I've said it before and I'll say it again - in order for any game to be
successful, it must contain at least one of the following magical
1. Big Tits
2. Big Guns
3. Big Mechs
Although it's running a little short on the tits, I can safely assure
you that Metal Fatigue includes good amounts of mechs and guns.
On the surface Metal Fatigue looks like your standard RTS game
but after spending a few hours playing you will soon realize that
it's a different beast. The playing field is split into three separate
areas: surface, air, and underground. While you are winning the
battle on the surface thinking you the king shit, your enemy could
be getting ready to knock your ass back to the stone ages with a
huge underground army. To keep things interesting, mechs are
not allowed to go underground (apparently they are too big) so it's
a battle of vehicles and turrets.
The game feels very much like Total Annihilation in a lot of
respects. The little construction vehicles and their "building
beams" are ripped straight out of TA except instead of energy and
metal you collect energy (lava) and manpower. Unfortunately, the
unit control is sluggish and pathfinding is mediocre at best. This
can really get aggravating when you queue up a pile of units in
your factory only to come back five minutes later and see they are
all hopelessly jammed up.
Metal Fatigue includes all the usual 3D in-game camera controls.
The visuals are very crisp and there are plenty of different
resolutions to choose from. For some reason the menus and text
briefings between levels look like shit if you turn the resolution up
past 640x480. I can't understand how they could overlook such a
simple detail. My main complaint with the current batch of 3D RTS
games is that the landscapes are boring and plain looking.
Crappy-ass stretched out textures and rolling hills all over. Stop
hurting my eyes and give me something nice to look at already!
Without a doubt the coolest part of this game is the big mechs (aka
ComBots). You build all the components separately in factories
then assemble the custom mechs and assign a crew to pilot them.
The mech animations are beautiful and you will clap your hands
and jump up and down screaming like a school girl the first time
you see one of your mechs smash the shit out of an enemy tank.
Each of the three available races has special mech types available
to them like a camo-mech, which cloaks itself along with
everything nearby or my personal favourite - the jetpack mech.
Nothing beats hovering over an enemy base raining down bombs
from the sky.
The vehicle selection is a little on the boring side. You have your
choice of a tank, an artillery unit, and a missile car. Don't
underestimate these little guys though; they will turn the tide by
inflicting extra damage as your mechs are locked in combat with
the enemy. It's always good to keep a few hovertrucks near the
frontlines as they can heal your units as well as darting out and
grabbing scrap mech parts for recycling. If you manage to snag an
enemy arm or torso you can take it back to your scientific facility
and research the item so you can produce it in your own factories.
Stealing tech! I love it!
As you would expect, Metal Fatigue includes all the standard
multiplayer options. One interesting feature they added is the
pre-build stage. Basically you get a certain amount of time before
the game starts to layout a basic base defense and pump out a few
units. This was done to prevent rushing and it works like a charm.
No more excuses when you get attacked early! The game has the
ability to save and resume a game on the fly if any of the players
get desynched. While this is a great idea, I found the multiplayer
games desynch way too often. I didn't let this slow me down one
bit however, as I gave my opponent MrPhysix, of gaymeunit
infamy, the beating of his short pubescent life.
At the end of the day, Metal Fatigue just doesn't have enough to
keep you coming back for more. It's what I like to call a concept
game; Great ideas but the implementation is a little rough. With a
little more polishing this could be an A-title.