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Chromehounds

About This Game:

Systems: Xbox 360
Release Date: June 29, 2006
Developer: From Software
Publisher: Sega
ESRB Rating: T
Length: 20 hours offline

It has been almost seven years since the Xbox 360 game Chromehounds came out, so in celebration of that we wrote a review for it! Chromehounds is a strategic mech game from Sega, and one of the 360’s best.

Presentationj

Chromehounds had mediocre graphics for when it came out in 2006, and time has not been kind to those graphics. The world has moments of being beautiful and other moments of being underwhelming and boring. The mechs themselves look decent, and there are a plethora of ways to customize your mech so it suits your tastes. The garage feature of the game allows you to change the color of your whole mech (or each individual part), add decals (which can be combined to make interesting designs), and most importantly change the parts of your mech. There are a wide variety of weapons, and the right player can make any of them weapons of death.

Story

To put it simply, Chromehounds has a really bad story. But that’s not why people play mech games anyways! Basically, the story has six different storylines each putting the player in a different Role Type (RT). None of the stories have any real substance to them because they really only serve to get the player a basic familiarity of each of the different RTs. All of the storylines follow events leading up the Neroimus War. There are three different countries and they break out into the Neromius War, which the player is able to play through in the multiplayer mode. The multiplayer mode is where Chromehounds really shines (er, shined). Each player joins a squad fighting for one of the three countries. Then a group from the squad, from one to six players, deploys to an area to fight an enemy country for control of the area. The enemy can either be bots of equal number to the group, or an enemy squad. More points are earned when fighting real players than bots, but the real players are much, much more difficult to defeat. When a single country has taken both enemy capitals, the war ends and a new one begins. However, the online server for Chromehounds was closed down in 2010.

Gameplay

In combat, the goal is to either destroy all enemy mechs or eliminate the enemy base. The maps are mostly large sprawling entities ranging from dense cities, to huge open deserts or tundras. The vast maps and different methods for winning force a certain level of strategy on the player. The mechs move painfully slow, unless you build one for speed (which means weak weapons), so traversing the huge maps can be a painful process. Sniper mechs and heavy artillery mechs can viciously destroy opponents from insane distances, but take a fair amount of skill. At one point, the online play was dominated by squads of hovercrafts with blade weapons that would rush an enemy base and destroy it in no time. The beauty of Chromehounds was that squads had an abundance of viable strategies for achieving victory. It was probably one of the most strategic mech games ever released for a console.

Overall

Chromehounds was great for some, and terrible for others. It all depended on what you wanted out of a game. Want a speedy mech game with crazy action? Armored Core, my friend. Want a slow-paced mech game with a high level of strategy and skill required to win? Then you want Chromehounds. Unfortunately though, the one aspect that really made this game shine has been taken out since the multiplayer was closed down. I’m still hoping for a sequel though because I had a blast playing this game, no matter how many times I got blown up by a punk artillery mech on the opposite side of the map.

Pros:
  • Super customizable
  • Awesome online play
  • Highly strategic
 
Cons:
  • Frustratingly slow
  • No real story
  • Players of a certain skill level can render you useless within two minutes
Chromehounds
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About the Reviewer: Kirodus

When I was a very young boy, I played Turok on the N64, and ever since I have loved video games. I play all kinds of different games, and pursue a wide variety of interests, but nothing makes me happier than killing dinosaurs still.


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