FromSoftware is known for consistently releasing high-quality RPG’s every two years or so.
Or, at least, they have been for the past ten or so years. Before the release of their genre-defining title, Demon Souls, back in 2009 (the predecessor to the company’s immensely successful Dark Souls franchise), the company had developed a slew of games that are basically unheard of at this point, with no deposit codes fair go at em.
Amongst them was a series of moderately popular mech-titles known as the “Armored Core” franchise, and in 2004 FromSoftware released Metal Wolf Chaos. Why should you care? Because back in August, FromSoftware released an updated PC version (Metal Wolf Chaos XD) to steam, and you can buy it right now!
If you have played FromSoftware games before, like Dark Souls or Bloodborne, don’t worry- this is nothing like those games. Rather than exploring a deeply complex world, requiring skill and perseverance to overcome challenges and claw your way to victory, Metal Wolf Chaos is more about blowing everything up.
In that sense, if you’re familiar with the Armored Core franchise, you’ll find familiar mechanics here. A surprisingly fun set of Mech mechanics lets you run around, blowing up everything in sight until the game tells you to stop. And then some.
Don’t get me wrong, some of the jankiness that you’ll get from 2004 era games still stick around. The boost (which is bound to clicking and holding the left joystick) would be better bound to, say, the right trigger.
More egregiously, there are no mid-level checkpoints, so a gameover means restarting the entire level over again. This isn’t much of a problem on the shorter levels (Phoenix and Chicago levels) but absolutely is on the lengthier ones or the ones with instant death pits (New York and Miami levels).
That’s also compounded by the unintuitive upgrade system. There are several different types of weapons you must first research, then actually buy for your mech. There are pistols, shotguns, assault rifles, machine guns, bazookas, multi missile launchers, grenade launchers, and flame throwers.
What’s the difference between machine guns and assault rifles, a knowledgeable gun owner may ask? In real life, nothing. In the game, who knows? The stats are hard to read to decipher, which makes me question if certain more expensive guns are actually better. What’s the difference between F tier and E tier Lock-on Systems for Multimissile Launchers? No idea. There’s really little to no reliable information about this game online, so you will have to work out what works for you on your own.
So, despite all of that, this game is still really fun. I’m serious. If you can get past the dated graphics and janky mechanics, you’ll have a blast roaming the continental United States, blowing buildings, helicopters, battleships, evil mecha-soldiers, and giant spider drones. And that’s just on the west coast! It’s really satisfying to grab a machine gun in each hand and just your way through enemies, many of whom literally cannot hurt you, ever!
Let me just say that the writing of this game is terrible. The voice acting is atrocious. The cutscenes are graphically dated.
And I love this game all the more for it.
Half the reason I recommend this game is to experience American Patriotism through the lens of over-the-top, Japanese storytelling.
You play as Michael Wilson, forty-seventh President of the United States. The Vice-President, Richard Hawke, organizes a coup d’etat and takes control of the White House and the United States. Micheal Wilson manages to narrowly escape to Air Force One in his Mech-Suit and vows to return and save AMERICA.
Throughout the game, you’ll experience some of the best one-liners ever written in gaming history, such as:
“SUCH MY MISSLE… PUNCH!”
“I’ll crush you faster than a Florida recount!”
“I’m no hero, I’m just doing my job as PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.”
“As the gas closed in, the girl looked to the sky and saw God. And God was made of steel.”
Believe me, you will never play anything else quite like Metal Wolf Chaos. It’s jankey. It’s dated. But it’s passionate and fun in ways that by-the-book, triple-A titles simply can’t be. This belongs among some of the best B-Games available.