When I first heard about MechAssault this was definitely a game that I was really looking forward to. Mech games haven’t been as good as everyone would hope on the next generation consoles, all have had either Gameplay or graphical issues that stopped them from being top notch games. Can MechAssault bring back the glory have a great Mech game? Oh Yes!
MechAssault being released the same day as Xbox Live has really been viewed as a multiplayer game for good reasons, but this is not just a one-sided game, in fact it is good on both sides of the game.
MechAssault is played in the first person view, which I personally find to be a lot more enjoyable then Mech games played in the first person. This way you can see what your mech actually looks like, instead of just restricted to the view from the cockpit.
There are two different main modes being Single Player and Multiplayer. I will start by discussing the Single Player mode, which is not a bad mode. In fact for those of you who haven’t been following Mech since it was first announced, Mech was initially going to be a Single Player game. This means there is actually some depth to the Single Player mode to make it a worthwhile mode. The mode starts with a cutscene showing your aircraft crash into a hostile area where you are going to start the mode.
You will get a set of objectives in which you will have to complete in order to complete a mission. The only big disappointment I had with the single player mode was the length. This is a very short single player mode. It should take you less then 8-10 hours on the lower difficulty levels and a little longer on the higher. The big incentive to complete the single player mode is to receive bonus Mechs, which can be used in the Multiplayer modes.
The multiplayer is really where the great and the more disappointing point of Mech Assault come out. Mech Assault is not only compatible with the Xbox Live service, but also compatible with System Link so you can play with several Xbox machines. For all of you without Xbox Live, Day 1 included an extra mode for system link players called Grinder (along with the modes also found in Xbox Live) where you get computer bots to go along with your split screen Gameplay.
So for all of you who have Xbox Live, or planning to get the service, here is what you need to know about Mech’s online play. The game modes include Destruction, which is every man for himself. Team Destruction where you get into teams and fight against each other. The last game mode is called "Not It", where the actual object of the game is to be it and gain you can only gain points when you are it.
First I will say that the gameplay in the online mode is excellent. One of then best parts of the online mode is non-stop high flying constant action whether it be a team game or a every man for himself.
Now for the major downsides of Mech, which really hurt Mech’s overall score. Some of the downfall include you can never see who is talking to you before game or during the game so you really don’t know if you are talking to your team or an enemy. Another big downfall is the fact that when you’re done with a game online, you do not go back into that games lobby to play another round instead you just go back to the main online screen. So even if you have a great game going you can’t stay with the same person, which is a major downfall.
The controls of Mech are very simplistic. Usually controlling Mech’s is a tough task in other games but this is not the case in MechAssault. The controls are pretty simple the trigger buttons are used for switching weapons and shooting off the weapons. The analog sticks are used for controlling the Mech’s movement. The controls are nice and simple so it really won’t take you long to get those down.
Another great addition to MechAssault is the ability to have 5.1 Digital Surround Sound support. If I had my choice of a game I would want this support it would definitely be for Mech. Every sound is crisp and clear and very nice. There are really no complaints from the sound effects, which are extremely impressive.
The graphics of Mech have to be the best thing in the game. Everything just looks spectacular. The mechs all have different designs, along with very detailed and well-crafted looks. The environments are by far the best looking for any Mech games. Each level has little minor enhancements that really add up to becoming some great level design. The water in the environments is also very impressive, along with the buildings and bridges.
One thing that has haunted Mech games for years has been graphical slow down. And yes there will be some minor slow down in both Single and Multiplayer modes. The good thing is none of it will really hurt your gaming experience.
Is MechAssault fun? Oh Yah! This is one of those games that is really hard to put down. The Live support will definitely be where most people will have the most fun with this game. One of the top reasons for this is definitely (for the most part) lag-free Gameplay, which was really a concern I had going into the game. The single player is not as fun but can provide enough satisfaction to make it a worthwhile mode to play.
Besides a few flaws in the multiplayer portion of the game, for the most part the game is just a lot of fun. There are just a lot of great things to be found in this game, and with the ability to download more content at a later time (like maps, new levels, new game modes, and even a patch via Xbox Live) this is definitely a game that you should put on your holiday wish list.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.