Break Arts II is a beautiful game.
There are moments in the race where everything blurred together into a whirlwind of colours, but throughout the game, the game looks stunning.
Break Arts II is rather unusual for a mech game. While most mech games are either RTS games or action games, Break Arts II is a racing game. Imagine being able to build a race car from scratch, just that your “car” is a bipedal robot and you have the option to shoot your enemies to ruin their lead. That is Break Arts II in a nutshell.
And speaking of building, Break Arts II has an absolutely wonderful customization system.
You get a bare inner frame with multiple hardpoints to attach parts onto. Thrusters, fuel cells, armour, et cetera. The weapons on each “hand” can be customized as well, although they give you plenty of preset options, and truth be told I haven’t really looked into that yet. The nice, chill piano music they have playing during the customization section is also a really nice touch. I could probably spend an hour with that in the background slowly designing my mech.
Each player gets two mechs, which they can swap during the race.
Ferret is my main mech. It has above average speed and average acceleration, which isn’t much to write home about. However, it has absolutely stellar handling and boost strength. I can boost as much as possible down long, straight segments and glides through tight turns with ease.
It served me well enough during the first few races, to the point where I didn’t even think about using the sub slot at all. But I later on made a companion for Ferret.
Comet is essentially a dragster. Very good top speed and stellar boosts, but handles about as well as an off-road truck with a greased steering wheel. I should probably rename it to Meteor, since I am almost guaranteed to find it in a crater at the next turn.
At the point of writing, I have not tried taking Comet for a spin. But I’m hopeful that it’ll perform well.
Speaking of customization, not only can you customize the appearance and how it behaves, you can even have custom animations as well. Not just for poses as shown below, but also how parts animate when you engage boosters, move, and such. It is insane.
Honestly, this is a bit too fiddly, even for me, but I appreciate the game for having it. I may look into it some other time, but for now, I’ll leave it be. There are a lot of things in Break Arts II for me to explore still.
As for the gameplay itself, it’s a bit hard for me to judge. I have never been into racing games. The ones I remember enjoying the most is Mario Kart Wii and Need for Speed: Carbon, and the latter is mostly for the free-roaming part. I am neutral towards them, unlike MOBAs which I hate with a passion.
That said, I like the racing bits itself despite my lack of skill in the genre. It’s fun, controls are fluid (although it could be that Ferret is tuned to have fantastic handling, going to have to try out Comet), and I enjoy it. Despite the qualifier in the paragraph before this, I can say with confidence that the racing mechanics is not bad.
All in all, I really like Break Arts II. Still, I wish there is a more conventional mech combat game out there with Break Arts II’s mech customization mechanics, and maybe a selection of different inner frame parts as well. Oh well, a man can dream.