Review by rymep
"Great gameplay and great multiplayer"
In this game you pretty much run around in a big mech blowing things up, but throughout the 20 single player levels you can switch the mechs, which completely changes the game play, and most levels have several ways of beating them. You also get to pick up weapon level ups off of other mechs and from the insides of buildings and such. The single player game takes about 6-8 hours on green, 10-12 on normal, 15-18 on veteran, and about 30 on elite, yes it really jumps that much. In the first two difficulties you can essentially just run around blowing things up and not have too many problems, but in the veteran and elite difficulties its a whole new story. In these two mode you fight mechs that are faster, stronger, and have more health than you, and you constantly have 3 or 4 of these against you at the same time, this is when strategy comes in. You need to use the buildings and other environmental pieces to your advantage, if they are under a bridge you can blow it up and drop it on them, same with buildings, if they get to close or jump on top, blow it apart, them included. You can also blow the ice out from under your opponent in snow levels, and if they don't have jump jets you have a major advantage to run away or get to a good attack point. One of the most useful aspects about the environment though is just to drop some rocks from above onto the turrets, gives you a great way to take them out without having to get hurt.
The multiplayer is also great with or without friends. The grinder mode lets you pick one of about 20 different mechs, 2 more big heavy ones when you beat the game, and fight against bots. The bots get increasingly harder as the matches go on, and you only get to heal up with the stuff you can find on their corpses or the ground. After you beat the Ragnarok, a giant heavy mech with a shield, the bots will start over, but the second time around there are 2 on the map at all times, both against you. After this it adds more and so on. You can play grinder with or without friends. The other multiplayer modes include: Destruction, where you pretty much kill everyone before they kill you. Team Destruction, same as above, but with teams. Last man standing, you only have one life, so you need to use it well. Team Last man standing, same as above with teams. And the not it mode, where only one person ''it'' gets points for kills and the others have to kill them to become it. It also supports system link to have up to 8 players, or live to have up to 8 in a match. This game only has support for 2 players on the same screen but in all fairness this game would suck if you only had a fourth the screen.
The graphics are top notch in this game, rain looks like rain, dirt looks like dirt and so on, the only problem is the water, not that realistic and your bullets sound like they are hitting sheet metal. The snow is very nice though, when you walk over it you will leave a footprint in it, and when you go back later you will see that same footprint. The explosions are also amazing, all mechs explode the same way but its big and spectacular, plus the explosions can take out buildings or other things around them, include other mechs or you if you get too close. When you knock buildings down they come down pretty spectacularly, but the wreckage disapears seconds after it all comes down. The mechs also look incredibly real and the cutscenes have pretty realistic people in them, and the lip-sink is almost perfect.
The music seems to be the only letdown in this game, there isn't much of it until a bunch of mechs show up but then its some pretty good guitar music, atleast until about the last 3/4's of the game when you get sick of hearing the same thing over and over, a music cue is nice to know when somethings coming though. The sound fx's are very nice though, explosions sound like explosions, machine guns sound like machine guns etc. The only sound problem seems to be the whole water sheet metal thing I mentioned above.
The control scheme is also very simple to use, always a plus in games like this, it just drops you in and you figure it all out by the first battle.
All in all this is one game that will keep you coming back for more, single player and multi, especially if you have xbox live support.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/17/02, Updated 11/17/02
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