Game Over Online ~ Metal Fatigue

GameOver Game Reviews - Metal Fatigue (c) Psygnosis, Reviewed by - Mrs. Biggs

Game & Publisher Metal Fatigue (c) Psygnosis
System Requirements Win 9x, Pentium 200, 32MB Ram, 3D Accelerator, 4x CD-ROM, 50MB HDD
Overall Rating 74%
Date Published Thursday, June 22nd, 2000 at 02:26 PM

Divider Left By: Mrs. Biggs Divider Right

I've said it before and I'll say it again - in order for any game to be successful, it must contain at least one of the following magical ingredients:

1. Big Tits
2. Big Guns
3. Big Mechs

Although it's running a little short on the tits, I can safely assure you that Metal Fatigue includes good amounts of mechs and guns.

On the surface Metal Fatigue looks like your standard RTS game but after spending a few hours playing you will soon realize that it's a different beast. The playing field is split into three separate areas: surface, air, and underground. While you are winning the battle on the surface thinking you the king shit, your enemy could be getting ready to knock your ass back to the stone ages with a huge underground army. To keep things interesting, mechs are not allowed to go underground (apparently they are too big) so it's a battle of vehicles and turrets.

The game feels very much like Total Annihilation in a lot of respects. The little construction vehicles and their "building beams" are ripped straight out of TA except instead of energy and metal you collect energy (lava) and manpower. Unfortunately, the unit control is sluggish and pathfinding is mediocre at best. This can really get aggravating when you queue up a pile of units in your factory only to come back five minutes later and see they are all hopelessly jammed up.

Metal Fatigue includes all the usual 3D in-game camera controls. The visuals are very crisp and there are plenty of different resolutions to choose from. For some reason the menus and text briefings between levels look like shit if you turn the resolution up past 640x480. I can't understand how they could overlook such a simple detail. My main complaint with the current batch of 3D RTS games is that the landscapes are boring and plain looking. Crappy-ass stretched out textures and rolling hills all over. Stop hurting my eyes and give me something nice to look at already!

Without a doubt the coolest part of this game is the big mechs (aka ComBots). You build all the components separately in factories then assemble the custom mechs and assign a crew to pilot them. The mech animations are beautiful and you will clap your hands and jump up and down screaming like a school girl the first time you see one of your mechs smash the shit out of an enemy tank. Each of the three available races has special mech types available to them like a camo-mech, which cloaks itself along with everything nearby or my personal favourite - the jetpack mech. Nothing beats hovering over an enemy base raining down bombs from the sky.

The vehicle selection is a little on the boring side. You have your choice of a tank, an artillery unit, and a missile car. Don't underestimate these little guys though; they will turn the tide by inflicting extra damage as your mechs are locked in combat with the enemy. It's always good to keep a few hovertrucks near the frontlines as they can heal your units as well as darting out and grabbing scrap mech parts for recycling. If you manage to snag an enemy arm or torso you can take it back to your scientific facility and research the item so you can produce it in your own factories. Stealing tech! I love it!

As you would expect, Metal Fatigue includes all the standard multiplayer options. One interesting feature they added is the pre-build stage. Basically you get a certain amount of time before the game starts to layout a basic base defense and pump out a few units. This was done to prevent rushing and it works like a charm. No more excuses when you get attacked early! The game has the ability to save and resume a game on the fly if any of the players get desynched. While this is a great idea, I found the multiplayer games desynch way too often. I didn't let this slow me down one bit however, as I gave my opponent MrPhysix, of gaymeunit infamy, the beating of his short pubescent life.

At the end of the day, Metal Fatigue just doesn't have enough to keep you coming back for more. It's what I like to call a concept game; Great ideas but the implementation is a little rough. With a little more polishing this could be an A-title.


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