Metaltech: Earthsiege

a game by Dynamix
Platform: PC
Editor Rating: 6.8/10, based on 2 reviews
User Rating: 6.0/10 - 1 vote
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Metaltech: Earthsiege
Metaltech: Earthsiege
Metaltech: Earthsiege
Metaltech: Earthsiege

Don't you just love scientists? When they're not poking sharp bits of metal into hamsters' eyeballs to see if it hurts or not. they're busy fiddling with dangerous things that by rights should earn them a punch in the testicles, but instead, usually gets them an enormous government grant on the off-chance that whatever they're making can be used as a weapon.

It's November 29th. 247I at half past six. and the scientists have gone and done it again. They've created an artificial intelligence with neural connectors and a biological model. Anyone else would think. "Well, that worked. Well done, everybody, but let's switch it off now, because I seem to remember from watching some old films and playing antique computer games that these things have an unnerving habit of going awry."

But not a scientist. Scientists are empiricists to their very core. So they stick it into a herc - a heavily-armoured, battle robot the size of an office block, equipped with more weapons of destruction than the average Third World country. I think we can all guess what happens next. And sure enough, at approximately six thirty-two, the new cybrid decides that it doesn't want to spend its time emptying ashtrays, polishing the floor and generally playing the lackey, and decides instead to wipe out the human race. And this is where you come in. A small band of rather foolhardy humans has decided to make a stand against the mighty warmongering machines - probably to impress some chick, or something - and you enrol as a pilot. Well, it's either that or get a job in Burger King. The question is can you overthrow the demonic creations from the pits of some sick scientists' minds, or will you get wiped out before you've even switched the ignition on?

Wrecks on legs

What you'll be piloting is in effect, a gigantic tank with legs. Quite why they wanted to put the thing on legs is beyond me - let's face it it's the first thing anyone's going to shoot at isn't it? But we've already established that scientists are fools. Like a tank, there's a main turret which can swivel independently of the direction you're travelling. Like a starfighter from X-WIng, there's also a central power supply which can be adjusted and directed to wherever you feel it's needed most - extra oomph to the particle beam, more zap to the pulse cannon, more power to the cigar lighter, or whatever. Also, like a starfighter the operational direction of the shields can be adjusted. (More shield power behind when you're running away is always handy.) And like a flight sim there's a Head Up Display to show your waypoint, turret orientation, target lock, etc.; a Head Down Display to show the status of your hi kc and communicate with other hercs in your squad (assuming you haven't allowed them all to be wiped out already).

One-off missions

Like all Dynamix simulations from Red Baron onwards, there's a fairly extensive range of ways to customise individual missions to make things as easy or difficult as you like; you can be invulnerable and have unlimited weapons, and still choose from a range of difficulty levels which will operate independently of other selections. (The harder the difficulty, the quicker, more numerous and more intelligent your enemies, and the greater their rate of fire.) You can decide whether it's a day dusk or night mission, and what the level of visibility is like. More importantly, you can select any herc to carry out the mission - you're not just stuck with the lightweight, crappy ones, you can go for anything from the nippy but vulnerable Roadrunner right up to the gigantic, lumbering and aptly-named Colossus. The cockpit layout differs from machine to machine. You can load any combination of weapons onto them (as long as the structure has room for them). And you can choose the type of mission - patrol, reconnaissance, scramble, or whatever.

Campaign mode

In Campaign mode, you're in trouble, basically. The wide range of hercs available to you in the one-off mission modes are nowhere to be seen. This is because the human resistance forces have no way to make the machines, so are forced to make do with what they can get - and what they can get are the two crappiest machines available. They're light and fast, but have little strength compared to some of the heavy-firing, gargantuan monsters you'll be facing. And because they're so relatively light themselves, the armaments they can carry are reduced to cannons and the odd laser - in other words; few not especially heavy-hitting, and basic.

The only way to improve matters is to salvage parts and technology from the cybrids you take out. Unfortunately, this tends to go against every rule of survival; if someone's shooting at you with a big cannon, it's a good idea to shoot the cannon yourself. But this means one less gun to salvage. The ideal approach is to shoot at their legs (see? I told you) so that they're disabled and the resistance can grab as much stuff as possible from the fallen mess. And this is where it gets tricky; first of all even the big cybrids seem to be as fast-moving as you. They're also bigger, more numerous, more heavily armoured and have better weaponry. (That job in Burger King is still going if you've changed your mind.) Anyway, this means you don't really have the time to stand around, aiming carefully at their legs; if you do, it won't be long before your much-prized herc is only fit for recycling into beer cans. This means the Career mode has quite a high degree of difficulty.

Building

After each mission, the amount of salvage your squad collected is given to you in numerical terms. (It operates more like a unit of currency than a collection of actual body parts.) The Build I screen is where you use the stuff to create new hercs; the amount needed to build the next machine in the upgrade process is shown, along with how much you've got. It's the only way you re going to get a better one, and even then, some of the salvage will be needed to repair damage to the hercs already being used. The damage indication screen is extensive, to say the least, covering everything from legs and weapons to on-board toasters and nasal hair trimmers. The damage accrued is always logical, both on your own and on enemy cybrids with external systems being written off before internal ones (one of the function keys gives you a rough estimate of the enemy's damage during combat, so that you can target your attacks effectively).

War is heck

Basically, that's it. Your progress in the game affects the success of the human resistance forces, and it will take a great deal of invested time and effort to win through in the end.

The sound effects are extremely effective - among the best I've heard for "blow-uppy" noises - and the graphics are pretty good for the machine shapes, even if the buildings and hills still look a bit polygon-like. The movement of the various machines is well done, and there are few more satisfying sights than seeing a cybrid slump to its... er. hips I suppose... after you've blown its legs off. It has good attention to detail, plenty of game life and is good blasting fun.

