Men in Black: Global Invasion, much like the recent mobile Ghostbusters game, actually makes a lot of sense as an augmented reality Pokémon GO-like. The difference between this and the Ghostbusters version though is that Men in Black: Global Invasion is pretty darn good.
It’s a bit barebones right now but what’s there shows a lot of promise. It borrows the basic formula from Pokémon GO: stalk around a digital map of your neighbourhood seeking out Poké… errr, aliens, and tap on them to ‘catch’ them.
This is where the first change takes place. Rather than just chuck a Pokéball at your opponent you have to beat them in combat. This takes place in first person and sees you fire your weapon at the alien until it falls in combat.
However, it’s not quite as simple as that. Your gun has a targeting reticle, which constantly moves around the screen. Meanwhile, your opponent has a weak spot. Once the targeting reticle is over the alien’s weak spot, simply tap to unleash the maximum amount of damage to it.
In a way, it’s a lot more simplistic than Pokémon GO’s timing-based capture mechanics, but it’s a lot more satisfying and far less obtuse. When you first begin Pokémon GO, you’re often wondering what the heck is going on while Men in Black presents you with a scenario that’s very straightforward but remains challenging.
Men in Black: Global Invasion’s Capturing Mechanics Are a Lot More Satisfying Than Pokémon GO’s
If you defeat the alien, you capture it and catching numerous of the same alien allows you to level them up, increasing their powers. More powerful aliens – which generally have a higher star rating – are a lot more challenging to bring down. It’s all very Pokémon GO.
Each time you fire your weapon you lose a charge of your battery, and can renew this by interacting with caches dotted around the map, purchasing batteries from the store using real cash, or simply waiting for the batteries to recharge over time.
While there are plenty of ways to spend real money on Men in Black, we haven’t felt the need to just yet. However, given that there’s a whole gacha RPG aspect to it we’re slightly concerned that pay to win may play a bit part.
So you’re collecting aliens to add to a team that you send out into turn-based single player battles. These play exactly like your average gacha RPG like Summoner’s War or Marvel Strike Force. Each alien has a specified role, including tanks, healers, and DPS, and building a balanced team is a big part of the challenge.
You can complete 10 campaign battles per day, earning a ton of rewards for doing so. You also get the chance to enter a special mission daily but we haven’t experienced this just yet because it doesn’t seem to be in the game.
We’re Concerned About the Long Term Pay to Win Requirements
We appreciate the inclusion of turn-based battles because it really does feel a bit like the missing piece of the puzzle. Though there are raids and PvP in Pokémon GO, we often felt like we were just collecting the Pokémon for the sake of it. In Men in Black, it really feels like you’re trying to build a solid team, and finding your members by walking around the real world is a lot more engaging than just summoning them like in your average gacha RPG.
So overall, we’re pretty impressed by Men in Black: Global Invasion. It uses the licence well, improves on a number of different areas from Pokémon GO, and the gacha RPG aspects feel like the missing piece of the puzzle.
Our only criticisms at this point are that it’s a bit barebones and could really use a few more game modes to feel more fully fleshed out. We’re also mildly concerned at the potential level of pay to win required for the later, more challenging campaign battles.
But, if you like Pokémon GO and gacha RPGs, this is an awesome blend of the two. We’d thoroughly recommend at least checking it out.