Metal Wolf Chaos XD Review – XD is the Right Title
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Developer: FromSoftware, General Arcade (Port)
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Release: 6th August 2018
Metal Wolf Chaos is a curious beast. Being released in Japan in 2004 by FromSoftware long before Demon’s Souls was even a thing and they were still pouring their main resources in the RPG franchises that would slowly become the genre defining Souls series and their Armored Core series. However, while Japan exclusive for 15 years, Metal Wolf Chaos actually featured an english dub and a whole lot of america, making its lacking western release all the more surprising. So, after all this time, Devolver Digital decided to port it to modern hardware as well as localize it and luckily they did.
Metal Wolf Chaos’ storyline is equally as perplexing and entertaining, circeling around the US president having to reconquer his country after a coup d´etat by vice president RICHAAARD and damn it´s a dum and cool ride. So he battles through the evil new government in order to reclaim his rightful throne!
The biggest strength of this premise alone is obviously the retardedly amazing writing. Relying heavily on every single cliche a Japanese or in fact anyone outside the US could have of this country, if they rely solely on old-school american action movies, delivers lines like “I can´t die because I´m the president of the United States of America” or basically anything followed up by “I´m the president of the United States of America”. It´s dumb, clearly a parody on this whole culture and I love it. In fact, Metal Wolf Chaos biggest strength to date is this always funny but most and foremost creative writing, constantly delivering 4th wall jokes, really well made cutscenes or just the catchphrases everyone should know through memes. It´s a fest of stupidity you rarely find nowadays and is unique even to this day, especially to this degree and warrants a purchase alone.
It better be because Metal Wolf Chaos XD suffers from a wide number of problems in its gameplay. Its core gameplay consists of shooting and bombing your way through the numerous areas, freeing citizens by shooting their jails, destroying watchtowers, kill the enemy forces, you know, the usual stuff. The whole shooter part works surprisingly well even today, putting you in the shoes of mister president in his giant mech, armed with a wide array of customizable weapons, the ability to jump, dodge or “sprint” as well as a snappy aim system. All by itself, this is totally fine even for today´s standards and offers some surprisingly fluid combat, you can even groundsmash!
Unfortunately, the level design suffers from some flaws, that even today´s games don´t really learned to fix. On the one hand it recycles pretty much the same mission structure many, many times. While the missions themselves are rather short and try to mix it up with a more interesting level design, the environments also loop a few levels, meaning, many individual missions began to feel like one big one seemingly, draining my energy fasther than I´ve thought.
On the other hand though, as much as I love the dozens of different weapons, I´m not a fan of the employed ammunition limit combined with the design itself and the research system. Due to having to research many weapons, most of the cool stuff takes a few missions, leaving you with the normal guns and their mediocre power. Now combined with the short but quite ammo demanding missions, as you and the game want to destroy everything, many of the early parts can feel like a drag.
Otherwise, especially the port itself is excellent, it better be since it was delayed by more than half a year. Featuring support for pretty much any resolution, acceptable graphic settings for a game that should run on every potato and of course an optimization that never drains too much power from GPU or CPU. While it´s still locked at 30fps, mainly due to its hardcoded nature, I never had any crashes, bugs or wahtsoever, Metal Wolf Chaos XD is just a really good port on PC and still looks pretty decent for a PS2 game.
Metal Wolf Chaos XD is exactly what it markets itself to be: A totally absurd trip through america that is worth it for its jokes and writing alone. Suffering from some problems, it´s still an enjoyable mech 3rd person shooter with a neat movement and mobility, which manages to entertain if you can overcome the dragging first missions and general repetition.
[A Review Code was provided by Devolver Digital]