MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf

MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf - Xbox review

MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf - XBOX review

MechAssault's first incarnation was an interesting addition to the arsenal of Xbox titles back in late 2002, now “MechAssault 2®: Lone Wolf” hits the shelves and we want to know if it is bigger, better and even more dangerous than the ground breaking original.

Lone Wolf; continues the massive destructible environments, intense combat and addictive online multiplayer games that everyone have been praising since “MechAssault” first hit Xbox. Continuing in the 31st century, “MechAssault 2” allows you to encounter entirely new experiences in the epic BattleTech world. This third-person action/shooter game defines immense destruction taken to another level, as each environment in the game's five worlds is ready to be smashed to a million little pieces.

You get to choose from a variety of weapons and vehicles— ranging from the stealthy Raptor ‘Mech to the ‘Mech-jacking BattleArmor—all equipped with different weapon configurations and artillery. Then embark on the brand-new and intensive single-player campaign, or test your teamwork skills by trying to defeat the enemy in the very accomplished online multiplayer which incorporates lots of strategizing and communicating with your teammates via the Xbox Live Communicator headset.

One of the main enhancements to the general gameplay is the “Out of Mech combat” facility. This means you can play as the man, not the machine. For the first time, “MechAssault 2” gives you the ability to get in and out of the ‘Mech' to experience warfare up close and personal. You can also, when in “Out of Mech combat” mode, attach to ally and enemy ‘Mechs, scale walls or hitch a ride on a VTOL aircraft with the newest form of death-dealing transportation,

Graphically “MechAssault 2” uses the processing superiority of the Xbox to its advantage. This introduces a new perspective on the battlefield that allows you to fully appreciate the size and power of these massive ‘Mechs'. You really do feel like you are truly immersed in this world where 40-foot ‘Mechs reign supreme. You experience more incredible explosions and devastating destruction. The structural damage engine

  MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf - Xbox review
MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf - Xbox review
MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf - Xbox review
MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf - Xbox review
MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf - Xbox review

that has been added is awesome, when you blow up a building it collapses in an incredibly realistic way. This means you will be going around shooting down constructions just to see the effect your weaponry has on the environment. Lasers light up the sky, Raptors disappear and Javelin LAM launchers fly though the air, wreaking havoc on the evil Hand of Blake. The only negative point about the graphics would be to say the textures on some of the buildings are a bit rough and ready.

Sound-wise, there isn't much to say. There are no short comings in the audio department. The voice over acting is sometimes a little cheesy but beyond that the sounds of utter destruction resonate around the arenas perfectly.

Where this game really comes into its own is when played on-line. Up to 12 players get to battle for the Inner Sphere against live opponents from around the world via Xbox Live. You can strategize with teammates and devise the optimum tactics to search-and-destroy your online opponents which has an immense re-playability factor.

Conquest is the multiplayer “metagame” that infuses the normal online gameplay of “MechAssault 2” with persistent tracking of player information. “MechAssault 2” players log into Conquest and choose one of five Houses and the outcomes of battles determines how the affiliated house is doing in the Universal War of Conquest. Conquest players receive War Statistics, War Updates, a 3D Galaxy Map and message sending capabilities via a dedicated Conquest website. Day 1 Studios has the ability to modify Conquest gameplay elements to reflect feedback from the “MechAssault” community.

Overall, MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf isn't as ground breaking, in today's climate, as the original was in its day. This takes nothing away from the game itself, its game-play or the various enhancements that have been added to part 2. It is just that things move real quickly in the gaming world. If you are new to the series and like third person shooters then MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf is as good as any. It is fast, frantic and feels very fresh due to all the extras that have been added. If you are a huge fan of the original, I think you will be pleasantly surprised by this new installment, although, if you do not have Xbox Live connectivity then the offline game-play isn't really worth the outlay. Hire it first.

8 out of 10


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