Metal Heart Replicants Rampage PC CD-ROM
Published by Dreamcatcher
Developed by Akella
Release Date: Out Now
Metal Heart Replicants Rampage, an introduction.
Ask many fans of PC RPG games what their favourite RPG of all time is and it's a good bet a fair portion of them will pick Fallout 2. Whilst there have been arguably better RPG games since then (Planescape Torment for instance) many remember the Fallout series because it had a special mix of humour and also because it shaped the way subsequent RPG games played for many years after. It's no surprise then that Metal Heart Replicants Rampage has used Fallout 2 as its template.
What's the game about?
Cheris and Lanthan are forced to evacuate their spacecraft when it's wrecked in a strange magnetic storm. They manage to make it to their escape shuttle but they're forced to crash land on the planet of Protion. Protion is the sole source of the radioactive Tactonium, which is also a powerful combustible. Your main objective of course is to escape the planet but that's easier said than done as it's under the control of a tyrannical empire. You also have the Humans, Nomads, Cyborgs and Replicants to contend with. It's no easy matter to simply stay alive, never mind escape the planet and you'll have to decide who you want to side with.
What's good about the game?
Metal Heart stays true to the turn-based RPGs of old. The combat uses action points that determine how far your character can move and what actions they can perform. You'll get to control a party of up to 6 characters and there's a staggering 600 high-tech implants that can be used in the game. The game has over 150 locations for you to explore and a wealth of quests for you to undertake and a lot of these are optional. In short it seems quite promising at first glance.
What's not so good about the game?
A Fallout clone should have been a game that most would enjoy but for some reason it doesn't work out that way at all. The characters are completely uninteresting and don't have the depth of personality of those in the Fallout series. Within the first 20 minutes or so you'll find yourself just clicking the right mouse button (yes you do have to click the right mouse button and not the traditional left one) in order to cut through the waffle as quickly as possible. The story, always the heart of a good RPG, is forgettable and gives you little incentive to keep on playing. The combat system, whilst blatantly copying Fallout, doesn't feel anywhere near as satisfying. The game doesn't feel well paced either. When you begin the game it's possible to run into the scorpion like enemies that will finish you off quickly with little effort, if you don't know what you're doing. This is fine if you happen to be completely comfortable with the game but if this is your first PC RPG you'll feel like throwing the thing out of the window.
How does it look?
For the umpteenth time in this review we have to say that it's obvious Fallout 2 was the template for this game and that's no more apparent than in the graphics. The game is a 2D, isometric affair and is practically identical to the graphics in the Fallout games except for the fact that there is support for higher screen resolutions. Of course Fallout 2 is now a very old game and we expect our RPGs to look a lot nicer these days so the graphics in Metal Heart can be regarded as a disappointment.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
Metal Heart shouldn't cause deaf gamers any problems. The initial opening scene isn't subtitled although there is only a minimal amount of speech here. Once you are into the game you'll find that all the dialogue is subtitled so you'll have no problems in following the game's events. You can access a database, quest log and journal at any time during the game so you can always keep track of what has happened and what needs to be done.
For a game that has so blatantly tried to imitate the Fallout series Metal Heart is one heck of a disappointment. It may look like a Fallout game but less than half an hour into the game, you'll realise this is just a derivative imitation that will struggle to hold your attention. If you can forget making the all too tempting comparisons with Fallout 2, it's fair to say that in parts you'll probably find the game to be OK but on the whole it's a very mediocre affair that does little to keep you interested.
Overall Game Rating: 5.0/10
Deaf Gamers Classification:
(Click the letter or here for details)
A mediocre clone of the Fallout games in just about every respect. Those of you who like to play every RPG going, might find moments that are mildly engaging but there are many better titles in the genre that should be experienced first.