XBOX REVIEW: METAL WOLF CHAOS

Battling evil terrorists as the President of the United States decked out in Mech Armor all across this great country of ours? Sign me up!

Using the Otogi 2 engine to wonderful effect [destroy everything!], From Software has managed to put together a fun shooter that relies heavily on the satire of American politics; this administration not withstanding.

Sometime in the near future we'll have a trigger happy President who decides enough is enough and sets out to kick ass with his own set of asskickers. Gotta love that. Who is his arch nemesis? How about the Vice President of the United States who went rogue? Gotta love that. How about big battles in San Fran, Chicago, Grand Canyon, and Hollywood to name a few? You gotta love that too. So what's not to love? A few things I'll get to in a moment.

Metal Wolf Chaos is pure camp and even though it's an import right now, most of the dialogue is in English making it a breeze to play. I knew this beforehand otherwise I wouldn't have bothered importing it. After hearing the kockamamie story line I wanted to make sure I received an "untouched" version of this game in case it undergoes devestating changes to the story due to stepping on certain political shoes. I could totally see From Software switching the Vice P for the Canadian Prime Minister. Actually that's a better idea anyway and way funnier! As if Canada would get off their asses to do anything about it!! Have another Maple donut!

The game is decently long. A first run through could take you 10 - 12 hours but replay value is weak and I doubt you'd want to revisit after you've blown everything up in each level, but I've been very wrong before.

What most impressed me about MWC was the absolute chaos happening onscreen at one time. The Mech Suit President Mike Wilson dons is straight out of the Transformers. Wait till you see the firepower that pops out of his shoulders. Truly awe inspiring and hilarious all at once. Buildings are collapsing, rockets are flying, explosions are um...exploding and smoke and fire envelop the area and it's truly a site to see. If you loved blowing up the environments in Mercenaries, you're going to get your freak on when you dive into Metal Wolf Chaos.

Where the game falls flat is in combo execution. Just like Otogi, the gameplay rewards you for chaining massively long combos together. Unfortunately these combos are sometimes very unnecesarrily interrupted by The Operator, the President's female secretary, who likes to dish out advice. It's amazing how From Software could ignore such a glaring execution problem in a final product. Most of these interruptions take place after chaining together a very long combo so all I can assume is that the developers and testers wrongfully assumed that most gamers wouldn't get the knack of it, because it is hard to do. This MUST be changed if and when the game is released in North America.

If you can overlook that one glaring flaw, playing Metal Wolf Chaos is a blast while it lasts. The city environments look fantastic, the destruction of the architecture is cathartic and the entire storyline is so strange and oddly politically incorrect in these post 9/11 years (terrorists attacking New York in game) that it's a wild ride anyway you slice it. Think Mercenaries meets MechAssault and they have a menage a trois with Otogi 2 while Metal Wolf Chaos looks on and you'll be very darn close. Even if they don't fix the combo problem, chances are you're going to enjoy this anyway when it shows up.

Click For Media
System: XBOX
Dev: From Software
Pub: From Software
Released: TBA 2005
Players: 1
Review by StewXX
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
3.5
GRAPHICS
4.5
CONTROL
4.0
MUSIC/FX
3.5
VALUE
2.5