From Software’s action-packed Metal Wolf Chaos XD has now found its way to PS4 thanks to Devolver Digital. How does it fare on Sony’s console? Find out in our Metal Wolf Chaos XD review!
If ever there was a game that took its title from a randomly selected list of words that sound cool, Metal Wolf Chaos would be it. First released as an exclusive for the original Xbox in Japan, This From Software game is best described as a Japanese Anime-esque take on what the American presidency would be like if everything related to it was a crazy, chaotic mess of a horror show. Originally released in 2004, this game was clearly ahead of its time.
Metal Wolf Chaos XD sees you playing the role of Michael Wilson, the President of the United States, whom after a coup d’ etat by his Vice President Richard Hawk and the military forces, is ousted from his presidency. The country becomes a dystopian militaristic state, and only the President and his quip happy personal assistant Jody can fix things. How will the President save the day? What a silly question… with his mech suit of course!
Metal Wolf Chaos XD is a third-person mech shooter that sees you in control of the Metal Wolf, taking on the full might of the military all across the United States, liberating it one city at a time. Make no mistake: the mech suit is the star of the show. Armed with eight weapons slots, each slot can be packed with a large, over-enthusiastic version of their real-life counterpart, from handguns to rifles, shotguns, rocket launchers and more. Choosing the right weapons for the next mission will be crucial since weapons have an ammo limit to keep in mind.
Controlling the mech is an interesting affair. The left analog stick, as expected, is used for movement, and pushing it down activates a boost function which all said is not as “meaty” as it could have been, especially as it is easy to step out of the boost without meaning to. As mentioned before, you are given eight weapon slots to work with, with four on each arm. The L2 button is used to fire the left weapon, and the R2 button is for firing the right one. Tapping the Circle button allows you to switch the function of the L2/R2 buttons, from firing weapons to “weapon select” mode, which can be a bit tricky when you’re right in the middle of a heated battle. This is a weird decision since they could have mapped it to the L1 and R1 buttons.
Since you’re in control of a giant mech suit, it comes as no surprise that common soldiers are embarrassingly easy to dispatch. It’s only when you start to battle larger enemies, from tanks to helicopters and other mechs that opponents start to be a bit more challenging. There is a “stomp” mechanic that can be used by jumping with the X button and then pressing the Triangle button, but this feels a bit lacking considering you’re supposed to be walking around a large and heavy technologically advanced mech suit. In defense of the move, it is more of an area of attack thing than a direct attack that will pack a bigger punch, but it does feel a bit off.
As for the visuals, this is one of the places where the game seems to be a bit of a letdown. Yes, it’s is an almost 15-year-old game, but in this age of remasters and remakes, it feels as though Devolver Digital could have done a bit more. Most of the textures still look like they’re from an original Xbox game, but at least the presentation is now widescreen, and some other smaller things have been reworked here and there. If you think of this as the port of a game we missed on having back in the day, then the graphics thing is not going to be a deal-breaker.
The audio is another place where the game is a bit lacking. To me, the soundtrack feels a little all over the place, with some tracks fitting their purpose whilst others feel greatly out of place. This may have been a stylistic choice by the composer, but for me it feels jarring, sometimes pulling you out of the experience. Another issue is with the voice work. The sound mixing is poor at best with some lines, particularly from Jody, not being clear, leaving you to rely on the subtitles to figure out what is being said.
Ultimately, Metal Wolf Chaos XD feels like a missed opportunity. It’s a fun game that could have been remastered into a new and improved experience on PlayStation 4. Instead, we get a port of a game that we otherwise would not have had a chance to play, but that is definitely showing its age.
PSN Price: $29.99
This Metal Wolf Chaos X review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Devolver Digital.