With a name like Metal Fatigue you'd be excused for stifling a yawn at the prospect of another futuristic, base-building, resource collecting, real-time strategy jaunt. Indeed, MFhas little in the way of innovation - even its 3D landscape seems sterile alongside the full weather and day/night cycle of Earth 2150. To really rub salt into the wound, compare MF the irresistible Ground Control and Psygnosis' limp misfit sinks into obscurity.
But don't get us wrong, MF isn't utterly awful - it just suffers from a distinct lack of flair. In short, you won't find a more mediocre real-time strategy game if you scour every games shop on the planet, and then some. The real shame about it is that among this gaming rubble, there's actually one element that works surprisingly well. This single ray of light is the 'Combot'.
Dwarfing every other unit in the game, these four-story tall robots can be customised to suit any battle situation. Weaponry such as katana blades, axes, electrogrip hands, laser swords and more can be fitted for close-range duels, and if it's long-range gear you're after then plasma cannons, gattling guns, missiles and other ordinance should suffice.
Watching a brawl between two closely matched machines is surprisingly enjoyable: they duck, block and even kick and wrestle with each other to gain an advantage. It's a bit like watching a giant robot version of WWF -but with guns for when things aren't going your way. Tussles can go on for ages, and at the bitter end the victor usually has a shortage of limbs to show for its efforts. Not that being limbless is a problem for too long - you can always pick up and use the weapons of other fallen 'bots. This means you can own a Combot that's entirely made up of salvaged enemy parts. It's actually great fun, especially when you discover an alien weapon that you've never come across before and end up vaporising half your own army the first time you attempt to use it.
The other units in the game are nowhere near as exciting. It's the usual suspects really: tanks, missile bikes, artillery and gun turrets are all there operating relatively intelligently (yet excruciatingly slowly) on a diet of basic sub-commands, such as guard, patrol, melee, wait and attack.
The only other vaguely interesting thing about MFis that you can play as one of three warring factions, which means there are three completely different scenarios on offer.
This is scant consolation for a RTS game that's generally as bog-standard and tiresome as its title suggests.
Download Metal Fatigue
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP