There have been tons of mech games for a number of gaming platforms over the years. Some of them are downright ridiculous, while others set the bar high. From the early eighties to today, the shape and payloads of these mechs have become the stuff of legend in the gaming community. Nearly nothing else in the gaming world can carry the weapons, ammo, and sheer force of destruction like a bipedal mech can. And in the hands of the right operator, these walking death-cannons can be a force for incredible good (or insane amounts of evil and destruction). So we decided to take a minute and walk you through some of our favorite mechanized romps in gamedom.
Metal Wolf Chaos
This game makes the list because it is just freaking ridiculous. And that over-the-top attitude is what gives this game its charm and makes it playable (since the gameplay itself leaves quite a bit to be desired). You play as the President of the United States, who also has a mech. Oh, and he gets blasted out of the Oval Office, screaming “Let’s Party!” And then he grabs Air Force One, flies out West, and starts to liberate the U.S. of A. from the clutches of an evil Vice Peresident who reinstated slavery and all other manner of atrocities. I mean, the final battle switches from Las Vegas to a space station. Seriously, it’s that crazy. And that is why it’s on this list.
Released for the Xbox 360 in 2006, this game featured pretty intense online play…that is until SEGA decided to kill the servers in 2010 due to lack of interest (most likely due to the likes of online FPS’s such as Call of Duty and Battlefield ). But before its servers were sacrificed to the FPS gods, the game boasted some solid online play where you could take your mech and battle it out with others online. You could upgrade your mech or scrap it and purchase new classes of mech to find the perfect combination for your playing style. With vast customization options, online play, and intense action– Chromehounds makes it onto the list.
This game is so crazy you need a special forty-button controller to even play it. Released for the original Xbox, this game was supposed to be the best mech game ever created. Sadly, it falls short of that mark. But what it lacks in greatness, it makes up for by the crazy use of the dual-stick and a 40-button controller. Sadly, not everyone got to get in on the action of this one. Its price tag was around the $200 mark in U.S. markets. This game is a pretty intense mech simulator. If you don’t eject in time, your character dies and you have to start all over again. If you turn a corner too fast, your mech will fall over and you will inevitably be destroyed.
This game is actually based in the Battletech universe. This game happens to occur on a planet called Helios–where huge battles are being fought between feuding colonies and factions within the dominion of Inner Space. Your character is part of the Wolf Dragoons, who are employed to investigate the stoppage of communications with Helios. Right from the start, you get shot down and find that most of your team is fairly inept. You battle against the insane forces of a deranged cult leader called Commander Strader. You fight your way through the throngs of fanatics and eventually take out Strader to save Helios.
Strike Suit Zero
Taking a nod from games such as Star Wars Online , Freespace , Homeworld , and Elite –this game employs the kind of living world some gamers live for. It gives them the opportunity to engage in all out space combat on an epic scale. It also aims to bring back some of the flavor of the arcade-style shooters of the 90s. In this game, you are a fighter pilot for the United Nations of Earth (U.N.E.), and you are fighting a war with all the colonies of space. The coolest part is that the battles don’t always revolve around the player’s character. You get to see the big picture, as the complete battle simulation is going on in the background as your character completes his missions that will affect the whole war effort.
SHOGO: Mobile Armor Division
Unlike a lot of mech titles that were released in the late 90s, SHOGO maintains more of the control features of a solid first-person shooter than a mech sim. It also adds the additional damage model of critical hits (typically featured in RPGs) that gives your attacks even more punch if applied correctly. This game’s story follows a very anime-influenced style as you play through the “complicated” existence of Sanjuro and his quest to figure out what the hell is going on. His quest begins as one of vengeance, but ends as one of discovery in a multiple-ending scenario.
Armored Core 2
This third-person sequel to Armored Core (Playstation) brought a new gaming engine to the table as well as a host of new features that could be applied to your mech. Set 67 years after the Subterranean Era, three major corporations start duking it out on Mars for control of its resources and contracts. An elite squad of government mech pilots, called the Frighteners, turns on the government and takes over control. You are tasked with saving the people of Mars or die trying. For the first time, the extension system was introduced; it allows you to add weapons to the shoulders of your mech.
Zone of the Enders, The Second Runner
When Kojima Games released this sequel to Zone of the Enders , it was met with mixed reviews. Fans of the first game absolutely loved it, and those who were marginal fans gave it the “OK.” But as mech games go, anything that has Hideo Kojima at the helm with mechs designed by Yoji Shinkawa is going to be an incredible experience. This game has a great story that follows the events of the first game and introduces new characters and ways to play. You even get to upgrade your mech in new ways and learn new techniques and attacks to help you defeat your ultimate nemesis, Orbital Frame Anubis.
The very first mech-shooter title. Released in 1980 to arcades everywhere, it was the genesis of the mech game. This game was so revolutionary that two versions were created for the U.S. Army as tank-driver training tools. These are called Bradley Trainer and Army Battlezone (or Military Battlezone ), respectively. This game was also one of the first 3D titles ever released to arcades. It had viewing goggles that you put your face into to be able to see everything in 3D. It was you versus the host of computer-generated tanks and missile platforms and a race to see who could grab the top score in one playthrough.
This mech-based, multi-player shooter is pretty much incredible. It takes place in a dystopian future in a human colony on a planet that has been industrialized to the point that the infrastructure is ready to breakdown and collapse at any moment. You are one of many mech pilots tasked with the job of finding and procuring resources to aid your faction. There are four basic modes to choose from: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Siege, and Missile Assault. There isn’t any ammo counting in this game, but your weapons will overheat if you fire too long. This will force you to hide out until your weapons cool. This game has already won a host of awards and has been courted for a film contract as well.