Mechassault 2

Review

posted 5/18/2005 by Phillip Ellis
other articles by Phillip Ellis
One Page Platforms: Xbox
MechAssault seems like such an old and tiring series, and well, that’s because it is. Not the actual Mech part, but the fact that this type of game goes way back to the Armored Core series. They are both closely related in what you can do, and Armored Core began nine years ago. So we’ve seen a lot of games of flying mech’s and blowing things up in mid-air, and the fact is, none of them really change that much to keep me interested. Sure, the graphics have gotten better over time, the gameplay has improved slightly, but I remember the first Armored Core as being fun, and exciting because it was different. Now we’re at Mech Assault 2 which continues to play on an old genre now, and everything is beginning to get repetitive to me. It’s still a good game, just not as good as it could be.

The single player is the game’s bottleneck. It’s not to say it’s not good, but it’s old, it’s cliché and reoccurring. There’s a weapon out there, and if it falls into a certain someone’s hands the world is basically going to end, so you have to stop it. Exciting, huh? The missions are too easy, you walk around in your mech and blow stuff up, including other mech’s as they shoot at you in a way that leaves a lot to be desired. The missions are so linear, that single player begins to get repetitive, and lest I say it, boring. The game is short though, so if you just have to beat single player it should not take you very long, seeing as every mission is the same type thing, and there’s not that many of them.

Mech Assault’s biggest draw, without a doubt too, is it’s multiplayer. How could it not be? It saves the game, basically. The game modes are the same as the last iteration’s, which I’m glad was free with my Xbox Live purchase. Xbox Live supports up to 12 people here, and the gaming is pretty intense, especially considering I’m the man in single player, but suck online. Multiplayer has put plenty of modes and maps into it. Enough to keep you entertained for plenty of time thanks to the action you’ll be getting, but if you can’t play this game via Xbox Live then I’d run away.

The graphics in this version get the job done, and look pretty damn cool when things get to going. Other than that, at times they leave a little bit to be desired. In the first or second mission you’re told to sink a ship, and okay, no problem, but the boat looks to be just three pixels or something, and that bugged me to no end. Still, the graphics of the Mech’s, and of the world around you are decent. Walk into a building and watch it crumble to the ground, that’s a neat touch, and obviously it would probably happen if a giant metal thing ran into a building. Blowing up a Mech looks like a nuclear explosion? Yeah. It’s sort of creepy to explode a mech because this big blast radius occurs and you see what appears to be radiation ripping apart buildings, you assume it will eat you alive, but eh, it doesn’t. The game really has not kept up with the time, however. After seeing beautiful games like Splinter Cell, and Forza Motorsport, good graphics seem almost natural on the Xbox, but Mech Assault 2 falls a little bit short in trying to accomplish that.

A cool new feature in this year’s game is the ability to hack other Mech’s when you’re in your special suit. This means you can ‘jack’ another mech. Fly up in the air in your mech, and get close enough to throw a claw at the other mech, and then hack into it. This will open up the Mech and let you take it over, if you so desire. Or just an easy way to get rid of the mech, if that’s what you want. It’s something new in the entire series, the ability to get out of your Mech and run around, just don’t die. You can set explosive charges, hack, and do other things little men in a world of Mech’s can do…. Really I’d just run away. You can fly the landing craft’s now, you know, the big ones you’ve seen overhead of you? Hop in one and take a spin, if you can find one. Tanks and gun turrets are now found in various places, and should help you in your quest to take over Mech World, at least I think that’s what it’s called.
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