Review by robcram

"Big mechs. Big damage. Mixed game."

Xbox Live launched in the states back in November 2002 and among the launch titles Mechassault was one of them.
Based loosely on the Battle tech series Mechassault is exclusive to Xbox.
The game can be divided into two sections or three if you want to be picky. You have your basic single player missions, multi player through split screen or system link and finally Xbox Live play. The latter being the meat and two veg of the game (in my opinion).

Lets begin then with the single player mode, which although a little mindless is actually quite good. You start the game as the good guys (as usual) whereby your job is to investigate and destroy the Word of Blake (a terrorist group) who are looking for domination. From here lots of destruction ensues, with you always being in the thick of it. The Word of Blake is no pushover (unless you opt to play the game on easy) and will come at you in many forms, which include ground troops, aircraft, Tanks to name a few. Your main concern though will be your interaction with the numerous enemy Mechs. These will come in all forms and sometimes in pairs which can really make your life hell. These battles are fast paced and intense as you would expect. The single player mode really is an introduction to the abilities of each mech, whereby as you wade through the 20 missions you are introduced to a new mech . The mechs themselves are also quite varied, some are small and fast but offer limited offense (Light). Other mechs are big and slow moving but can offer huge firepower (Heavy). Each mech having a variation of weapons ranging from missiles to lasers etc. Some mechs have extra defensive moves such as a missile jammer and others can boost jump. Also littered around the maps are buildings of all descriptions which you can unleash your firepower on. Here you can find some much needed health and power ups. Power ups give you a limited supply of ammo unlike the standard ammo which is infinite.

Graphically Mechassault looks impressive and believable. The environments are reasonably varied but that’s not why your here. The controls are easy to master and the 360 degree sight works well within the maps provided. Sound is also standard stuff with the usual rock/ techno battle music. The main point of the single player mode is to cause mass destruction to your enemies. This is what Mechassault does best but that’s as far as it goes. Yes I did enjoy playing through the single player game but my only gripe would be that although the addition of a new mech for a new mission is cool. The core game play remained the same throughout. Also the missions were totally linear in their execution. If you seek a mindless blaster that you can pick up and play for an hour or two then Mechassault is rather good in that respect. If you are after something with more tactics then this may disappoint.

The Multi player aspect of this game is the main selling point or should be. Playing this game on Live can be great but equally can be dire. I found that free for all matches were so vague that with more than 3 people in the game turned it into a destruction derby (not good). I found this not to work well as often people would steal your kills or power ups taking away any skills needed to survive. Frustrating would be an understatement. Team games also displayed similar tendencies. I found the best way to play Mechassault on Live was in 1 on 1 matches or 2 on 2. If you can overlook these problems then yes this is a fun Live game, worthy of your time.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 06/09/03, Updated 06/09/03


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