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  1. #1

    [PC, PS4, XBO] Metal Wolf Chaos XD

    What best way to test out a RTX2080? Can you think anything better than Metal Wolf Chaos XD, the enhanced port of the Japan and X Box exclusive, From Software-developed, Metal Wolf Chaos? I mean, moving XB1-era polygonal models at 4K at a blistering 30fps takes a lot of grunt!

    So yes, the game is able of 4K resolution but it's locked at 30fps, with minimal effort given to bring the game into the almost 2020s: the menu movies and menu interface is still 4:3, with large black bars in the vacant space. In these instances the very edges of the screen shows some visualization bugs, like coloured bars reminiscent of the Spectrum while loading or white lines where the mouse cursor moves. And yes, the mouse cursor is always on screen, but thankfully during briefings only.
    The in-game interface (minimap, weapons selected, health and boost bars) are still constrained by the 4:3 aspect ratio, but the game renders the full extent of a 16:9 screen.
    Textures have been reworked for higher resolution, and they look OK, but don't show a lot of detail. No new visual effects, and audio is clearly taken from the original game without any kind of cleanup.
    Subtitles are a on the small side on 4K screens, and at times they overlap with text shown in movies.
    Collisions feel a bit off against some targets (like the bombs in Beverly Hills), some drops float around the ground, and footsoldiers might be standing still doing nothing if you approach them from behind or the sides.

    As a port, Metal Wolf Chaos XD is rather poor.

    As a game...well, it's fun, but it's clearly a product of its era, and it's the easiest way to play this absolutely faithful representation of American politics.
    The pacing is similar to some Armored Core games, and the various weapons allow to approach the stages in several ways, though Railguns make sniper rifles and bazookas a bit redundant, especially when couple with missile launchers.
    Metal Wolf controls very well once you've got accostumed to the weapon switching mechanic. Dashing around soldiers and installations while raining bullets on them is fun, and the dialogue and some stages make the whole experience even funnier.

    If you can withstand a poor PC port (although I fear it won't be better on consoles), Metal Wolf Chaos XD is well worth playing.

  2. #2
    Just a very brief note: a recent patch solved interface bugs, bringing everything to 16:9 by either adding graphical inserts (menus) or reframing movies.

  3. #3
    I had resigned myself to never playing this since the Xbox copies are so expensive so I was very happy when the port got announced. After it got delayed for a while with terrible communciation from Special Reserve, I got my physical copy last week.

    My understanding is that this is a less than great port, it is missing some lighting effects (most notably the bloom) and there are some audio issues.

    I am really enjoying the game. It is a very simple shooter but a perfect arcadey, switch your brain off good time. You play the President in a mech suit, shooting his way across America to stop a coup de tat by the VP. Levels are often big and open and you can choose which objectives to go after in any order you like.

    Your mech suit holds 4 weapons per hand and you cycle through them with a very odd control method. Circle opens both weapon pods, R2 and L2 cycle through the weapons then Circle closes the pods once you've chosen. Takes a while to get used to. Once you're shooting you have machine guns, gatling guns, shotguns, bazookas etc. Each weapon has a great big box reticule on the screen and the weapons auto aim at anything within range in that reticule. It means you can march forwards laying down a massive amount of fire and just destroy everything.

    There is some good level variety. San Fransico Chinatown is a big open explorable area but the Grand Canyon is narrow and more funnelled with collapsing bridges to watch out for. There are cloaking mechs, huge fortress helicopters and an endless supply of fodder to mow down.

    The game seems short and it is pretty simple, it is more of a curio piece since it has been so rare for so long. Really enjoying it though.

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