From the intro and the box I was expecting something wonderful. And then I got to the training missions and I became hesitant, and then once I got to the missions I became very disappointed. I had hopped that some of the multiplayer options might have saved this game, but even there I did not find anything to raise this game up from the depths of mediocrity.
From the start I was visually impressed by the introduction, but I have to say I was lost by what I has hearing of the story. But at the time I figured I was new to the story line and that this was just another one of those games where the story would make more sense once I got into the game.
The training area was a big grid map with taller areas but visually very boring, and while I found the training to be helpful and the controls easy to use, I begin to worry about the boring look of the enemies and why my weapons could shoot really far but why I did not have any kind of option to zoom in to look around the battlefield or a way to zoom in and aim my weapons.
As I said the controls where easy to learn and I quickly got the hang of flying around the training zone, locking in on my enemies and blowing them away, switching weapons on my right and left arm and I was ready to take on the world.
The back story on the first mission still left me confused, but the actual mission was easy enough and when I got to select my Mech, I picked one that was easy to control and sounded like a sniper. I was still hoping for a way to zoom in, even though I could not find anything in the manual by this point.
The mission was to go in and destroy the enemy. No problem there, but then the training missions did not mention that the game would end if you left the map, including trying to fly across the river and avoid walking across the bridge where all the bad guys were standing. Reload and do it the way they want — no problem.
Sadly many of the missions were that straight forward. Then next one I picked was to shoot everything out of the sky that was going to blow up this city and again, even though I knew better by now, I missed a couple and tried to pursue them and again, stupidly left the map"reload.
The graphics on the missions I mentioned so far went from bad to worse. In the first mission it was a cityscape and there were buildings, though they were poorly defined block buildings and a boring looking bridge – and all in washed out colors. The back story did mention that the city was abandoned, but you would think that would make for more colors and more interesting landscape, not less. The frustrating thing for me was again the only way I could find the enemy was on my radar once I got close enough on the target select window.
Two things at this point kept me playing this game, and not stopping after two missions was that you could customize your Mech with new weapons and that I still had yet to try multi-player. After each mission you can spend the money you earn customizing the guns, missiles, heads and stabilizers of your Mech, which helps make the missions more fun as you test out your latest additions.
Multiplayer was the final disappointment, I thought the game was visually disappointing before, but multiplier really emphasized this to me in a whole new way.
On the plus side you can check out how others have configured their Mechs and trade schematics and maybe learn a new tactic you had not thought about. And of course it is fun to kill your friends, but the maps are no better then the ones in the single player missions.
Overall, I love Mech combat games and I have to say, I was expecting a heck of a lot more from a 10th anniversary edition of a long running and previously top performing game. The graphics were atrocious, the missions were rarely challenging, and the whole story line was just confusing.