Review by BBR Xtreme

"Possibly one of the best Xbox games thus far!!"

Imagine walking through cities, blowing away the enemy. Only this time you get to do it in a 40ft walking battle machine called a BattleMech. Sound interesting already, it should do!!
Now add to that the fact that the cities are fully destructible, you face a mad fanatical leader bent on destroying a planet & an ancient technology. But if that’s not enough, why not try you hand at facing other ‘Mech’s from around the world though Xbox Live.

Story: 8/10
It’s fairly simple really; you take control of a huge piece of war machinery called a BattleMech. These range from light ‘Mech’s to huge 40ft ‘Mech’s. But it’s not as simple as that; it’s far from simple. You need to make your way through missions with a limited amount of ‘Mech’s to choose from in campaign mode. This will involve you taking on a mission and completing one or more objectives against an overwhelming fanatical enemy. You battle marines (easily squashed), tanks, helicopters and above all else other BattleMechs. When undertaking the campaign mode, you can choose from a very simple mission to an elite setting where things get seriously tough. The aim of the campaign? To get to the bottom of the motive behind the Word Of Blake’s actions. They seem to be guarding an ancient technology only known as Ragnarok.

Game-play: 9/10
The control method is fairly simple. The B, X, Y buttons & left trigger cycle trough the weapons available on your ‘Mech. The A button & right trigger fire your selected weapon. There are 3 types of weapon in MechAssault. Ballistic; which includes Machine guns & Auto Cannons. Energy; which is a laser weapon or advanced tracking PPC weapon on certain ‘Mechs. Missile; Which can range from short range to long range missiles. There are also 3 classifications in each weapon group, which do different amounts of damage & rate of fire. You can power these up through the use of ‘salvage’ from destroyed ‘Mech’s, buildings or trucks.
Your left thumb stick controls you forward, backward, left & right strafing movements whereas the right is to look around and target your opponents. You can also depress the right thumb stick to activate a special defensive weapon on certain ‘Mech’s.

Multiplayer options are also available in the form of Xbox Live, System Link & Local Xbox configurations. For Xbox Live, you will need an Xbox Live account and BroadBand connection. For System Link you will need the relevant network cables to patch into your friends Xbox. Local Xbox is fairly simple, 2 player head to head or co-operation on your Xbox.
Each has several game modes some exclusive to certain settings. Xbox Live allows you to view your stats, download new content & generally participate in online match-ups with your friends or people who you meet for the first time. Quite exiting really as the online feature is excellent. There is no slowdown in game-play and there is minimal lag.
Game types for Multiplayer include; Destruction, Team Destruction, Last Man Standing, Team Last Man Standing, Not It & Grinder (Grinder is for Local Xbox only). Each game mode is self explanatory.

Graphics: 9/10
The graphics of MechAssault are extremely detailed. However some environments look a little blocky & under-par when put against some other levels. You have fully destructible environments, which you can either leave or destroy at your leisure. The ‘Mech’s themselves move fluidly and you can see the physical damage at certain health levels to the extent of your ‘Mech limping. Everything about the graphics screams quality & power.

Sound: 9/10
This game just seems to get better and better each time you play it. You start to notice other noises within the game. Such as the different sounds the rockets make. The most satisfying sound in the game is that when a ‘Mech is destroyed; there is a creaking sound, then a very loud boom. In order to appreciate this sound and attention to detail, you really have to hear it to believe it. Footsteps, weapon fire, destruction, breaking glass, falling buildings all sound equally amazing.

Fun: 10/10
If we’re going to talk fun, then I had better explain one thing. If you play MechAssault, then you WILL become addicted. I truly think that this game reinvents the word fun and gives it a whole new meaning. When coupled with Xbox Live and you play with friendly gamers, this game becomes a riot. Obviously the voice masking option enhances this when used in the correct way.

If you own an Xbox, you simply have to own this game. It has all the elements of a classic game that can and will be enjoyed for years to come. Deffinatly one of the Xbox’s premier titles.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 03/08/03, Updated 03/08/03

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