Attention, citizens of the present: In the event of a dystopian future, please don't invent walking robot tanks. I've driven them, fired their weapons, and tested their Big Gulp cupholders, and I can say, with authority, that current methods of killing your fellow man are way more fun. Jets, machine guns, grenades--hell, even trench warfare with rusty bayonets is more entertaining. How can I speak so authoritatively about "mechs," as the otaku among us call them? Chromehounds--a mech-building/ shooter/strategy affair--treats the subject with a ridiculous amount of realism. For example, the mechs in this game--whether you pick one with legs, wheels, or treads--move at reality-appropriate speeds, which is a nice way of saying "slow as hell." Worse, if your locomotive parts get banged up in battle, you slow to a crawl. And like in real war, you'll have a tough time telling the difference between allies and enemies in both online and offline modes. When you finally run into other machines in the game's vast sterile battlefields, that is. Chromehounds is a well-made, technically solid shooter, but its dedication to realism kills the fun.
I realize the glacial pace of Chromehoundd 20-story-tall mechs is supposed to reinforce their gigantic size, but this is ridiculous--even the "quick" models move like senior citizens at a packed Shoney's buffet. And speaking of old, the graphics ain't exactly next gen; gorgeous explosions aside, the landscapes are dull, and even the populated areas look like model-railroad towns. Some tossed-togelh-er single-player missions feel like little more than training for online play, where the strategy and communication required to coordinate a team of various classes (sniper, scout, etc.) of custom-built mechs offers the only real value in Chromehound$ but even that's tempered by problems, including--yep--the lumbering pace.
I've gotta wonder if I'm playing the same game as these other guys...'cause I really found myself slipping into addiction mode with Chromehounds. I like how even though the game rewards customization gearheads, you don't need a dedicated spreadsheet to make a good mech, like in some walking-tank sims (I'm looking your way, Armored Cordj. Also, the Hounds look fantastic, and the interface is a work of fine-tuned, though sparse, beauty. Like Mark says, offline play essentially serves as a training mode, so I can forgive its goofy tale of intrigue--the game's real beauty is in its brutal, team-focused, rewarding 6-on-6 Live play. (It's kinda like a tense Battlefield2 match... just slower.) Success online earns you weapons, money, and login announcements proclaiming your victories--a much-needed stroke for my ego. Blowing up robots is fun, people.
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP