Shogo: Mobile Armor Division
Reviewed by: Ben Ivers
When Monolith entered the first person shooter arena with Blood, I was not too impressed with the outcome. Basically it was a mediocre game. However, with there most recent addition to this genre, it would seem that they really know what there doing. With their newly completed 'LithTech' engine (formerly known as the 'DirectEngine'), they have set a new standard for Direct 3D games. And since these guys have been creating demos for DirectX since its debut I would sure hope that they would be able to. I myself was shocked at the amount of power that was squezed from the new DirectX 6. Maybe there is hope for that API. To put it mildly Shogo is one of the best first person shooters since Quake.
One of the features that really stands out in Shogo is the fact that the game is split almost seamlessly to walking around on foot and walking around in giant robots, called MCAs, each with completely different armaments. This adds to the short but sweet storyline that is moved along with cut scenes done with the games engine. Also much commentary is added to the levels to help move you along. One of the aspects of FPSs (First Person Shooters) that nobody has yet to master is AI. Shogo is no exeption. Enemies will stand around while you blow away their mates and do some really stupid things like run into a crossfire. Now granted Shogo is pretty good about this with troops being quite ready for you when you show yourself, but it still lacks a little.
The multiplayer left something to be desired at the time of the release. Hell, who am I kidding the game was unplayable over the internet. The latest patch did however solve this problem and a few other minor bugs. The lack of deathmatch levels was also quite apparent when the game was released. Whether or not Monolith plans to make more levels is beyond me but I would hope so.
The graphics were very good. Especially considering on what API was used, Direct3D. However being the remnants of the crew that did a lot of work on DirectX this is very much expected. However there were some clipping errors that were noticeable but nothing really big. One really nice option about using Direct3D is that the frame rates are high throughout and even on lower end PCs. The lighting was also very pretty and overall the graphics are extremely impressive.
For the most part I think Monolith came up with a winner. I am happy that FPSs (First Person Shooters) are becoming more single player oriented. As much as the multiplayer is fun, single player is what makes or breaks a game. Its only draw back is that the story is very short and leaves you wanting more, which I suppose is good, but some may feel unfulfilled.
Our rating out of 10: 8.9
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