"Machines have evolved. Man hasn't."

Over 50 feet tall. Almost 100 tons of raw power. They say it took over 1,000 years to create the perfect battle machine, but it only takes a second to pull the trigger and cause the ultimate destruction. Welcome to the 31st century where machines are supreme and man is not. Welcome to Mech Assault where everything you see on your screen is fully destructible. You however, are still a human piloting a BattleMech or a vertical tank with unlimited missiles, lasers, machine guns, cloak, and jump jets. A tank game simply doesn't get much better than this puppy.

Graphics -
The graphics are pretty nice and the worlds are enormously huge. Bump-Mapping included down to the tip of your 'Mech that stretches the Xbox's power, but not to the full extent. The graphics could have been just a little bit better for this category to be scored a perfect ten, but with so much destructible scenery, Microsoft Game Studios just didn’t try to perfect this game to the maximum. Framerate’s are pretty smooth as well with no slowdowns whatsoever, having the game working at about 40-50 FPS or how fast the game itself is moving. The ‘Mechs themselves look very nice I might add and something that you could be drooling about.

Final Category Score – 9/10.

Sound -
The soundtrack was very elite for a video game as well. Some very nice guitar and rock n’ roll tunes are included during your battles in campaign. In multiplayer, the tunes are average as battles take place almost every 5-10 seconds. The voiceovers are not bad as well. Something you quite don’t take much notice in, but learn to appreciate as well. Also, firing of the lasers/missiles/machine guns/ect… was all perfected as well. The way things should sound in video games, but don’t. One thing I was disappointed with was the ability to not include your own soundtracks in the game with would have worked out even better with the game. Still, the sound is nice.

Final Category Score – 10/10.

Controls -
The controls are very easy to learn with a curving rate of about 5-10 minutes maximum. As usual, firing will take place with the Right Trigger, OR with the A button as well. This opens up more options to you – the players, and helps this category score a perfect. The rest of the weapons can be used with X, Y, and B buttons (depending on how many weapons your ‘Mech has) or scrolled through with the Left trigger. Also, your ‘Mech’s special abilities (Cloak, Jump Jets, Null Signature or enemies not being able to lock onto you) is control with the right and left analog sticks ‘clicking’ in. Movements are the same as well. Move with the left analog stick, and look with the right. If you don’t like the default controls, then choose your own. This category is perfect as well – easy-learning time, and more options.

Final Category Score – 10/10.

Gameplay -
Mech Assault is different from any other game (aside from it being the fifth in the series). Here, you control a vertical tank or “BattleMech” just like explained before. Your goal is to stop a group of bad guys from finding out the ‘ultimate’ ‘Mech to end all ‘Mechs. You will also have to act in self-defense and offense by destroying their factories, and other ‘Mechs you run into, and saving your own people from them. The whole plot is pretty average for a video game – save the world. Along the way you will run into helicopters, tanks, even people on foot (that will get stepped on by you and turn into pancakes), and other BattleMechs. Destroy them (but don’t get caught near their explosion or you will go with them – great trick for destroy two enemy ‘Mechs with the price of one), and then savage their ruins for powerups and health. It’s a pretty fun game and unique on its own.

The best part however is Multiplayer. Team up or go against everyone else in one of 30 different ‘Mechs. You can become a light ‘Mech and travel very fast with weak firepower and shields, or you could become a heavy ‘Mech and travel very slow with superior firepower and shields. Or just somewhere in the middle. Mech Assault has several different modes to choose from including Destruction (Free For All), Team Destruction (Same thing but with a team), Capture the Flag (Self-Explanatory), Last Man Standing (Self-Explanatory), and more. Another great part is that the downloadable content keeps on coming and coming and coming. Over 12 items already await you. However, Mech Assault can only be enjoyed to the fullest with Xbox Live (you can only play two players on one Xbox) and the maximum players you can have is eight. If this game only had sixteen, then it would be the best Xbox Live game out now – but it is only one of them now. If you don’t have Xbox Live, then enjoy the ‘Grinder’ mode where you with one life goes against as many ‘Mechs as you can (one at a time though). Great game. Great gameplay. It can be enjoyed by ‘Mech fans or not – this one is the best in the series.

Final Category Score – 9/10.

The Hits and Misses (A follow-up) -

+Unbelievable Gameplay
+Great soundtrack
+Content Downloadable

-Enjoyed only to the fullest with Xbox Live
-No sixteen players over Xbox Live

To Rent or not to Rent -
Mech Assault doesn’t have to be enjoyed by ‘Mech fans to be enjoyed. This game is unique on its own and does one helluva job by doing so. Its jampacked with goodies such as ‘Mechs, content downloadable, online, and even the grinder stage for all of you. Very soon it’s going to come with Xbox Live for free (and the 70 dollar price tag), for all of us to enjoy. Buy it or Rent it, this game should be played as least once by all of us. Great action title, great fun. This game deserves a solid 9.

Final Category Score: 9/10 – Amazing!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 08/28/03

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