This futuristic mech-shooter opens with an ultraslick intro movie that promises high-speed chases and high-tech destruction set to wailing Yngwie Malmsteen-esque guitar licks, but it fails to convey the game's woefully sluggish gameplay. Sadly, Murakumo is a case of style over substance. Do I want to zip effortlessly through labyrinthine cityscapes pursuing evil 'bots while unleashing unholy amounts of munitions? Hell yes! Do I also want a balanced spectrum of well-designed machinery, each one unique with its own weapons and strengths? Bring it on! Do I want these kick-ass mechs to control like unstoppable bricks being hurled through the air? Er, well...no. Murakumo's problem is that you must chase down these super-agile rogue units, but your mechs aren't up to the task. To keep up the pursuit, you've got rechargeable boosters and retro-thrusters at your disposal, but even the most nimble machine has piss-poor turning rates and reaction times. As a result, you fumble your way through by studying the A.i.'s preset paths and completing each level via trial and error. The game isn't all that hard, and with enough determination, you will get through these seemingly impossible stages. After struggling through level after level of this mundane action, I had to ask myself: Am I having fun yet? Nope, not really.
Chase robots through a futuristic city. Shoot. Repeat. Unlock new, sometimes uncontrollable, ships. Use them to chase robots through a futuristic city. Shoot. Repeat. Listen to a cheesy, pounding rock soundtrack as you chase robots through a futuristic city. Shoot. Repeat. Smash into all manner of vaguely high-tech-looking buildings while chasing robots through a futuristic city. Watch extended cut scenes while wondering if you'll ever get these wholeheartedly average minutes of your life back before chasing more robots through a futuristic city. Shoot. Repeat. Contemplate starting a nice stamp collection. Smile. Repeat.
Ordinarily, a game with sweet-looking mechs shooting the crap out of each each other at high speeds through detailed, sprawling cityscapes would be right up my alley, but Murakumo disappoints just as often as it thrills. Although the mech designs are beautiful and the presentation is slick, an overly busy HUD and vague control feedback make hunting enemies much more problematic than it should be. For example, the external view is all but useless, while clouds or gunfire usually obscure your reticle in the interior cockpit view, making it hard to see if you've locked on to your target. A frustrating, lackluster effort.
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP