Garrison: Archangel is a promising new 3D Mecha-Fighter from the local Philippine studio, Indigo Entertainment. The game fast-paced action brawler in the vein of the classic mecha-fighters such as Armored Core and Virtual On. The game allows up to 4 players to compete using customizable mechsuits called Archangels as they duke it out in Deathmatch-style Arena combat.
A huge chunk of the fun in Garrison: Archangel is playing around with the game’s surprisingly robust customization options. In Garage mode, players can create their own personalized Mechs or Archangels to suit their specific play styles. You can also alter the appearance and color scheme of your creations. Players can choose to outfit their Archangel as a heavy, long range bruiser, a quick and agile melee striker or anywhere in between. Among the multitude of Guns, Swords, Shields and Rockets, you’ll surely be able to create the bespoke Mech of your dreams.
The weapons in the game, even in the early Alpha version, feature some very incredibly cool and imaginative designs each with their unique Primary and Secondary firing options. There’s the Magnum Barette, a punch dagger that doubles as an Energy Pistol; the Dominus, a greatsword that charges up a built-in railgun with every hit; The Blutreiter, a short-range Energy Axe that extends to become a fearsome Energy Scythe; and our favorite The Nere-Crucis, A lance-like drill that transforms into a massive Warhammer!
Apart from the Primary weapons that you can equip to either or both of your Archangel’s Arms, you can also equip Armaments for its Shoulder, Rear and Internals. Shoulder Armaments are comprised of your usual array of Short and Long Range Missiles and Gatling Guns. Rear Armaments are the same but with the added option to attach additional thrusters to your Mech which will affect your overall speed and movement throughout combat. Finally, the Internals let you choose 3 combat perks from a set of 6 to equip on your Mech. These range from additional armor and ammo, extra boost capacity and stability bonuses, which all dictate your efficiency in combat which we’ll cover in the next segment.
Angeli Divina Bellum
The combat in Garrison: Archangel is blisteringly fast-paced. To the untrained eye, it’s quite hard to understand what’s going on at times, especially if there are a ton of missiles, bullets and mechs zooming about. Eventually however, with time and experience, you can slowly and naturally make sense of all the chaos on the screen.
The basic controls are intuitive enough for those familiar with Third-person games: Movement on the left stick, Camera on the right. The Shoulder Buttons fire your respective Left and Right arm-mounted weapons. The X and B buttons (on Xinput Controllers) fire the Shoulder and Rear Armaments. The A button is used for boosting (Hold) and Dodging (Direction+Double Tap) which consumes your Boost.
A big part of Garrison: Archangel’s combat is managing the usage of your Mech’s Boost Gauge. The Boost gauge allows your Mech to move faster to close the distance between you and your opponent, dodge attacks and projectiles and/or repositioning yourself to create some breathing space in the battlefield to adjust. Your Boost replenishes at a reasonable enough rate when not in use.However, if you find yourself depleting all your available Boost you will send your Mech into an Overload state where you are unable to use Boost until the Gauge fully restores itself. This essentially makes you a sitting duck to your opponent who will no doubt seize the opportunity to abuse your limited movement by unleashing a barrage of pain in your general direction.
Another important combat mechanic is Stability. Although it isn’t explained in the game’s Tutorial mode, from what we gather, Stability is basically your Archangel’s Stagger meter. If you take enough damage in short amount of time, your Mech is thrown into a Destabilized condition where it is thrown back briefly unable to move and attack but will be immune to all damage. The mechanic functions as failsafe of sorts as it discourages your attacker from playing too aggressive and keeping you locked down.
SD Mecha Steps
Garrison: Archangel has a ton of potential. Even in its Alpha stage, the game is extremely enjoyable and addictive once you get past the reasonably-sized learning curve. The Tutorial mode does its best to give you a basic rundown of the various systems in play but is a little lacking in terms of depth. Maybe a more robust guide which covers the other more complex aspects of the game, such as weight management and stability, would prove to be a good addition.
Garrison: Archangel’s other game modes could use a little more variety as well, As it stands there are only 2 significant game modes available, excluding tutorial. Arcade mode is your standard tournament-style Fighting game staple against varying difficulties of CPU opponents. Custom Game is the primary multiplayer mode where you and up to 3 of your friends can compete in 1v1, 2v2, 3v1 or Free-For-All against each other or the CPU in local couch co-op. Hopefully an online functionality is in our future as well.
In terms of environments, the current build of the game still only has one playable level, but it seems like we’ll be having a handful of interesting stages to do battle in if the art for the Maps section of Custom Game is any indication.
Understandably, the lack of more advanced features are just growing pains, especially this early in the development cycle. What Garrison: Archangel does have so far is a unique and wonderfully tight combat system that’s loads of fun to play thanks to the responsive and intuitive controls and a vast playground of unique customization options. That’s enough to make anyone mildly interested in piloting giant robots grin gleefully from one shoulder-mounted gatling gun to the other. This is surely a game to watch out for.
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If you want to try the game, you can find out more about Garrison: Archangel here:
As well as download the current build of the game here:
Raffy Leynes is a geek of all trades (master of fun).He loves videogames, comicbooks, movies, 90’s cartoons, wrestling, and art. Lately, he’s been liking his geekery with a dash of “Indie”. He doesn’t know what the f*ck musings are but he is told he does them on his Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.