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Iron Assault

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs

GAME DESIGNER:

GAME DEVELOPER:Graffiti

GAME PUBLISHER:Virgin Interactive

Copyright 1995, Graffiti

Iron Assault is a 3D giants robot action game in the mold of Mechwarrior and later Earthsiege. In the year 2094, the world is now in the hands of powerful corporations. As the years have gone by, they slowly took control from the hands of the local governments, and enforced their will with powerful mega’bots. In the year 2080, the robots mercilessly slaughtered strikers and since then the rebellion has tried to fight back and free the world. They desperately need good fighters to drive their mega’bots. It looks like the fate of the Earth is in your hands now.

The game is played from a first-person perspective, with you controlling the ‘bot. You have a big screen displaying what’s going on in front of you, and a minor screen on which you can toggle between a rear view, the radar view, damage report, position of the locked target, and so on. As you complete missions, you will get promoted and be given tougher, longer missions. At any time during the game, you can into the Sim’ Room to practice ‘bot movement and get target practice. For most missions, you get to choose between two types of robots, and a number of different missiles. You can also discover some new missiles during some missions).

Driving a giant robot may seem like a winning formula in a game, but the truth is Iron Assault is not nearly as much fun as Activision’s acclaimed Mechwarrior series. The graphics are muted and somewhat pixellated, and the plot is nowhere near as interesting as the FASA universe. The robots you drive are very large, which means they are very slow. You will often be lumbering across vast tracks of desert for many minutes at a time without seeing any target or man-made structure. There are only four different set terrain types: mountain, desert, city and arctic, and they are always the same wherever you go.. just presented with different palettes. The only way I found to avoid monotony is to fire on the buildings in the city only because you can damage them. And speaking of damages, when it happens to your ‘bot, it happens gradually. There is a scale in % for every kind of equipment on board, visionics, weapons, engine, hydraulics, etc. Equipments will begin to function badly or not at all once they are damaged. This nod to reality makes the game a bit more challenging, but then again it’s not anything we have never seen before. One interesting feature in the game is the possibility later in the game to go on missions with several other ‘bots that you can command. These ‘bots can guard an entry, your back, or they can open the way for you. However, the range of commands is very limited, and they are not very bright at defending themselves, let alone you.

On the whole, I found the game a bit too repetitive. No variation in the terrain, and no storyline to speak of (you always enter the combat field, destroy everything and come back home). If you’re a trigger happy player who just wants to blast everything in sight, then Iron Assault might have some appeal. Otherwise, stick to Mechwarrior or even G-Nome.



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