Also available on Xbox, Xbox One, and Windows
Review written by Stephen Deck; originally published 9/3/2019 on Teacher by Day, Gamer by Night
Metal Wolf Chaos is a bit of an odd story in the history of gaming. It’s a game that was released fairly late in the life of the original Xbox – a system that only really saw success in the United States – about an American vice president who ousts the president in a coup, it takes place almost exclusively in the United States, it’s voice entirely in English, and yet was only released in Japan. Everything about this game screams “American release” if not a release exclusive to North America, but it never saw a release outside of Japan….UNTIL NOW.
The game starts with you, playing as the president of the United States, fleeing a large coup force from the White House. Fortunately, the president has his own personal mecha mobile armor, Metal Wolf complete with the presidential seal and massive armament of weaponry. You have to fight your way through the White House lawn, into an underground escape tunnel, and to Air Force One to escape to the west coast where you begin your one-man war to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN. It’s weird how much the coup forces and treasonous vice president remind me of Trump. You know, if Trump were at all competent or even moderately intelligent. They describe Metal Wolf and the budding resistance as a “great evil” and a threat to American freedom and justice. It’s eerie.
The game plays as an admittedly rather clunky third-person shooter. You have a SUPER limited boost ability (technically it lasts a good while, but it starts draining your health after a couple of seconds), but other than that, you’re pretty much just trudging through the levels on foot. You can have two weapons equipped at a time unless you’re using a sniper cannon or multi missile launcher as those require both hands. There is a part or two that require a little bit of platforming above some instant-death pits, and since there are no checkpoints, death means doing the entire level over again (as I found out when I got knocked into a pit with the boss of a level almost dead), and the controls are NOT conducive of platforming, so that’s not tight at all, but by and large, the controls are workable, and the game’s campy tongue-in-cheek humor makes it worth playing through.
With its visuals as with its controls, Metal Wolf Chaos shows its age. This is not a remake or a remaster; this is a straight re-release with no real changes made aside from translated menus and upscaling to modern resolutions. The textures are the same, and the frame rate is still 30 fps. Personally, I’d have liked to see a bit of polish on the aging textures and polygons or at least a frame rate bump to 60 fps, but the game is still perfectly playable and enjoyable, and at $30, it’s a fair asking price.
Metal Wolf Chaos XD is a game that Americans (or at least a few of us…the weird ones) have been wanting to play for fifteen years, but aside from emulation or importing (and then bypassing the Xbox’s region lock), it’s been out of our reach. At long last, we have available to us a game that truly does let us MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, and this time without the concentration camps or catastrophic tariffs! Truthfully, Metal Wolf Chaos isn’t an amazing game especially by today’s standards, but it’s a solid game for those who just want a fun, goofy robot blasting time. I’d recommend giving it a play for sure.