"MechAssualt - 100 tons of mobile destructive fun in a 12 ounce package."

MechAssualt. Its more fun than blasting a barrel full of monkeys with a PPC cannon. This game is seriously fun, easy to learn and will floor you when you see it. Need I say more? Of course I do.

MechAssualt takes place in giant walking robots (Mechs) equipped with giant weapons that make giant explosions when they hit other giant Mechs. You can run your Mech of choice (You can choose form 21) through a mildly short single-player experience or duke it out in various mulitplayer modes. You can even get this bad boy online with Xbox Live. With that being said, lets see how it stacks up.

Gameplay 10

The controls themselves are very easy to pick up and learn. Within a minute you'll know how to operate your Mech quite efficiently. You never have to take your hands off either of the analogs, thus keeping the game moving constantly. This was a very good idea and allows players to focus on fighting instead of what button does what.

The fighting is very fast action that only stops when you've killed everything. You must learn to incorporate your surroundings into your battles, and you can even use it to destroy other Mechs. This includes toppling buildings onto your opponents and blowing up bridges out from under them, and blowing holes through objects to shoot through them. 3 on 1 match and you've already destroyed everything? Then blast a Mech in the middle and the explosion from it's death might cripple or destroy the ones near it. All of this helps keep the gameplay interesting and away from just two Mechs circling each other until one dies.

There is no customization for your Mechs though. Its something that sounded like a bad idea at first until you see how the game balances everything out. The faster Mechs are able to run circles around the slower, heavy Mechs. The heavy ones can destroy a light Mech with overpowering weapons. Each one has a set of strengths and weaknesses that make force you to pick and choose what is best for you. Its a feature that I like in games, and I love it here.

Replay Value 9

The single play missions start out very easy and progress to insane 6 on 1 battles by the end of the game. On top of that, you have 4 difficulty levels to make sure your battles don't get too easy for those skilled Mech pilots out there. Its a short game though. Not insanely short, but short non-the-less. You'll be able to beat it all in about 7-10 hours. Its one of the few things I didn't like about the game.

So what do you do when you beat the single player missions? Hop into this game's greatest strength, mulitplayer. For those of you without Xbox Live, you have a limited number of modes you can play that will leave you wondering, ''What's the point?'' Well, other than grinder, there is no real fun to the other modes without Live. Sure a good one on one match with a friend is good fun, but it gets old fast. You need Xbox Live or a system link to fully enjoy the multiplayer modes of this game.

Story 9

Its your classic MechWarrior story, and it reminds me somewhat of the story from MechWarrior 3. You're sent in to do one quick mission and within the intro cutscene, things go wrong... as they always tend to do in games. Its your job to beat the odds and complete your initial goal. Things happen, stuff gets complicated and new objectives unfurl. Its a cliché base plot, but the rest of it is quite interesting.

Graphics 10

The worlds are detailed, the Mechs look intense and the explosions are the greatest thing I have ever seen in a game. Everything explodes in this game. The people you can run over seem to pop like a balloon. The buildings show damage where you hit them and the walls actually disappear, allowing you to shoot through. When it rains in this game you can see the steam where it hits your Mech. You run over small cars, while kick larger ones off into the distance (very fun to do). All the little things like that give the game the spice it needs to keep you constantly amazed... if you stop long enough to notice them. Odds are, you won't.

Final Thoughts

Buy this game. The small list of things that are wrong with the game is greatly outnumbered by what it does right and the fun you'll have playing it. Isn't that why we play games, to have as much fun as possible? Well, MechAssualt delivers in spades. Purchase those spades, for MechAssualt is more than worth those $50.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 11/17/02, Updated 11/17/02

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