- Developer – General Arcade, From Software
- Publisher – Devolver Digital
- Platforms – PC, PS4, XBO
- Release Date – August 6, 2019
- Price – $24.99
- Reviewed On – PC and PS4
- Review Code Provided – Yes
When it comes to almost any kind of media, one of the best things I love to do is turn my brain off and take in all the campiness and cheese it can offer. It could be so bad it’s good like The Room, hilariously campy like Street Fighter: The Movie or in the case of Metal Wolf Chaos, a glorious homage to B-Movies with awful voice acting and dialogue that you’d think would be dated by today’s standards. However there’s something about Metal Wolf Chaos that works.
For those who don’t know, Metal Wolf Chaos was originally a 2004 game released only in Japan on the original Xbox by From Software. While it went under the radar when it first came out, it quickly gained a massive cult status. So much so that in recent years it has been much harder to obtain an import copy. In comes Devolver Digital with the announcement at E3 2018 to the surprise of many by announcing an HD remaster. This came after an overwhelming amount of fan demand back in 2017 when they asked if anyone would be interested in an HD remaster. The result is a solid remaster that stays true to a cult classic.
To say that Metal Wolf Chaos has a fun yet simple plot would be an understatement. In a way this is about campy as the Earth Defense Force series. You play as Michael Wilson, the 47th President of the United States as the United States plunges into a state of civil and economic unrest. The military starts a revolution led by Vice President Richard Hawk and succeeds in gaining control of the nation’s government institutions. It’s now up to you to take down Richard Hawk and save the US from nuclear destruction, all while piloting an armored mech.
There is so much charm in the story from the bad voice acting to the cheesy as hell dialogue. A lot of the memorable quotes come from Michael Wilson especially the opening cutscene which is undoubtedly the best representation of its tone. Sometimes it’s best if a game doesn’t take itself seriously and still has an enjoyable story. It’s gloriously bad in all the right ways.
If you’re familiar with Armored Core, (Another game made by From Software) you should feel right at home but even if you aren’t this is still a competent mech game. Metal Wolf gives you a good amount of fun weapons that you can upgrade as you progress. Each level is represented by a different city in the United States that has been taken over by the military.
One small problem I do have is that the game can get a bit challenging in later levels especially if you run out of ammo. Newcomers might also have a bit of a challenge if you’re unfamiliar with mech games due to a lack of tutorials and weapon management. However it’s a small price to pay as you progress through the story. That’s the best way I can describe the gameplay since it’s basically Armored Core with a massive amount of cheese but honestly that’s fine by me.
As I said before, I think this is a solid port but there are a few issues. On both my tests with the PS4 and PC versions, XD suffers from both buggy audio and sound mixing. Sometimes the sound effects are way too loud or the cutscene audio just cuts out for no reason. General Arcade has said that it’s working on fixes these issues but as of patch 1.02, the problem still remains but at least they’re aware. Much like the original Xbox release, Metal Wolf Chaos XD runs at 30FPS with English VA’s only on all platforms. It isn’t really that big of an issue because it’s tied to the game logic and I didn’t really notice any drops, in fact the same thing that happened with Shenmue 1 & 2 last year.
In regards to graphics and sound, it does the job. You’re rather limited in terms of PC options but you can scale the resolution all the way up to 4K. PS4 Pro and Xbox One X users also have this option to output at 4K although the game still remains at 30FPS. You’re also stuck with English Voice Over only I primarily played this game on PC at 1080p but whatever version you get, the remaster looks decent and sharp.
Despite some minor issues, Metal Wolf Chaos XD is a great way to experience this underappreciated gem of the Early 2000s. The game still holds up quite well due to its fun plot and good gameplay. At $25, it might be a little steep but all the problems should be fixed in the next month or so. If anything, I would recommend getting the physical version at the end of August but either way you’ll be satisfied with this game.