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Video games, PC games, or other interactive media that's currently caught my attention ...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Chromehounds (Xbox 360)

I'm playing the Chromehounds demo for the Xbox 360.

This is next-gen(ish) mech game, kind of sim-ish in tone, and pretty fun.

The demo consists of two brief single-player levels -- "search and destroy" and "sniping".

The demo has no customizing of the mechs (called "Hounds" in the game), but the game play is pretty solid, if not totally next-gen. Lots of things are destructable (from light posts to trees to buildings), but they're canned -- they always collapse the same way after a set number of hits, depending on the objects (kind of like a less-pretty version of Halo 2's warhog demolition).

Actually, the physics in general could use some work. For example, pounding away with big shells at the ground near on-foot soldiers has no effect -- you've got to physically hit them to make a difference. Also, I'm really waiting for a next-gen mech game where falling down a mountain looks and feels "real" -- think the scene in Return of the Jedi where the AT-ST (scout walker) is tumbling about on Ewok logs, before wiping out and exploding.

On the plus side, there is some nice attention to detail, like when I fell down said mountain, I damaged my hydraulics, which caused some stilted movement and sparking, and this was carried over into the ending cut-scene in the sniper level. And the voice acting doesn't totally suck

Also, the brief bits of music are really pretty amazing.

Overall, this game feels to me be a mix somewhere between the phenomenal Heavy Gear PC series and Microsoft's own (excellent) MechAssault II: Lone Wolf.

I'm thinking multiplayer is going to be where it's at with this game -- and it'll be the only new game in town for the summer Xbox 360 mutliplayer front (unless 3D Realms totally fixes Prey's mutliplayer pain fest).

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