One of the core elements of Daemon x Machina is the customization you can do for your mecha, the Arsenal, as well as your character, the Outer. But this is really aided by the gameplay flow, as well as just the joy of personalizing your own machine and character.
To go into a bit more detail, you’re able to customize your stats via the armor and parts that your Arsenal uses, while weapons obviously have different uses and priorities. The sheer amount of stats that exist in the game is a very clear reminder that many of the staff working on the game also worked on the Armored Core series, even if Daemon x Machina is more focused on the flashy end of mecha warfare.
Weapons are numerous in type, including bullet, laser, and melee weapons, and you’re allowed to carry up to six armaments at once, thanks to having shoulder weapon, an auxiliary weapon, and pylons on the left and right that can be used to attach two extra weapons.
The general customization is surprisingly streamlined despite how in-depth it can get, but it’s the collection aspect that helps drive the motivation to create your ultimate personal mecha. Those who are really into customization can really change their machine’s specs down to the numbers if they want.
Of course, the customization wouldn’t be fun if there weren’t missions to do with your shiny new customized Arsenal. The ground missions that you partake in as the latest rookie mercenary to join Orbital pit you against ruthless AI enemies that have taken control of mecha and tanks, and make for great cannon fodder to try your weapons on. However, after defeating them, can also choose to collect one part from the remains of the enemy mecha, which can be directly used in weapon and armor customization.
While I found the missions themselves outside of the story and interactions to be pretty repetitive in terms of their objectives (mostly just defeating all enemy mechs, sometimes with bosses and other reinforcements mid-mission), it was the parts collection that became my main drive to complete the missions.
Meanwhile, you can also customize your Outer with cybernetic enhancements that are essentially skill trees that also improve your performance in the Arsenal. There is standard character customization, but some of the enhancements will drastically change your appearance, making it so that you have robotic eyes and robotic lines on your face, turning you into a cyborg of your own creation.
Fortunately, the process can be reverted back if you feel the need to respec (or just don’t like the look), and fortunately there are no consequences for going the whole way with the enhancements. I did however wish that they would allow you to preview the cosmetic changes to your character before you chose the option, meaning that it’s probably better to save before you do any big operations. The mechanical parts you enhance yourself with can also be customized color-wise to a surprising degree.
While Outer customization is more a one-and-done process compared to Arsenal customization, it’s still fun to mess around with.
Overall, I can say that I’m pleased at how big a focus customization received in this game. It gave me the same pleasant experience of making my own machine that I felt while playing games like Gundam Breaker, but with actually exhilarating combat. That’s not a bad thing at all.
Daemon X Machina is available on Nintendo Switch.