Muv-Luv Unlimited is the second game in the Muv-Luv franchise and comes bundled with Muv-Luv Extra. Unlike its predecessor, it takes a radically different approach. This time around the main focus is on the plot which does a fantastic job of introducing you to this new unknown world, while at the same time building the main character into a real man.
One day our main character, Shirogane Takeru, wakes up on his own. Confused as to why his childhood friend, Kagami Sumika, didn’t come and wake him up as usual, he goes outside and finds the whole city in ruins, with mech remains all over town. Thinking this is a dream, he happily runs to school, which is now an army base. He is of course captured and interrogated and finds out that the vice-commander of this base is in fact Yuuko sensei. Here you discover that Takeru is actually in an alternative dimension where humans are on the brink of extinction and in constant war against an alien threat called BETA.
You are put in a squad which accidentally (or not) is composed of everyone from Takeru’s class in his original world except for Sumika who is nowhere to be found. Since our protagonist is not very athletic and he didn’t even attend a club in his world, he has a hard time keeping up with the rest of the team. But once they start piloting TSF (their mechs) he turns out to be one of the best pilots ever seen (I’m glad playing all those video games finally paid off for him).
The game has a ton exposition. Most of the things that you might generally ask yourself about other mech anime is addressed here. Why are girls in the military, why do they fight against the aliens in mechs instead of planes, everything is explained in detail. Most of these things, including the history of the world, are explained during your classes. Here you will also learn to use a rifle, sword and treat wounded comrades on the battlefield.
Romance and comedy have taken a side step this time around. Everything is a bit more serious. Yuuko sensei always seems to be keeping some information from you, while Kasumi, a silent mysterious girl, is always lurking in the bottom restricted levels of the facility. Combine this with the constant BETA threat and the whole game always gives off a feeling of suspense and mystery.
A part of the game is given to each of the main heroines, but that is not the main focus of the game. This time around you already know all of the heroines, so the game instead focuses on the main character. He grows both physically and mentally throughout the story, making it easy to be pulled into the whole situation and feel exactly what the main character is feeling It makes you think about the peaceful life you have and what would happen if you were to lose it one day.
The game’s choices are a lot more spanned out compared to those found in Extra and they have almost no value to the outcome. The game does boast 11 endings, two with each one of the main heroines. Even though the ending may bring a tear to your eye, they are all the same, so once you read through the game there is little incentive to go back.
Like the original the production quality is extremely high and there are even animated sequences during some of the more important scenes. The music remains mostly the same, but considering that this game came together with Muv-Luv Extra this is to be expected.
It’s worth mentioning that the sex scenes this time around are somewhat better, but as before, they happen only 5 minutes before the end. Considering that endings are practically the same, playing it again to collect another CG isn’t worth the effort.
It’s hard to judge Muv-Luv Unlimited on its own. It does a great job in introducing you to the world, while at the same time developing the main character, which is rarely seen in these kind of games. The military setting and alien invasion always give off a tense atmosphere and really make you ask yourself what would you do in that situation. The lack of distinct endings and any kind of resolution may seem like a flaw, but Muv-Luv Unlimited does what it set out to do quite well and that is pave the path for the third and biggest installment of the series.
For the next installment in the series check out our review of Muv-Luv Alternative. If you haven’t read it already you can take a look at its prequel, Muv-Luv Extra and its doujin spin-off Drill Milky Punch.