METAL WOLF CHAOS XD [Review]: Hail To the Chief – I Said Hail, Dang It!

Robert “The DCD” Workman
@thedcd

Out of all the From Software games I was expecting to see make a comeback after so many years out of circulation, Metal Wolf Chaos wasn’t really the one I was asking for. Granted, I’m more of an Armored Core fanatic, so that may be more of the reason why. But, to be fair, Chaos is kind of the black sheep of mechanized robot games, a title that relies more on its goofy premise and over-the-top action than its more serious brethren. Which, to be honest, is why it’s more in the wheelhouse of the folks of Devolver Digital.

 

So it’s back with a vengeance, and available now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, in the form of Metal Wolf Chaos XD. And while very little has changed about the game, it does give you the opportunity to discover From Software’s blissfully violent game, which puts you in charge of an aggressive president (remember those?) that simply takes matters into his own hands when it comes to fighting against an evil militant force. And he does so with a heavily armed mech.

After an attack forces you out of Washington D.C., you’ll begin planning your revenge and make your way back in your mech, trashing whoever gets in your way. And this means blasting your way through opponents with an array of weapons on both of your arms, which you can cycle through with ease. These include everything from sniper rifles to machine guns to rocket launchers. You’ll have to balance out your weapons carefully, though you can always pick up ammunition after trashing some terrain (collateral damage) and moving on to the next area.

“Blasted!”

As you move along, you’ll be able to utilize some boosting, stomping and jumping to gain additional movement, and unleash your “blaze” attack to devastate everything within your range. You can only use it intermittently, but, man, does it come in handy in a pinch. There are times that the forces of evil can be overwhelming, so calling upon it when you need it the most is quite useful, to say the least.

The game has some stupid storytelling, but that’s part of its goofy fun. And fortunately, the gameplay has its moments to make up for it, particularly when you’re blasting enemies out of the sky or trashing a building into devastating, ala Earth Defense Force. It can grind a little bit at times, but overall, it’s more fun than I remember it being. I just wish there was better balancing, particularly with boss fights, as they can take a bit to get through. That’s something that could’ve used some tweaking with the game’s re-release.

Just you and me, pardner.

The game does take you a few hours to get through, and there’s also a New Game + with some tougher missions to get through, as well as unlockable skins and new loadouts to play with. And going through it again has its moments, particularly as you unlock more powerful goods. Just be prepared for a little bit of a grind on occasion.

The game’s not too bad on the visual side. It doesn’t exactly shine like some of the remasters we’ve seen as of late, as it smacks of the original Xbox quality. But it doesn’t look too shabby, and its destruction is about on the level of what you’d find in From Software’s earlier fare. Plus, the level design shows enough variance to stand out. I like the audio as well, from the goofy tunes to the humorous dialogue. It’s not quite EDF territory, but, man, it’s close.

Chump change.

Metal Wolf Chaos XD isn’t exactly an all-out classic, thanks to its lack of balance in some places, and its missing polish in others. But it’s also better than I give it credit for, due in part to its general goofiness, wild controls, and over-the-top mayhem. And when’s the last time you saw a country leader kick this much ass? Saints Row IV? Yeah, it’s been a bit. Hail to the chief indeed. 3.5/5 Half-Passed Initiatives.

-Travis Moody

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