Game Review - by Jeremiah Pratt
Welcome to the world of 3D Action games. It's the hottest et right now, and each company is releasing their new 3D engines. That is all good, but having a new 3D engine doing new things is just not enough. You need innovative gameplay, a fresh storyline, and some rocking tunes. Shogo: MAD, fortunately has all these elements, included with their LithTech Engine.
The Story is enthralling and cool; you play as Sanjuro Makabe. Which happens to be a commander in the UCA security force. That sounds nice what's the catch you ask? Well the catch is you're the commander of a huge MCA (Mobile Combat Armor). This is a huge 30-foot mechanical warrior right out of a Japanese anime movie. Anyway, you have lost your brother, best friend, lover, and family in the war. And you're pissed off. Your new mission is to eliminate Gabriel, the leader of rebel faction Fallen. The story twists and turns, in certain situations you choose your path. Making the game take different turns each time you play.
The Feature's implemented well with a great 3rd person view. Plus while in your huge MCA, you can press a button and transform into a vehicle. The overall Interface is easy to navigate, you'll be off and rocking in no time.
The Graphic's are sweet, rivaling the likes of Half-life and Jedi-Knight. The LithTech engine brings a new look to gore and bullet paths. Plus the dismembered body's is a sight to see. If you're really a sadistic bastard, fell free to shoot a dead body again. And watch it implode into a million pieces on the wall/floor. I especially enjoyed the lighting, bullet effects, and debris effects. Bullets leave holes whereever you shoot. While debris sticks around instead of disappearing cool stuff. Also take heed to the smoke left over after firing a tow missile, it just doesn't end. The most noticeable graphical achievement is not just how it looks, but how it moves. The LithTech engine is capable of pumping out really good fps at high resolutions.
The Gameplay is always my favorite, and most concentrated effort. The gameplay in Shogo is I'm speechless here. While I'm all caught up in this huge story I'm captured by puzzles and action. The even mix of MCA missions, and on foot missions is a nice touch. The weapons on the MCA are just outright sadistic. Multiple Warhead Launcher, Laser cannon, Juggernaut (just look at the name hehe), Plasma Rifle, Sniper Rifle. And that's just for your MCA! While on foot you start out with a pair of kick ass twin pistols. Some weapons are standard 3D-shooter arsenals, consisting of Shotgun, Uzi, and a M16 like weapon. But you have some nifty gore induced high level weapons in your arsenal. Starting with the Kato Grenade Launcher, Energy Grenade Launcher, and Tow Missile Launcher. The energy Grenade launcher is a sight to see. While firing a large yellow energy force bounces all over the walls, then settles and KABOOM! You experience a gory mess of what's left of the enemy. That's all good, but the enemy AI is the only fault. Although the game is fairly difficult, the enemies range from dumb to elite. Sometimes I was able to walk right up to an enemy and shoot them in the back. It's really weird, Monolith has recognizes this and the alpha patch has been released.
The Sound Fx, oh boy they are some of best I've heard yet. The dialogue is the integrated well, and was believable. I got a kick out of running into a strange lady and receiving a "keep it in your pants soldier" or "take it easy fly boy" LOL. Oh man, that's some funny stuff the weapons effects are really cool. Letting you experience every bullet shot, and explosion too the fullest. The Musical Score is pretty nice; I didn't notice many different tracks. But who cares the soundtrack is mixed in beautifully with ambient sounds. While the soundtrack doesn't interfere with the voice-overs, that's a good thing.
Overall, this is the best 3D shooter since Unreal. I'm a sucker for games that reinvent old concepts. And bring their own bag of tricks to the field. This is the first game that allows you to experience excellent dialogue, story, and game play. Something that unfortunately some companies leave behind in the rush to release their title. Everything, in this game caught my attention. I have not been able to put it down yet. The only fault is the enemy AI, which is fixed in the patch that was released. So Shogo deserves all it's due, it lived up to the hype and then some.