A century in the future, MetalWars3 is set under the guise of a unified planet Earth called the Earth Federation. An army of highly sophisticated robotic Mechs (similar to transformers) has been built up to crush the growing dissent among minorities who oppose the unification of all nations on Earth. However, dissent grows among EF forces themselves as they are asked to repress more and more of the population.
ATLUS fighters are an elite organisation formed within the EF who aim to take out the EF leaders. And from here the game pretty much starts.
Things get off to a rocky start as you have to assemble one of the ‘Mechs’ before you can play the game. A tedious and unnecessary introduction to the in-game store.
The Same Old Sci-Fi
During the opening minutes of MetalWars3 things look oddly familiar. The same ‘futuristic’ stereotypes applied in Halo seem to apply here. Cliché bases, data systems, huge labs and metallic environments are everywhere. Don’t expect a creative original here.
However, things do get better. The in-game combat largely consists of piloting huge Mechs who are dropped onto the battlefield by a mother ship. With these you use a combination of lasers, machine guns and rockets to take out similar machines, piloted by those who have remained loyal to the Earth Federation.
Some Good, Some Bad
The HUD, consisting of a crosshair, radar and on-screen controls is great. It doesn’t get in the way of the combat and the look fits the game quite nicely.
In terms of graphics the game has both good and bad aspects. The ‘Mechs’, weaponry and effects such as explosions are very nicely done. You can see the designers definitely paid attention to detail. However, much of the landscape is awful. If you look at the screenshot above where the Mech is walking through a deep gorge, the cliffs on either side look like an oil painting stretched to the point of pixelation.
The sound effects too can be cartoon-ish at times. When you fire your laser there is no electrical discharge, no buzz or ‘umph’ of power. Instead you’re treated to the traditional and uninspiring ‘zap’ that’s featured in every 1980s sci-fi film. They’ve also gone for the bog-standard female mission controller who annoyingly appears on-screen with ribbons of text to read every time the game thinks you need a reminder of just what’s going on.
Although sound effects are no good the soundtrack more than makes up for it. It’s futuristic, original and despite lacking depth it totally matches the mood of each mission.
But it Plays so Good!
The AI is intelligent but at times can seem repetitive. Most combat is initiated immediately after you cross an invisible line which puts you in range of their weapons. All you have to do is forego your automatic lock-on system and opt instead to fire on them from further away. This gets more difficult as the game progresses but in the early stages it’s an obvious workaround.
My favourite thing about MetalWars3 is how difficult the game is – particularly on hard mode. It took me five or six tries to complete each mission which certainly guarantees some extensive playing time.
Also, when playing on a touchscreen device, controlling the aiming and firing at the same time can be difficult. The developers have a lock-on system which targets an enemy automatically but only when they’re within the bigger square which you can see in the screenshots. This definitely improves the experience a lot for those without an Ouya.
Overall, I found this to be a good game but by no means great. Yes it has its flaws, but the game-play and customization aspects of the weaponry bring something refreshing to the table. For just €1.45/$1.99 it’s definitely worth a try for fans of Sci-Fi games.