First Look: Girls’ Frontline
At last, the long-awaited Android/iOS game Girls Frontline has been released in the United States.
For those not familiar, this is “raifus” the game. Almost all of your favorite firearms, milsurp and modern, have been turned into adorable anime girls who only wish to serve you.
The backstory is about as convoluted as one would expect from a Korean mobile game. Something about a bunch of bad stuff happening, which led to a future World War III. The foot soldiers in this war are Tactical Dolls or T-Dolls. T-Dolls are android girls each named after a different real-life firearm.
You, the player, run a private military company in control of these T-Dolls. You are able to send them on tactical or logistics missions, manage their stats, and hang out with them in the dormitories.
The game starts out rather slow. There are massive walls of dialogue between each action, far more than you would expect for a mobile game with cut-scenes that consist of static images with scrolling text. There is a story, but it did not seem overly compelling or engaging. The opening area is made up to be a high-stakes battle but the characters spend half an hour just rambling on about it with no context given to the player.
Once the prologue battle is complete the game tosses the player into a tutorial where you are shown the staggering amount of menus within the game. From here there is somewhat of a learning curve but nothing is exceptionally difficult. The game can be played in quick bursts and unlike many other mobile games you don’t have to sink hours a day into the game.
The gameplay itself consists of deploying your girls to a battlefield, sending them to different nodes, and then engaging in combat with various enemies. The battles themselves require minimal player interaction but dolls can be positioned within the battlefield. The position of the T-dolls provides various benefits, depending on the respective buffs of each girl.
Defeated enemies result in being rewarded with additional T-dolls for your collection, which can be added to further teams (known as echelons) or broken down for resources. You can also manufacture the T-dolls at the expense of resources. Both of these options randomly reward you with a girl of qualities ranging from one to five stars.
For such simple gameplay, this game has an insane number of menus. Players spend 90% of the gameplay clicking through all manner of menus. The game has 5 currencies, 4 of which recharge over time with the 5th being a premium cash-shop. At first glance, the content can be rather overwhelming, but everything is much simpler once you get into the game. The cash shop itself focuses primarily on supplying you with more resources and providing tokens which can be used to purchase furniture for your T-doll dormitories.
The detailed anime artwork featured in the game is the prime selling point; Waifu-material can be found everywhere. The majority of the graphics within the game are static artwork and the animated characters are chibi versions with lower quality art. The combat consists of these smaller, low quality characters engaging in combat with enemy T-dolls and other machines.
The game had only been out for a day when I did my initial play-through and I encountered bugs frequently. The most often was when the game no longer recognized input, requiring a restart. This was frustrating as it always happened after an extended string of dialogue. After several days with the game, these appear to have been patched out.
Overall, if you are into cute anime girls and a wide-variety of classic firearms (most people on /k/) I recommend you at least try this game. The aesthetics are pleasing and the game gears itself to the casual and hardcore player alike. The gameplay is not groundbreaking but it will keep you entertained in short bursts.