by Fallout

Ah, Mechwarrior. One of my favorite series, I've played and owned every single one since Mechwarrior 2 back in 1996, and I've enjoyed every moment. Well, Mechwarrior 3 was glitchy as hell and crashed constantly but the graphics were great. So, when I saw Mechassault in the stores, I had to get it. I knew beforehand that it doesn't follow the same guidelines that Mechwarrior and all its bastard children have been. For instance, you can't customize your 'Mech, you can run around in 'Mechs with weapons that in the other games would never fit, and its done entirely in 3rd person and the controls are a hell of a lot different.

Sound is what it should be, everything sounds like it should, and there's no buzzy, flat, monotone voices saying "BEWARE I LIVE" that sound like a Spell-n-Say with a cold. The music is pretty nice; it fits perfectly into the background. It's your usual blend of techno and rock, typical for an action game.

Very nice, not quite on par with the spectacular ones that Mechwarrior 3 had (and were part of the reason it glitched so much) but are pretty close. The weapons look spectacular, no more plain, mono color beams, now there's actual tint and more detail in the lasers. PPC's look a lot different from the other games, but not from loss of detail, just in the way they're used. Buildings shudder and crumble as they collapse, and shockwaves erupt from their demise.

The story isn't all that great. You're a member of the Wolf's Dragoons, an elite mercenary unit, and you and your commanding officer and a tech are apparently all that's left because you never see anyone else. And guess who does all the fighting. That's right; you are left all alone to fight a planet full of enemies. I would have liked to have a couple wingmen, that would REALLY help out in certain parts of the game.

Game Play:
The game play leaves some things to be desired, but then again many games do. Its pretty much a 3d brawler, your missions for most of the game is go here blow that up, sneak there blow that up, blow that up before that blows up, and so on. Controls are easy to master; you should be stomping people like a pro in no time. One thing that I do not like about the game is the no customizing your 'Mech idea they've implicated. Customizing is the heart and soul of Mechwarrior, and taking that away is really just diminishing any unique qualities the game has from other games of its type. Another addition to it is the power-ups that are dropped by a destroyed mech. While they do help, they just make the game too easy. In Mechwarrior, you were stuck with what you had for the entire mission; if you got fucked up in the first 5 minutes that's your own damn fault no one's going to give you a glowing green box that will magically heal the 'Mech. Helicopters and aero fighters are the most annoying bastards you will fight in the game. They're constantly out of range when they attack and when they are they're at an angle above your 'Mech's bending capability. That and they just become a big pain in the ass when you're trying to kill an Atlas and there's missiles peppering you.

Overall, it's a nice game to just dick around with. It is fun, but if you are a fan of Mechwarrior and expect a similar game it's not for you.


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