Battle Engine Aquila is a futuristic mission-based shooter that puts you at the controls of a spiderlike tank that can transform into a jet for short periods of time. The game doesn't stray too far from the standard mission-based action script, but it does give fans of the genre something new to try, though many will surely feel as though they've played this game before.
The Aquila has two modes, and you can transform between them whenever you like.
The story in Battle Engine Aquila casts you as a futuristic forklift driver named Hawk. As luck would have it, the Forseti military has been developing a new combat craft that pilots similarly to what Hawk is used to driving, and some treachery forces the Forseti to look to Hawk to pilot the Aquila against the evil forces of the Muspell. All of this takes place on a planet with melting polar ice caps, meaning each level has more than its fair share of Aquila-killing water. The story is told via pre- and postmission cutscenes.
The game sets up each mission with a cutscene and a brief paragraph or two of text that details your upcoming tasks. You'll also receive radio transmissions while in the cockpit of the Aquila, which give you updates on the battle's current status. Most of the game's missions put you in defensive mode, asking you to guard transports or nearby buildings while eliminating nearby foes. Each mission has multiple objectives, however. Completing primary objectives is enough to move the story forward, but completing your secondary objectives will branch you over to different missions. Usually, the branched missions are pretty similar to their main counterpart, but there are a few drastic differences later in the game.
The Aquila has two modes, and you can transform between them whenever you like. The walker mode is a sort of spiderlike tank. You can stomp and strafe around the landscape, circling tanks or buildings and quickly sidestepping out of the path of incoming missiles. The jet mode, as you might expect, lets you take to the air and fly around like a plane. Jet mode takes up energy, though, so you can only fly around for a little while before having to land to recharge your energy, which is done by simply being in walker mode. In addition to your energy, you also have a life meter to worry about. Each form of the Aquila has its own weapon set, and you can gain access to alternate Aquila weapon loadouts as you play the game. The weapons are pretty simple and include ammo-chewing machine guns, rockets, and a large, chargeable beam weapon that acts a bit like the PPC from MechAssault or other BattleTech games. In many cases, the game will take all the challenge out of aiming. The Vulcan cannon automatically tracks and leads your target, while most of the projectile weapons are either easy to point or have an automatic lock-on feature.