MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf Review

MechAssault gave Xbox gamers a chance to mount the massive robotic weapons of the Robotech universe, and also had the distinction of being one of the first games that support multiplayer battles via Xbox Live. MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf is more than just a sequel to MechAssault; it expands the array of weapons beyond Mechs and moves the focus of the game to the individual Mechwarrior. Is this a good thing? Absolutely…

In MechAssault 2 you are the generically named Mechwarrior, the last Mech jockey in a small group of Wolf’s Dragoon clan survivors. The Word of Blake clan would like nothing more than to stamp out our heroes so that they can focus their attention on obtaining five special data cores that can be used to create a new generation of powerful Mechs. Your job, of course, is not only to survive but to put an end to the Word of Blake’s schemes.

Right from the very first mission you’ll see that things are a bit different in MechAssault 2 as you won’t even be piloting a Mech. Instead you will need to fight off an invasion of your local city wearing special battle armor. This armor is not just for protection, though, it comes armed with a couple of quite effective weapons. The first is a pulse laser that will lock in on nearby targets and is quite effective for taking out enemy soldiers and light vehicles. The second weapon, a mortar, packs quite a bit more punch. It is a little tricky to learn to aim at first, but soon you will come to appreciate its pure destructive power. To help you get around the suit is equipped with jump jets, and should you burn through your jets’ energy before getting to the top of a large wall or building the armor is equipped with a claw that will let you hang on while waiting for your jets to recharge.

The jets and claw combo is not just for getting up and over high obstructions – they are critical to hacking (stealing) enemy Mechs. If you can get yourself close enough to a Mech, you can use your jets to reach the back of the Mech’s cockpit and latch on with your claw. You can then attempt to hack the Mech by correctly responding to the button sequence shown on the screen. Succeed and you will disable the Mech and eject its pilot. You can then hop into the cockpit and the Mech is yours.

The battle armor is not the only new way to get around and cause a little destruction. New vehicles such as tanks and airborne transports add support vehicles to the fray. You’ll have the opportunity to man these vehicles in the campaign, but they really add something to the game when it comes to multiplayer games. No longer is everyone confined to a Mech – players can take on supporting roles such as manning a transport to quickly fly Mechs to where they’re needed in a battle. It adds a very welcome whole new layer of strategic depth and teamwork to multiplayer games.