It’s a fantastic premise for a videogame. It’s a fantastic premise for just about anything, honestly. From that alone, it’s easy to see why the game – originally released in 2004, for the first Xbox – has been long remembered as a cult classic and is highly coveted among game collectors, despite never making it outside of Japan. Metal Wolf Chaos is the interactive equivalent of a B-movie, the kind you find while channel-hopping late at night and can’t quite seem to turn off. The problem is that while a movie can coast along on ‘so bad it’s good’ charm, that specific quality is quite difficult to translate over to a videogame. It’s not just the dialogue that’s cringe-inducingly clumsy, but the way the game itself handles.
The original game was developed by FromSoftware: the studio which, five years later, would make an indelible mark on the medium with Demon’s Souls – a legacy it has continued with this year’s Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. These are games famed for their sense of atmosphere, their thoughtful if obscure approach to storytelling and, above all, the brutal precision of their combat. Metal Wolf Chaos offers precisely none of those things.
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