Revived mecha RPG classic Front Mission 1st: Remake comes to PC

Reach for the controls of your stompy war machines, folks, because Front Mission's back. The classic series of Japanese-made strategy RPGs focusing on tactical mech action got a remake release on Switch last year, but just this past week has released on PC. The remake of the 1995 Front Mission, by Forever Entertainment, has been pretty positively received by fans of mechs and tough tactics who are finally getting a worldwide release of the series.

The original games were beloved for their goofily-named mechs, the Wanzers. (It's technically a contraction of the in-world German "Wanderpanzers" but really just a very silly word. Say it a few times. Wanzers. Waaaanzers.) Customizing your Wanzers and pilots for the sometimes brutally difficult missions was a highlight, and that's all still here, though there are a few real updates here—like difficulty settings, apparently! Love those.

They're also infamous for their pretty dang serious plotlines where the player was in a real war where neither side was particularly free of sin. To be clear, this is a 1990s mature game, so not nuanced or deep—but definitely a plot for adults.  Both of the original's two campaigns are included, letting you see both sides of a border conflict between futuristic mega-alliances gone quite viciously hot.

The remake lets you play in Classic mode, featuring the fixed camera angle and soundtrack of the original, or modern mode. Modern mode has a more mobile camera that can zoom in and out, as well as rotate, and a fully reorchestrated soundtrack. To my eyes this looks like perfect Steam Deck fodder, and a couple early Steam reviewers have said just that.

What's perhaps most exciting is that Forever Entertainment has the license for, and is for all appearances already working on, a release of Front Mission 2 and 3. That means we'll get a look at all three games, which show conflicts set in the same world as each other but in different places at different times.

You can find Front Mission 1st: Remake on Epic, GOG, and Steam for $35.


Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.