I've played lots of 3D, real-time strategy games and most have attracted me with their story or solid gameplay. Some set new watermarks in how their CGI sequences were interlaced and yet others had a phenomenal soundtrack. Metal Knight: Mission -- Terminate Resistance is definitely not one of those titles for several reasons. It just doesn't have a proper mix to succeed in world chalk-full of games in it's genre.
The story is somewhat of a formula one. In the 32nd century, the planet Adonia, a colony of Earth, is being ruled by a tyrant named Sir. Crigger Anderson who has big plans for a nearby planet. He is hoping to yolk it's natural resources, but a resistance movement, lead by Colonel White, is out to stop him. Also joining the fray is a soldier by the name of General Cooper who is out to stop both parties in the interests of Earth. These three forces must collide to see who has the right to Adonia and the power of this region. This synopsis sounded interesting enough, but doesn't even describe the game properly.
Within the game, you can choose any one of these three sides and go on a unique and fitting, campaign mission. Each side will have individual movies and units that will accompany their campaign, as well as a unique ending. Although, no matter what side you choose the action of the game stays pretty much average. You'll be able to control units that are reminiscent of those found in the Mechcommander series and they fire similar weapons and artillery. The missions within the campaign are structured similar to those in Command & Conquer, with objectives and even the terrain on the levels looks the same! I don't like games that use this tactic (borrowing other games winning tactics and doing a bad job of using them) because it really sours your whole view of the game.
Controlling the units is also similar to Warcraft or Command & Conquer and truthfully isn't that hard. Units will have several functions each and their statistics will be displayed once you highlight them with the cursor. Speaking of cursor highlighting though, the developers seemed to think that not letting you select all the units at once is a good thing..... don't ask me why. I thought that problem was eliminated after Warcraft, but I guess not.
There are plenty of units for you to use while playing the campaign. Many have large guns and cannons mounted on them, while some others are quick or armed with special skills. Also like Command & Conquer, the ability to build structures and buildings is present and most of them resemble ones from the aforementioned game. In fact, I felt that the whole game was just another 3D-strategy title with Mechcommander and Command & Conquer tricks and features slapped on. It's like the producers thought they could ride off the tail wind of successful games for a quick buck.
One bright spot (but not totally bright) for the game comes from the CGI sequences. They tell the story of the struggle for Adonia in a proper fashion, with intense battles and slick efficiency. They were a bit blurry, but they did serve an important purpose. However, the game is still what it is. Even some CGI sequences can't really save it.
In truth, I do think that this game has some life in it. It may be a copy-cat to other games that I've mentioned, but it doesn't mean you won't find some play time in it. I think some value can also be gained from the multi-player mode which is quite flexible in how it works. It's just too bad because the storyteller was interesting, but this book has been heard a few too many times.
Graphics: The graphics are similar to those in Command & Conquer: Red Alert, but don't have the same polished appeal. Lots of units look generic as well.
Sound: There is a bit of voice acting and some standard music to accompany your campaign. Sound effects and ambient noises are only on par so this category is also average.
Enjoyment: I think some play time can be gained and enjoyed from this title, but this idea has been greatly overused.
Replay Value: Multi-player mode and 3 different sides help here, but gameplay is somewhat weak which brings the rating back down.
Metal Knight is a fun Command & Conquer-style real-time strategy game from Object Software, an independent Chinese outfit who later developed Fate of the Dragon and Prince of Qin. One of the first games from Mainland China to achieve significant popularity overseas (although limited only to Taiwan and Hong Kong - later release in the U.S. was a failure), Metal Knight introduces a neat feature that was unique at the time: you can build a wide variety of robots to do your bidding. This was quite unique in 1998 when the game was released, although the feature has been superceded by a great range of customization in Metal Fatigue and Warzone 2100, both of which were released years later. The gameplay otherwise is similar to numerous other C&C games: harvest enough resources to buy/build more units, then send your army to vanquish the enemy. Overall, this is worth a look as one of the more innovative RTS that remains very obscure due to limited worldwide distribution. Metal Knight at least deserves recognition as the first RTS game to introduce the robot customization feature years before better-known RTS games that were developed in the West.
People who downloaded Metal Knight have also downloaded:
Metal Fatigue, MechCommander 2, Mayday: Conflict Earth, Mission: Humanity, Metal Marines Master Edition, MechCommander Gold, Metal Marines, Nemesis of the Roman Empire
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