The Short Version: Chromehounds had a persistent online war mode where players created their own customized “battle mechs” and joined a squad of teammates to do battle for their nation. With an amazing variety of encounters, actual squad coordination and deep customization options, the online experience was amazing and highly addictive, too bad it didn’t last.
In this older Angry Joe Video I reminisce about the good old days with a game called Chromehounds. Never heard of it? That’s why I hate you. Because had this game been more successful we might have seen a sequel by now. This game however when it had first released made for some of the most fun online battles i’ve ever taken part in. Here’s my quick video blog run-down of it.
It was certainly a great game, but its odd because I cant particularly recommend it present day, you see it was primarily online based – with a persistent territory control mechanic, and now that its been over 3 years after release date – i’m sure the community is dead or at the very least not what it used to be. I just wanted to say thank you to those of you who bought it when it came out, and EFF you to those of you who ignored it.
I doubt we will ever see a Chromehounds 2 as the franchise seems to be the bastard child of From Software, not even mentioned anywhere on their website. Hopefully one day we will see something like a sequel in a different game, where we can once again do battle in a persistent online war with custom created mechs of DESTRUCTION!
Until then you can read this poorly written “quick” review.
The Review: In the future three factions wage war against each other using mechs called Hounds. As a pilot of one of these hounds you will get to construct your very own machine like a Lego set – adding components that fit your play style. Like Speed? Go with a lighter load. Like Heavy Firepower? Pack on the Big Guns. There are six different role types which include, Soldiers, Snipers, Defenders, Scouts, Heavy Gunners, and specialized Tactics Commanders. The sheer amount of parts, role types, and system devices spread out over the three sides make for some awesome variety when you actually engage with the enemy.
Once you’ve perfected your vehicle you can take into the Persistent Online War where you join one of three factions battling for control of the global map. While Chromehounds wasn’t the first game to offer this kind of persistent online experience it’s certainly among the best. What makes the experience so memorable is the pacing. Chromehounds isn’t your fast, shoot-em up where you have tenths of a second to react before you are killed – respawning miles away from the action. No, instead you are piloting a 1000 ton battlemech, therefore you can soak up alot of damage. This makes for a more strategic experience – did you get separated from your squad mates? and are now being attacked by 2 enemy hounds at once? No problem return fire, hit reverse, pull up your map to scream your coordinates to your squad mates, and while taking swigs of your beer as your jarred around inside your cockpit – chances are your buddies will arrive in time (especially if you built your mech to soak up enough damage) for a spectacular and cinematic counter-attack! The fact that you dont die in one hit (and neither does the enemy) forces you to coordinate strategies with your team-mates, and brings importance on making sure you have appropriate equipment and weapons for the task at hand.
It’s these sort of scenarios that play out at a speed that anyone can handle that setup some of the most fun gaming sessions i’ve ever had online. Few games made me feel apart of a larger war, a critical piece in an otherwise massive campaign the way Chromehounds did. At least thats what the experience was like when the game first released in 2006. I’m sure the online space is deader than hell these days, with only impossibly hard veterans scouring the barren maps for newbies that picked up the game from the bargain bin. And its a fucking shame, and the number one reason why Sega needs to bring this game back, Chromehounds 2 needs to be made. Take everything they’ve learned from the first one, add some new features and you’ve got yourself at least one happy customer for sure – me.
What you’ll Like:
• Deep and Engaging Customization of your very own Chromehound.
• An addicting Persistent Online War Mode that had you waking up in the middle of the night to see how your faction was progressing
• A massive amount of gameplay variety and replay value in the online war mode. Make no mistake this was an online game, everything good about it was found in mutiplayer online & the Mech Garage.
• Piloting a Massive mech that can soak damage allows you to coordinate attacks and work together better with squadmates.
What you’ll Hate:
• Single-Player was mainly just to unlock and familiarize yourself with the various mech classes so you can take these puppies online, but I can forgive that, this was the point of the game.
• Graphics weren’t anything special, but it sure was satisfying to see a big mech bite the dust.
• As time went on some players started building hounds that exploited the game, jerks ruined it for alot of people.
• Chromehounds was an acquired taste, with slower gameplay it’s certainly not for everyone.
Normally I’d tell you to buy it here, but its too late you asshole! You should have known about it back then. Ass.