America is the greatest country on Earth so chow down some corn dogs, chug a beer that tastes like piss, and get ready to kick ass.
As a proud Canadian, America fascinates me with its incomprehensible widespread insanity and now, I can relish in the chaos via a hyperbolized mech game. Starting as a Japanese exclusive original Xbox game from 2004, Metal Wolf Chaos is finally available in the west on modern consoles. It tells the story of President Michael Wilson whose vice president (Richard Hawk) stages a coup d'état against the government. As the POTUS, you must journey across the nation while taking out rebellion forces. You'll travel to the Grand Canyon, murderize usurpers on the White House lawn, and even battle enemy mechs in an Old West town. Whether you're fending off a giant mechanical spider in New York City, stomping through San Francisco's Chinatown, or trying to prevent a massive death ray from deploying, you're bound to have a blast by the absolute absurdity of it all.
Thankfully, Metal Wolf Chaos XD's gameplay is spot-on for destructive fun. First, you can equip multiple weapons in each hand and swap between them on the fly. There are a ton of weapon types to choose from such as flamethrowers, grenade launchers, shotguns, sniper rifles, and machine guns; God bless the second amendment! However, what I found even more fun is dashing and stomping. Basically, you can dash through foot soldiers to kill them instantly and jumping then ground-pounding into adversaries can cause some serious damage. These agile moves combine with the large arsenal of weaponry to create one fantastic action-packed formula.
Metal Wolf Chaos XD's campaign is stage-based and each level is set up in a cleverly unique way. You'll perform a variety of tasks, battle distinct bosses, and have certain limitations placed on you from time to time. This amount of variety is great but what's even cooler is that each stage features an impressive amount of replay value. For example, you can rescue captured supporters in each area and doing so is a lot tougher than it sounds because you have to shoot their cages with ammunition that won't explode and kill the captives within and some cages are armed with timed explosives so you must disable them before they blow. After finishing a mission, you get money and materials that you can use to research and manufacture new weapons and there are dozens of them to unlock.
If you're a less patient gamer, Metal Wolf Chaos XD may put you off with its steep difficulty. Speaking of which, it could definitely use a more comprehensive tutorial because I ended up learning most of my effective strategies by simply experimenting. As a result, I highly recommend taking a screenshot of the controller layout from the options menu to use as a reference as you learn the ropes. Aside from that, my main complaint is that restarting missions can be a huge pain in the ass, especially when you perish by accident. Keep in mind; some of these missions can take up to 30 minutes to complete so imagine falling from a destructible platform down the Grand Canyon only to die immediately and have to restart the entire stage again. Finally, I noticed that the audio levels are very imbalanced. Often, I couldn't hear certain people speak then the sound would get so loud that I was worried it would blow my speakers.
Even if you suffer from bone spurs, going to war as the kickass President Michael Wilson in Metal Wolf Chaos XD is supremely enjoyable. That being said, it can be rather unforgiving at times and some patience is required to learn its ins and outs.
- + Challenging and tight mech gameplay
- + Ridiculous premise will make you laugh
- + Loads of unlockables and each mission features tons of replay value
- - Could use a detailed tutorial
- - Audio levels are all over the place
- - Restarting missions is extremely frustrating, especially after accidentally perishing