Metal Wolf Chaos XD feels like the product of a two-day cocaine bender spent watching 80s action movies. Just like those classic films, it’s a product of its time, for both good and bad, and yet, for the same reasons, some gamers are going to love it despite any faults. Keep reading to see if you’re one of them.
Metal Wolf Chaos XD’s story is going full bonkers, and the dialogue has more cheese than the state of Wisconsin. The Vice President of the United States decided to pull a little coup d’etat. As the President of the United States (something you are reminded of many times), you hop into a well-armed mech suit to bring freedom and justice back to the homeland, while being aided and directed over a radio by your secretary Jody. There is also a side story about a reporter for DNN who comes to see that the President’s ideals are correct.
The game leans into the crazy. Hard. It bathes in it, and the dialogue can be groan worthy at times. It can even cross into annoying territory. Some are going to love it for what it is. If not, don’t take it too seriously, and you’ll be fine. You can also skip story segments if you’d like.
That walking gun shop can house up to eight different guns. There are four on each side, and they pop out when you click the circle button to change them. After a few clicks of the right and left trigger, smash the circle button again, and they snap closed. Weapons cover categories from sniper rifles, handguns, bazookas, missile launchers, and others.
There are a lot of ballistic options, and I didn’t see all of them even after beating the game. Each one must be unlocked and manufactured using the funds and metal from previous missions. If you want the best weapons, you may have to grind a few previous missions to have enough. Missions are easily selectable, and you can stomp that boss who gave you trouble earlier. It also gives you a chance to rescue more hostages, find upgrades for your suit, and grab more loot in the level. When you do return to a previous level, you can feel the difference after arming and powering up.
Metal Wolf Chaos XD is an arcade mech game. The levels are meant to be replayed, and you are scored at the end. There is some strategy in which weapons to take on which mission, but the action is fast, the explosions are delightfully frequent with a lot of environmental destruction, and the moment to moment gameplay is fun. My only reservation here is that the controls sometimes feel a little slow or seem to lag. It could be my imagination (or lack of git gud-ness), but it was frustrating to be hammered by something it felt like I could have avoided, only to die and restart the level from the beginning. Most of the time the controls were good.
Technically, the game is a mixed bag. I had some AI issues in which a tank only fired at the wall, even though I was standing right next to it. Some mines would float in the air. Some shots would go through the target if I was in a certain position. I was hit by an energy cannon, even though I was behind a wall. The game did crash once. None of these things happen frequently. Most are minor annoyances, but you can expect to see some of it.
Visually, the game looks good for what it is, and the overall presentation is solid. I checked out some videos of the original to get a feel for how much had been done, and this new version is night and day. As you might expect for a game originally released in 2004, there are still rough textures, and parts of the game don’t look great. However, this version of the game is superior in every way. If you’ve been waiting to play it, these visuals were worth the wait.
The sound is where I have my biggest problems. The sound effects are as low res as the visuals, but that’s not an issue. The dialogue with Jody in the game is really quiet compared to everything else. You can turn down the music and effects volume while increasing voices, but that feels bad too and requires turning up the volume a bit. I would recommend turning on the subtitles and reading the dialogue. It’s not great, but it’s fine.
The sound problem I hate in the game is the different volume levels between the mission volume and the cutscenes with the DNN news network propaganda. Those segments are so much louder that I would have to jump for the remote to turn down the volume a lot when this played and turn it back up after it ended. It may not bother you as much, but I couldn’t stand it. Some of these cutscenes were skipped, because I didn’t want to deal with it.
Overall, Metal Wolf Chaos XD is gaming junk food in the best way. It puts you in a mech suit, lets you choose your armament, and encourages you to use it with a lot of environmental destruction. The gameplay can be fun, the story is beyond over-the-top, and it’s the best way to experience a game that was never shipped West fifteen years ago. You will need to deal with the visuals, quirks, and crazy dialogue from that era as well as some questionable sound choices, but, if you want dumb, explosive fun, there may be no better choice this year.
Metal Wolf Chaos XD PS4 Review
Overall - Very Good - 7/10
After finally becoming available fifteen years after release, Metal Wolf Chaos XD brings its insane story, cheesy dialogue, and explosive mech action in a much improved version of the game. Despite the visuals looking a bit dated and some annoying sound issues, this is a game that delivers fun, arcade action in a package that’s true to the vision of the original for better and worse.
- Explosive action and replayability
- The story fully embraces its unique sense of weirdness
- The dialogue can be unintentionally funny and generally wacky
- Dialogue volume is too low
- DNN cutscenes are too loud
- Dialogue can wear out it’s welcome at times
Reviewed using PS4 Pro.