Metal Wolf Chaos was insane back in 2004 when it was released on the original Xbox in Japan. It was known for it’s ridiculous cutscenes and over the top depiction of the United States. Now just over fifteen years later, this action game is available for the first time outside of the East in the form of Metal Wolf Chaos XD.
Yes, I was not exaggerating when I say this was a completely bonkers depiction of the United States. The opening of this game sees the president escaping from an attack on the White House from none other than the Vice President himself, and let me not forget that they’re both piloting mechs this whole time. While the game has a stellar opening the actual gameplay feels old and even a little bland.
As the president, you have been named an enemy of the state now must liberate the U.S. from the vice president who has enacted martial law. Your mech has an arsenal of Machine guns, rocket launchers, missile launchers, and flamethrowers you can unlock by earning money from completing missions and investing that money back into the development of each weapon type. Once invested you can then buy more powerful weapons to bring into battle. You can bring up to 8 of these weapons into any mission with four for each hand.
Even with the most impressive loadout of weapons, none of them really had any weight behind them. Even the biggest rail gun bolted onto this mech felt like it made little impact. It doesn’t help that most of what you fight are generic enemy towers or encampments to destroy over, and over, and over again. Even boss fights against enemy mechs dont have alot of drama to them. So while the game has many things to explode, it all starts to blend together pretty fast. It becomes mindless, and gives me a similar feeling to the action in some musou games.
This being a re-release means it comes with plenty of updates to the game like upscaled textures for modern screens, english subtitles, and an updated UI. Some of these are welcome, but I feel like some more work could be done. The VO and audio were updated but some of the mixing feels off, some voice over is much louder than others and I’m unsure if this was an attempt to keep the authenticity of the original game or a weird choice for this remaster.
The game will now save your progress between missions as well, but some kind of checkpointing system would have been very welcome. I found myself in a few situations where the game bugged out, like me getting stuck on an invisible bridge, then said bridge collapsing, dropping me into the pit of death, and making me start the entire level over having lost at least 25 minutes of progress. Yes if you die in a level you have to start over from the very beginning. I feel like this may have been a case were authenticity could have been overruled for player convenience.
Metal Wolf Chaos XD feels like a partial attempt to fix a somewhat already broken game from fifteen years ago. I don’t know if they wanted to actually preserve this weird mess, or kept a lot of how it was so not to alienate some of the die hard fans. It’s weird in some good ways and also very not good ways. I remember years ago seeing the cutscenes on YouTube and thinking how could something so crazy possibly exist and I at least got the answer now even if it was a mildly disappointing one.
This game was reviewed on a PlayStation 4 Pro review code provided by a PR Representative for the game