I was skeptical about Shogo: Mobile Armor Division when I first bought it. It looked like it had a healthy dose of Japanese anime as well as MechWarrior-like gameplay, neither of which excite me. But, I decided to give it a chance. So I installed it, set up my controls and started the game. Then what I saw was amazing...I was in a big mech-robot, yet I was moving fast, not slow. It wasn't like MechWarrior at all; it was like Quake II and all the other first person shooters I like so much.
And this is why Shogo is such a great game. It proves that you can take big robots and not make a strategic, slow paced game. Your mechs are very fast (for big robots anyway) and highly agile. They can look up, down, all around, jump and double jump. They can run, they can walk and they can even swim underwater and crouch. These aspects are excellent because you never feel burdened down by being in a big machine; you feel as though you're almost just a regular guy walking around and shooting stuff. While this doesn't sound terribly realistic on paper, Monolith took care of this in the game execution. When you are in your robot, everything looks small. You can stomp on cars, boxes and even people as if they were little ants. You will also have to shoot other mechanized enemies that are out to stop you. Good thing for you that you're provided with an arsenal so powerful that it would put an atom bomb to shame! We're talking Juggernauts and Bulletguts that fill the screen with explosions and debris. These are weapons of mass destruction and there are 18 in all awaiting your disposal.
There are some other aspects to Shogo, like foot missions. It is here where you must leave your robot and infiltrate enemy bases by yourself. This is where the game really feels like Quake II or Sin. You must complete missions by shutting down certain doors or establishing a com-link to your base. And of course, you will be met with resistance. Resistance comes in the way of regular foot soldiers, and they come by the dozens. Fortunately, you're provided with a decent arsenal for these missions. You'll have assault rifles, grenade launchers and pistols to play with. While they don't compare to the robot weapons, they are more than adequate and nothing to scoff at.
Two things hold Shogo back from being a classic. One is the sheer dumbness of the AI. Sometimes, you can shoot an enemy and he will just stand there, completely unaware of being under fire. The other thing is the multiplayer, which is excruciatingly choppy with high latency. Fortunately, a patch has been released to fix all these things (see the description for link) but out of the box, this is the case.
Regardless, Shogo is a great game with a fantastic storyline, complex missions, and lots of mindless destruction, carnage and explosions. If you're looking for a mind-blowing single player experience, Shogo will not disappoint.
Graphics: The Lithtech engine Shogo is running on is absolutely fantastic and allows for some great graphics. Explosions fill and rock the screen with particles and debris. The character designs are very good and the level design is great. There's also lots of good colored lighting that really add to the atmosphere and everything is detailed nicely.
Sound: I haven't heard music this good in a PC game since Quake. The soundtrack ranges from poppy-techno to atmospheric ambience. Very good stuff. Characters are also brilliantly voice acted. This is a rarity nowadays because game companies usually get poor voice actors...'tis not the case with Shogo!
Enjoyment: Shogo provides an excellent single player game. Its got everything: action, great story, big explosions, gore and great level design. It is such a joy going through this game. Unfortunately, the multiplayer leaves little to be desired as it is quite choppy and lag-ridden.
Replay Value: Even after you beat the single player game, you'll probably want to go back through it again. It's just that much fun. But like I said earlier, the laggy multiplayer doesn't really help the replay value out too much...
You are Sanjuro Makabe. Your friends and family are dead and everyone blames you. It really wasn't your fault yet the freak accident has cost you so much pain. You're literally frowned upon by your peers and your career has taken a nosedive into a shallow pool. Just when you thought things couldn't get worse, a terrorist organization is now threatening the Cronian Mining Consortium (the government) and your military commune. Their leader, Gabriel, is planning to overthrow the government and it is now up to you to stop him. There are also rumors that the terrorists are actually responsible for the loss of your loved ones and thus you head out on a path of redemption, revenge and the destruction of the Fallen and Gabriel himself.
This is the premise for Shogo: Mobile Armor Division, a mecha-action game from the makers of Blood. In it, you chose one of four different MCA (Mobile Combat Armor) units and romp through the planet of Cronus (in first or third person perspectives) looking for Gabriel and stopping his terrorist organization from any wrongdoing. You'll battle it out in military bases and starships as well as vast outdoor atmospheres such as deserts and valleys. Fortunately, your military company has been researching new technology to produce weapons of mass destruction -- 18 in all. At your disposal is the destructive Juggernaut, pulse cannons, rockets, etc.
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