Metal Wolf Chaos Hands-On

Another big robot game on the Xbox? Relax--this one's full of pick-up-and-shoot arcade action.

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TOKYO--Metal Wolf Chaos may very well have the most awesome video game story ever conceived. It's the mid-21st century, and terrorists have seized control of the United States through a coup. What's the most advisable course of action? Why, the president himself must climb into a massive suit of powered armor and hit San Francisco's Chinatown to put those terrorist bastards back in their place, of course. Yes, that's the president of the United States. Piloting a big robot. Laying waste. We can't make this stuff up.

Regardless of the absurdity of the story, Metal Wolf Chaos presents you with easily accessible third-person shooting action that's very arcade-style. You can run around, jump with the aid of rocket boosters, and fire two weapons independently of one another with the two shoulder triggers. Your right weapon defaults to a standard machine gun and you're left with a heavy cannon, but you can hold down the B button to cycle through other available weapons, such as an extremely powerful cluster missile. Ammo is limited, so you'll have to watch what you shoot (but it's not all that limited, so don't conserve too much).

The roughly 10-minute demo level we played offered a ton of foot soldiers, which were easily mowed down by our regular machine gun, and several tanks and armored vehicles, which required a little more pounding on from our heavier weapons. One of the best things about this level was the greatly destructible environments--we were able to obliterate all manner of windows, neon signage, and so forth in the course of defending liberty. And the last boss of the level required us to destroy an entire multistory storefront, complete with handy little "target" indicators to show us where we should be shooting. Trashing this entire building, as well as the rest of the level, was a great deal of fun--who doesn't like blowing stuff up?

Metal Wolf Chaos looks like it ought to be a pretty entertaining (if not particularly complex) action affair for the Xbox. The visuals weren't quite up to the standard of many Xbox games, but they got the job done well enough, and the explosive scenery was certainly a nice touch. We'll bring you more on Metal Wolf Chaos soon.

For more updates, be sure to check GameSpot's coverage of the Tokyo Game Show 2004.

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