I remember a few years back when the Xbox Live service was just getting started and the so-called "online war" was taking place. Of course in order to have a successful online service, you needed the product to back it up, and for quite a while that product for the Xbox Live was MechAssault. Mech games have been around forever but this game caught on like wild fire and really made quite a stir in the Xbox Live arena for its fast-paced gameplay and beautiful visuals. Now a few years later the game is in its second rendition with a few changes. So does MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf makes a successful sequel or should we stick with the original? Read our full review to find out!
Xbox Live at first was running on MechAssault’s back (literally), the service really didn’t come out with a slew of high powered games for their service, which made this game all the more popular. At the time people were rearing to get their consoles online, and this was one game that successfully did it. But now MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf has company as there is a whole lot more depth in the Xbox Live library. Can MechAssault 2 stand up strong?
Well, similar to the first game, the second consists of both a single and multiplayer support, both of which have their good and bad sides. Let’s start with the single player shall we, which suffered in the first from being pretty uninspired and that can once again be said about the second games as well. In MechAssault 2 you are given a pretty basic storyline which has you right in the middle of the action right from the get go. The storyline ends up being pretty basic and pretty bland, not containing as much depth as we have seen in other action games on the market already. Not helping its case is the voice acting, which is the reason why the storyline struggled to get of the ground. It’s not that the storyline is bad, per se, but it just isn’t all that interesting nor does it try to do anything to grab you into the single player.
The single player mode itself is pretty straightforward and works very similar to what we saw in the year before but this time around in MechAssault 2 there is one major twist I have yet to mention. In the previous version of MechAssault, we saw a game that confined you strictly to your Mech, which led to a game that did have a repetitive nature to it. You now have been given a whole separate side to the action, giving you not only the control of your Mech, but also control of your pilot with the newly developed Body Armor. This was definitely a very risky endeavor for the developers to make such big strides away from the typical Mech gameplay, but it ended up being quite good.
Now of course the single player mode was nowhere near as impressive as the multiplayer mode of the first game, and once again holds true with the second. The true bread and butter of MechAssault 2 is its Xbox Live support, which may not be as complex as Halo 2, but still offers quite a bit of customization and action with up to twelve Mech battles. The game hasn’t gone cheap on its amount of Mechs or online modes which include: Destruction, Team Destruction, Grinder, Last Man Standing, Team Last Man Standing, Not It, Capture the Flag, Snatch It, Check It, Base War, and Conquest Mode. With all of these modes in the Xbox Live support you are going to find that this game really does offer the complete online Mech package.
So how does the newly added gameplay end up working out online and off? Well I must say that the game did need something else with this sequel and I really enjoyed being able to let loose from the Mech and add a whole other side of strategy to the game. The Mech series has been known for being a much slower paced game then other shooters on the market and thus has made for a much more strategically inclined game, which is elevate even more with the added ability to get out of the Mech. So is this enough to make people come back for some more Mech? The answer is most definitely, as these online components have really turned out to be quite impressive and have evolved into a really entertaining Mech experience.
The one thing that impressed the most about the original MechAssault was the graphics. They were eye dropping, to say the least, and really featured some of the best demolition graphics I have seen in a long time. Being able to watch skyscraper after skyscraper come tumbling down at the hands of your beautiful Mech was definitely a sight worth seeing more then once. Does MechAssault 2 leave that long lasting impression?
MechAssault 2 is once again a Mech game that you are going to sit back in awe. Now is it a huge improvement from the original, no, but is it still a great looking game and that answer to that is yes. With the addition of many more Mechs, you’re going to see a whole lot more destruction as well as a lot more action. And although the game does seem to stay pretty good, frame rate wise, the game just doesn’t add a whole lot to the visuals department. The environments are still stylized in the same manner, giving a very harsh tone to everything, and the game’s Mechs are once again beautifully designed.
Overall MechAssault 2 is still a great looking game, even if it is not as revolutionary as the first. Let me just say this once you jump into your first big battle you are going to truly be able to see what a graphical marvel MechAssault 2 really is.
The one thing I did notice about MechAssault 2 is that it has all the gameplay elements down and it really does have everything you would want from a Mech game. But for me this game just was not as fun as the original. The added gameplay elements do add quite a bit of strategy, but for me it also tended to lessen the fun in the game. I am more of a Mech guy and getting out of the Mech although at first was neat and is a great gameplay addition, in my personal feeling it just wasn’t all that exciting after a while. Now that’s not to say the game isn’t fun, because I still must admit after playing the game on Live for countless hours this was a game that I will still come back to.
MechAssault 2 struggles with its single player mode and strives with its multiplayer support to still bring you another great Mech experience. If you are a fan of the series you should go run out and buy a copy of this game today!
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.