Gun Metal Is a good enough game, and in the initial surge of excitement it's easy to get earned away into believing this could be something special. Stomping through a debris-strewn battlefield in a giant robot, launching missiles at everything that moves, it's the sort of thing that has a special place in every gamer's heart. Certainly it looks and sounds the business, in fact when it comes to presentation Gun Metal is a very polished article. But if you look under the chassis of this hulking great beast there's little to back up its explosive aesthetics.
No cunning twist, no mysteries and no frills. This is pure old-school arcade gaming - just a big lumbering robot armed to its hydraulic eyeballs with fancy shooters and rockets. Gun Metal is back-to-basics blasting of the most uncomplicated kind. There’s even a respectful little nod to After Burner when you transform into a fighter jet and perform barrel rolls to escape missile locks. Unfortunately, the overly sensitive flight controls ruin what could have been an outstanding feature. As a straight choice between taking to the skies and staying on the ground, the latter tactic remains the most playable option. There's no argument that Gun Metal does the relentless onslaught theme well, but the exhilaration eventually turns to tedium, especially if you harbour hopes of at least a hint of strategic stimulus.
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Well we are about to be inundated with what could be the season of 'transforming'? mech games, most notably the epic Robotech: Battlecry that is coming to invade our console systems soon. So it was with genuine surprise that the game Gun Metal snuck in under the radar and scored a direct hit.
Gun Metal is a 3rd person adventure game with a dynamic camera following the action. Players are charged with piloting the experimental prototype vehicle Gun Metal in a last ditch effort to turn the tides of war. First off, players will find the controls of both the mech and the jet fighter (which you can transform back and forth) relatively easy to pick up. I questioned the control scheme of the jet's acceleration button but after playing for 10 minutes all doubts were erased.
With 25 varied action scenarios, players will certainly find the challenge to be compelling. Before each mission, a detailed and engaging plot line is revealed along with the specifics of your task. Once you start the mission, and as you complete minor tasks, a voice will periodically come over the speakers, informing you of current events happening around the mission map. 'The convoy is under attack!'? You're doing fine, the enemy is almost destroyed.'? It gave the game a definite military feel.
Graphically, the game has some impressive light sourcing that makes all the other games green with envy, and while the overall feel of the game isn't as graphically sharp, it certainly is a step above your average action/adventure game. Most notable are the damage effects that occur as the various battles rage on'buildings take crumbling damage, trees are uprooted, grazing animals scatter, and it's a sight to see a massive explosion tear across the landscape. Half the fun of the game is watching the cool explosions while causing massive amounts of destruction to enemy vehicles.
I honestly enjoyed playing this game and continue to do so even though I have several other games to review. To me, this is a sign of a fine title, and with a price of $29.99 at my local game store, Gun Metal is a good bang for your buck.
Like the language of music and film, mankinds love of giant robots is universal. What better way to tap into that collective subconscious this summer than with Rage Softwares GM, an action-packed testament to the beauty of stuff blowing up real good. Transform at will from a massive mech to a high-flyin jet fighter, and if you happen to knock over some buildings and trample some troops, well...thats half the fun!