02 Feb, 2005

MechAssault 2 Review

Xbox Review | The mech's are back in town.
The original Mech Assault for the XBox saw a pretty quiet launch until months later Xbox Live launched in Australia. A demo of Mech Assault was included in the Xbox live start kit and this saw the popularity of Mech Assault rise exponentially, both offline and online.

After a few years, Microsoft have finally treated us to a Mech Assault sequel and it delivers everything that Mech Assault fans could want, and then some. The online play mechanics have been tuned the most and this makes Mech Assault 2 one of the best XBox live online games released in the last couple of months.

For the uninitiated, Mech Assault is set in the thirty-first century and centres around giant mechanical mechs who are purely bent on destruction. Players take control of these giant Mechs and take on other Mechs. Considering the game is based heavily on destruction, there is no wonder why it is so fun.

For the first time ever, Mech Assault 2 lets you get out of your mech and experience the intense war-fare up close and personal. The roster of vehicles has also been significantly upgraded and gamers will be able to choose from vehicles including Tanks, Vertical Take Off and Landing Craft, BattleArmor and BattleMechs. This takes the game beyond just a "Mech Assault" this time around.

There are now fifteen fully destructible environments which are much more detailed and destructible than ever before. The storyline of Mech Assault 2 has also been significantly upgraded. We don't want to give too much away, but it is definitely better than its predecessor.

However, the real highlight of the game is the XBox Live compatibility, Mech Assault 2 is published by Microsoft, and this ensures that the Xbox Live features are up to par. Mech Assault 2 allows you to play by yourself or in a clan and the chaos that ensues in every Xbox Live game is extremely addictive. Just like its predeccesor Mech Assault features extremely good network coding and delivers a very smooth game playing experience.

The game play is just as addictive this time, if not more addictive. The fully destructible worlds mean that no battle is ever the same and the game is best described as a huge destruction war. It is sometimes possible for the gamer just to stop shooting and admire everything that is going on around them. Mech Assault 2 does a good job of convincing the player that they are truely in a thirty-century world.

There is never any slow down in the middle of the action and we we were simply stunned by how intense some of the battles can get. Mech Assault 2 really is a huge game in scale. The new game play addition of letting players leave their mechs is a little novel, most people won't bother, but it is a good little addition which makes the game feel less restrictive.

One of our biggest concerns about Mech Assault 2 is the lifespan. It is a bigger and more expansive game than its predecessor, but the game can still be over really quickly. The only exception to this is the XBox live conquest mode, which can literally mean the game never ends. The back of the box also promises future downloadable content, so this should mean Mech Assault 2 lasts a long time for those with Xbox Live. Those without Xbox Live may find they feel a little short-changed by the games single-player mode.

The graphics in the game have had an overhaul and are better than the original Mech Assault. The mech's look a lot better than before and the world are vastly more detailed, as mentioned earlier, there is no slowdown and the game just looks and plays really good.

The audio in the game is very futuristic and helps to set the scene of the game well. Unfortunately, custom soundtracks are not supported by the game, which is a bit of a dissapointment, considering the game is published by Microsoft we thought that custom soundtrack inclusion would be a given.

We mentioned above that Mech Assault 2 is a huge game in scale, and this is true. The worlds are absolutely humongous, however, not everything about the game is large. Experienced Mech Assault players will breeze through this game quite quickly, and if they don't have XBox Live they will be disappointed.

There is no doubting that anyone with XBox Live and who was a fan of the original Mech Assault should pick this game up immediately, as the online play is some of the best we've ever seen. We would have liked to have seen the developer Day One to put a little more effort into the single player campaign mode, but maybe we have to wait until Mech Assault 3 for that.

Note: A limited edition of this game is also available for the same retail price for a limited time only. It contains two exclusive maps and a bonus making of on the game. For the same price, we advise gamers pick up this version before stocks deplete.
The Score
Mech Assault 2 is a great game that everyone should try, anyone with Xbox Live should pick this game up immediately. 8
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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