STAFF REVIEW of Gun Metal (Xbox)


Tuesday, October 15, 2002.
by Underdog

Gun Metal Box art In Majesco's and Rage Software' latest title for the Xbox, Gunmetal, the great battle on Earth has ended and now us humans need a new place to crash for a few more thousand years. So with the technology to stabilize wormholes in space we found a planet similar to Earth called Helios. All is swell in hopes of rebuilding man kind, until that very same wormhole that help save the people of Earth opened up and unleashed what seemed to be an endless armada of ships bent on destroying everyone and everything in site. So now our last hope is an experimental project, codename Gun Metal, which stands in at 30 ft, has an arsenal of devastating power and has one last ace in the hole, the ability to transform into a fighter jet. With all that at your disposal, the human might just have shot.


Before I go on about my opinions of this game, I'll save some of you guys a few minutes of your life and tell you. If you are a Mech junkie and in need for a fix, you don't need to read any more. Just stop right here and do something more enjoyable, like make your own Mech out of Leggos, because this game is not for you.


The gameplay, while not mind blowing, but very difficult, had some kind of hold onto me. I found it hard to put the controller down in hopes that I may exceed to the next level, but sad to say that feeling slowly faded away. As you start playing there are no cut scenes to help get your game face on. Instead objectives are pointed out over a small 3D map by a commanding officer, who then sends you on your way into some missions that lacked some originality. On almost all the missions it seemed you were ordered to protect a city from being destroyed or some kind of convoy from the same fate.


You know the really sad thing about the story line for this game, is the fact it has none. The only way I found out why this Mech was called into combat, was to read the manual and what gamer wants to do that. I know not this one; I like to jump right into a game, because now a days, games have tutorials and some kind of story line to help you out, but nooooo not Gunmetal.


The controls for Gun Metal weren't that bad, I've read in other reviews that some people had a hard time to the configuration of the controller. I didn't seem to have that problem. The left trigger is used for your missiles and while the right controls the primary weapon, the A button is for cycling through weapons, the B is for turning on and off your auto-aiming, the X is jump, and the Y is for transform. While the control configuration was nice, controlling the Mech, that was in a league all by it's self. I felt while playing as the Mech, I was slow, hard to control and almost clumsy, but as soon as I transformed my feelings were the exact opposite.


Something that Gunmetal has plenty of and that is weapons. There are a total of 24 different types of weapons you can have at your disposal but you start the game with a hand full. So you have to play to unlock the rest of your arsenal, but everybody knows that, heck that's video gaming 101. To help you shoot, your Mech is equipped with an auto aiming system that comes in handy, since enemies come in groups.


Transforming I would say would have to be one of Gunmetal's strong points. The animations from Mech to fighter jet were very smooth and while flying the jet, did give you a good feel of speed. The worst thing I think going for Gunmetal in the visual department would have to be everything else. The development team should have dipped a little more into the power of the Xbox. Believe me it was real hard to say that due to the fact, I can't make a game, but I know what I like and Gunmetal's visual I don't. The enemy ground troops in this game remind me of Atari's Berserk. The ships and tanks were a little more pleasant to look at, but those too had a very boxy theme to them, maybe that is due to all the sharp angles and lines that seemed to run amuck thoughout the game.


Sound was pretty typical of this kind of game, explosions, gun blasts, etc. It would have been nice to have some surround sound action going on will fighting, but alas none was to be found. Gunmetal does give you the ability to use your own tunes while playing, that is always a plus in my book. There is one thing and I think the majority of you tha thave played this game would agree, that commander's voice got on my nerves so much, especially talking to you when you are in a heated battle, it just destroyed my concentration.


Suggestions:
Please use all that Xbox is capable of doing. Come up with a story to sink our teeth into. You guys were on the right track, but seemed a little distracted, maybe force to spit this game out quickly. You could give us a surround sound feel, you got to admit, to hear all those explosions and gun shots all around you would kick ass. I know in your story there was only supposed to be on Mech but could you bend the rule just a bit and put a multiplayer/co-op mode in? One last thing, if there is a Gunmetal 2 please cast a new person for the Commander.


Overall: 5.0 / 10
Gameplay: 5.0 / 10
Visuals: 4.0 / 10
Sound: 5.0 / 10

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