Review by Commander001

"Giant Mechas don't deserve only anime series and action agmes"

Metal Fatigue is a decent RTS that brings a twist on the classic view of C&C or Warcraft.
Firstly the game brings back to life a concept a long time not used. Layers. Not seen around since the time of Cave Wars the layer concept means that there is not only one battlefield, but in the case of Metal Fatigue, means that there are 3 battle fields, Underground, Surface and Sky.
Secondly, the center of the game's idea is not a 300 unit battle consisting of light armored vehicles, tanks, rocket launchers and such, it's about giant robots, here named Combots and the dozens of ways you can build them up.

STORY
There is no deep story here, after all, except a few missions where your task is specific you will only need to destroy every single enemy unit.
But a story that runs along in the background is that 3 brothers, initially Combot pilots for the RimTech Corporation, while protecting a RimTech base get attacked by a alien monster and in the confusion of killing the monster and a emminent bombing from the Milagro Corporation ends up making them get apart from each other, each staying with one of Corporations (Plus Neuropa not mentioned till now) and being their Elite Pilot (Hero that can't die!).

GAMEPLAY
So, ok, it's a RTS.. what's new so far? EVERYTHING!!
Like I said at the beginning, the Layer matter brings a different depth at the game, as keeping an eye on all layers is imperative to not be struck with failure.
On the Surface, you bring the main assault force to do some damage to the opposition and have little access to resources.
On the Sky, you have little room to construction and only planes will have a good time reaching here, but here exists a never ending fountain of resources.
On the Underground, you can create your room for construction, can get some better hiding and also have considerable access to resources. This is always an option to a sneak attack on the enemy.

About Resources, you run around two things:
Manpower, what is equivalent to the need of Farms in the Warcraft series... and..
MetaJoules!! Your money! This can be gathered either by gathering solar power or draining heat from lava pools. Unlike C&C and such, it never ends.. so be prepared for almost endless battles.

Vehicles and such. Less than a handful!! Or something like that.... you only have a little assortment of vehicles and planes which serve more of support or barrier to the enemy rather than using as a whole battle squadron.

COMBOTS!! The CORE of this game!!!
What is a ComBot??.. a Giant Robot!!.. Of what use is to me a big chunky robot??... Well, that depends if he has fitted a Laser Sword, or a powerful Missile Launcher.
What makes the ComBots so important (besides being the main combat unit) and ''attractive'' it's that you build them in a hundred of ways. Each Corporation with it's own believes in technology of weaponry and armory have their ways to build their ComBots (technology that can be stolen!!) so you can have a pure close range brute force robot, or opt only for long range weaponry. In addition to the weapons there is also a dozen of other abilitys trough by the chassis and legs you can select for a Combot... like flying, or a close range blast to trash those tiny pesky vehicles, among so many other things.

So, how do you steal technology? .. besides the ''small'' chance of a part of a enemy destroyed Combot survives, the arms which are the main possibilites for weapons and shields can be ripped off the enemy ComBot WHILE he's still active.. not only giving you a good chance to salvage the part like the enemy ComBot will be right there incapacitated with less a weapon or defense.

Adding up to the ComBots effect, there is a Pilot in it (a crew of them actually) on which a Level System was implemented. The effects are considerable, since they increase almost every stat of a ComBot and there is actually a battle when two ComBots meet on a one-on-one fight. They almost take turns in their attacks and when one attacks the other either takes up the damage and makes a animation according to it, or in many cases of short range attacks he can even use his weapon to block the attack and push the attacker back counter attacking.

GRAPHICS
Very neat graphics. Well, it's not like it's flooded in light effects, but pretty much everything is 3D rendering, and the ComBots look pretty well, especially having in account the fluid animation that the ComBots offer when they are battling others almost in a street fight style.
Not state of the art, but certainly nothing that looks bad.

SOUND/MUSIC
Well, nothing to pop the lid, but it's not that bad.
Of course, once again where you can denote more the sounds are everything revolving the ComBots, as you hear metal beating against metal, or the gattling guns they can use firing.
The music, well... some tracks are more or less hearable, but I didn't enjoyed very much the music.. not considering the style of the game.

REPLAYABILITY
Well, like a C&C,Warcraft and so many others RTS.
You have a campaign, of which as usually you can't be very proud..a skirmish that allows you to wage a full war but ends up being a bit boring (remember this can drag to a endless battle)... being of course the multi-player, to what this game has full support the best part in keeping player as you will find players will all sort of tactics in assaulting you. (A FAQ about this game even mentions how there are players that favor the use of the Sky or Underground assaults!!)

OVERALL
Metal Fatigue it's a great RTS, provided you don't get bored with overlasting battles...
The ComBot idea seems excellent to me as it allows battle to be a bit more centered (really, you might lose track of vehicles you might have built and sent to battle while watching over the ComBots) .. tho, it's a bit boring sometimes due to the speed of the ComBots not being the quickest..
And as with many RTSs... it's the multi-player that gives the most fun!


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 08/29/03


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