may have ties to the Eastern European supernation of Zaftra.
Front Mission 4 provides examples of:
- All There in the Manual: The novel Front Mission 4 ~Elsa~ gives more focus to Elise and Darrill for details that weren't included in the game.
- Combination Attack: Front Mission 4 takes the "assist" Pilot Skills from its predecessor, and builds the entire combat system around them. To master the game, you'll have to exploit these "links" to the full, so your soldiers would coordinate both on the offense and the defense, constantly providing supporting and covering fire to each other.
- Cutscene Power to the Max: Rocket-shaped verniers in 4.
- Friendly Fireproof: Played straight in 4. You may shoot your teammates by accident while trying to shoot an enemy and they'll be fine.
- Dark Is Evil: The antagonistic Zaftran forces had a black color scheme.
- Guide Dang It!: In 4, there are missions which have secondary objectives and will reward you with nice stuff if they are completed. The problem is that some of them are hard and chances are that you will miss most of them on the first run through the game. Speaking to certain people during the intermissions can also get you some additional gear.
- Interface Spoiler: The plot opens with the unknown military party attacking a German base, and good guys spend their initial missions trying to find out who it actually was. But even though the status screen obscures enemy pilots' names with ???? instead, any Russian-speaking player will uncover the mystery long before their characters do — since the model types of the hostile wanzers aren't obscured, and they obviously read "Desire" and "Challenge" in Russian.
- Two Lines, No Waiting:
- Elise's arc consists of investigating the blitzkrieg attack on EC bases in Europe with the rest of Durandal after being targeted by unidentified wanzers.
- Darrill's arc consists of helping Alianza de Libertad Venezolana guerrillas fight against secessionist Venezuelan forces after fighting unidentified wanzers in the country.
- Mildly Military: The Durandal. Although most of them are on secondment from their national militaries, the group is fairly laid back. But if you think that makes them less dangerous, perhaps you should think again.
- Multinational Team: The Durandal has members from the EC, the USN, and Zaftra.
- We Will Not Use Photoshop in the Future: The Zaftran conspiracy to destroy the resource base in Poland and start a war between the EC and UCS would've been busted a long time ago if someone had the brilliant idea to use Video Cameras to record footage of the "mysterious" attackers.
- World Tour: In 4, the Durandal travels across the UK, Germany, Denmark, Poland, Zaftra (Russia), Ukraine, Portugal, and France.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Darril Traubel and Billy Renges from 4.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The 332nd Mobile Company group is made of two veteran soldiers embittered by their dead-end careers and a Manchild with a habit of exposing their whereabouts to enemies.