Download Metaltech: Earthsiege

PC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Don't you just love scientists? When they're not poking sharp bits of metal into hamsters' eyeballs to see if it hurts or not. they're busy fiddling with dangerous things that by rights should earn them a punch in the testicles, but instead, usually gets them an enormous government grant on the off-chance that whatever they're making can be used as a weapon.

It's November 29th. 247I at half past six. and the scientists have gone and done it again. They've created an artificial intelligence with neural connectors and a biological model. Anyone else would think. "Well, that worked. Well done, everybody, but let's switch it off now, because I seem to remember from watching some old films and playing antique computer games that these things have an unnerving habit of going awry."

But not a scientist. Scientists are empiricists to their very core. So they stick it into a herc - a heavily-armoured, battle robot the size of an office block, equipped with more weapons of destruction than the average Third World country. I think we can all guess what happens next. And sure enough, at approximately six thirty-two, the new cybrid decides that it doesn't want to spend its time emptying ashtrays, polishing the floor and generally playing the lackey, and decides instead to wipe out the human race. And this is where you come in. A small band of rather foolhardy humans has decided to make a stand against the mighty warmongering machines - probably to impress some chick, or something - and you enrol as a pilot. Well, it's either that or get a job in Burger King. The question is can you overthrow the demonic creations from the pits of some sick scientists' minds, or will you get wiped out before you've even switched the ignition on?

Wrecks on legs

What you'll be piloting is in effect, a gigantic tank with legs. Quite why they wanted to put the thing on legs is beyond me - let's face it it's the first thing anyone's going to shoot at isn't it? But we've already established that scientists are fools. Like a tank, there's a main turret which can swivel independently of the direction you're travelling. Like a starfighter from X-WIng, there's also a central power supply which can be adjusted and directed to wherever you feel it's needed most - extra oomph to the particle beam, more zap to the pulse cannon, more power to the cigar lighter, or whatever. Also, like a starfighter the operational direction of the shields can be adjusted. (More shield power behind when you're running away is always handy.) And like a flight sim there's a Head Up Display to show your waypoint, turret orientation, target lock, etc.; a Head Down Display to show the status of your hi kc and communicate with other hercs in your squad (assuming you haven't allowed them all to be wiped out already).

One-off missions

Like all Dynamix simulations from Red Baron onwards, there's a fairly extensive range of ways to customise individual missions to make things as easy or difficult as you like; you can be invulnerable and have unlimited weapons, and still choose from a range of difficulty levels which will operate independently of other selections. (The harder the difficulty, the quicker, more numerous and more intelligent your enemies, and the greater their rate of fire.) You can decide whether it's a day dusk or night mission, and what the level of visibility is like. More importantly, you can select any herc to carry out the mission - you're not just stuck with the lightweight, crappy ones, you can go for anything from the nippy but vulnerable Roadrunner right up to the gigantic, lumbering and aptly-named Colossus. The cockpit layout differs from machine to machine. You can load any combination of weapons onto them (as long as the structure has room for them). And you can choose the type of mission - patrol, reconnaissance, scramble, or whatever.

Campaign mode

In Campaign mode, you're in trouble, basically. The wide range of hercs available to you in the one-off mission modes are nowhere to be seen. This is because the human resistance forces have no way to make the machines, so are forced to make do with what they can get - and what they can get are the two crappiest machines available. They're light and fast, but have little strength compared to some of the heavy-firing, gargantuan monsters you'll be facing. And because they're so relatively light themselves, the armaments they can carry are reduced to cannons and the odd laser - in other words; few not especially heavy-hitting, and basic.

The only way to improve matters is to salvage parts and technology from the cybrids you take out. Unfortunately, this tends to go against every rule of survival; if someone's shooting at you with a big cannon, it's a good idea to shoot the cannon yourself. But this means one less gun to salvage. The ideal approach is to shoot at their legs (see? I told you) so that they're disabled and the resistance can grab as much stuff as possible from the fallen mess. And this is where it gets tricky; first of all even the big cybrids seem to be as fast-moving as you. They're also bigger, more numerous, more heavily armoured and have better weaponry. (That job in Burger King is still going if you've changed your mind.) Anyway, this means you don't really have the time to stand around, aiming carefully at their legs; if you do, it won't be long before your much-prized herc is only fit for recycling into beer cans. This means the Career mode has quite a high degree of difficulty.

Building

After each mission, the amount of salvage your squad collected is given to you in numerical terms. (It operates more like a unit of currency than a collection of actual body parts.) The Build I screen is where you use the stuff to create new hercs; the amount needed to build the next machine in the upgrade process is shown, along with how much you've got. It's the only way you re going to get a better one, and even then, some of the salvage will be needed to repair damage to the hercs already being used. The damage indication screen is extensive, to say the least, covering everything from legs and weapons to on-board toasters and nasal hair trimmers. The damage accrued is always logical, both on your own and on enemy cybrids with external systems being written off before internal ones (one of the function keys gives you a rough estimate of the enemy's damage during combat, so that you can target your attacks effectively).

War is heck

Basically, that's it. Your progress in the game affects the success of the human resistance forces, and it will take a great deal of invested time and effort to win through in the end.

The sound effects are extremely effective - among the best I've heard for "blow-uppy" noises - and the graphics are pretty good for the machine shapes, even if the buildings and hills still look a bit polygon-like. The movement of the various machines is well done, and there are few more satisfying sights than seeing a cybrid slump to its... er. hips I suppose... after you've blown its legs off. It has good attention to detail, plenty of game life and is good blasting fun.

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