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Xbox Review - Gun Metal

by The Six Billion Dollar Man on Aug. 28, 2002 @ 6:18 p.m. PDT

With the last of your outer defences breached and the enemy moving ever onward, destroying all that lies in its path, only one hope remains. Standing ten metres tall and equipped with an arsenal of devastating weaponry, a battle machine that can transform into a highly manoeuvrable jet fighter is your only hope of turning the tide of war. Welcome to Gunmetal.

In my opinion, Project Gun Metal incorporates the greatest idea known to man, transforming mechanical monster robots. While playing this game, I was taken back to the Transformers-filled Saturday mornings of my youth. I'm starting to get misty-eyed so enough reminiscing ... let's get to the game!

Set in the future, the basic gist of the game is that you command a super secret transforming mech called Gun Metal, and use it to fight the forces of evil. In your quest for justice, you are ordered to carry out a slew of missions that range from escorting troop convoys to defending HQ against overwhelming odds. Armed with the latest in weapons technology, you must use both the air and land to achieve your objectives. Unlike prior flying mech games, Gun Metal allows you to switch from a mech warrior into an airplane without the aid of booster or rocket packs. You can charge down an enemy force and then take to the skies to achieve offensive superiority.

As far as weapons go, you receive a full stockade of rockets, mortars, and guns. The first mission starts you out with the basics, machine guns with unlimited ammo (sweet), a flak cannon, and homing rockets. As you proceed through the missions, you will receive bigger and better weapons, improved rockets, larger guns, and better shields. This also holds true to your transformed jet side: you start off with four automatic machine guns and “dumb” missiles, which do not lock onto their targets. Be sure to aim carefully, or your missile cache will be depleted before you can blink! One really neat feature is the ability to dual wield certain guns, giving you double the demolition power.

The controls for Gun Metal are a bit cumbersome at first, but you can catch on pretty quickly. The maneuverability of your mech can be unresponsive at times, especially when you change the direction you are running. Your mech must come to a complete stop before it can move in another direction, giving the heat-seeking rocket on your tail just enough time to hit you. Maneuverability in your jet form can also be sluggish, especially when you use your afterburners and press down on the analog stick too much. That will send you hurtling to the ground and cause massive damage to your mech. The slow response times are realistic and understandable, since you are controlling a 30-foot mech. You can, however, perform 360-degree barrel rolls and loops without much interference. All in all, the controls were well done and give you complete control of your mech.

The graphics are beautiful, and the Xbox once again proves that it has the rendering power to do it. The environment itself is gorgeous, and the mountains, trees, sky, and water are masterfully crafted. As you progress, you are taken to different worlds which can range from desolate deserts to volcanically-scorched terrains. Almost every object in the world can be interacted with: trees fall when you walk through them or shoot them, the ground displays the effects of battle, buildings fall when they take too much damage, and if you are in the mood to go poaching, there is plenty of indigenous wildlife to harass or kill. ;) You are, however, limited to the specified battle field at a time, so no wandering!

In conclusion, this game rocks, the controls are great, the game play is even better, and the graphics are of the standard eye candy that you've come to expect from the Xbox. However, I am kind of disappointed that there isn't a multiplayer mode, because I was looking forward to some hellish nights of duking it out with my pals in one massive robot battle royale. I guess you can’t have your cake and eat it too ... I'm going to chalk up this title as being worth playing.

Score : 7.5/10

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