Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that. It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece. I strongly recommend anyone...
Let me start by saying this: Shogo should be right up there next to Half-Life as far as narrative FPS go, seriously.
A little story if you will: It took me about 4 months to get my hands on a copy of this game. I had first seen it at CompUSA back in 1999 (in the bargin bin nonetheless) for $14.99. I liked the style of graphics and the story had me interested. I didn't have enough money that day to purchase it, so I left and reminded myself to go pick it up in a couple of weeks. Well, as luck would have it CompUSA had RTV'd (return to vendor) most of thier bargin software a week after I was there! Some guy at work told me that he could get me a "copy" for free. Well, he never did. So I did what anyone else would do. . . .eBay! Low an behold, there it was: Shogo Mobile Armor Division for $13.99. I have had fun beating this game so many times, that I've definately gotten my money back 7 fold.
***Now remember when reading this that this game is about 7 years old as of this review.***
The graphics are awesome. I think this games features a lot of well done texturing. The particle effects are probably some of the best for 1998. Almost every explosion looks cool, complete with blood, body parts and smoking mech debris. The MCA and character models look a little lame. The sense of scale when in an MCA is neat. The levels are cleverly designed with scripted areas that are as well done as Half-Life's. The weapons are really the game's strong point though. There are some truly innovative firearms in Shogo. The Lithtech engine can draw open spaces really well, with little or no slowdown, and it also will/should run smooth on any machine.
The sound is another strong point. Gunfire sounds realistic, as do the yelps of pain from the enemies on the receiving end of that gunfire. The voice acting is good for some characters, then gets pretty bad for others. I do get a little tired of hearing some of the enemies yell, "for Gabriel!", as their dying though. The MCA's have a kinda of pounding noise when you walk through the city regions which is cool.
The gameplay hours aren't that high up there. It only took me about 8.5 hours to complete, but it's one heck of a ride the entire time! I never once got bored or sick of playing Shogo, which is the hallmark of any great game.
This review is pretty short since I doubt anyone is going to read it anytime soon. If you do decide to purchase this bargin bin gem and want to know some of the highlights, that's the reason behind this review. Oh and, I had no problem customizing the controls and have never experienced a single crash the entire time I've owned the game (since 1999), so don't let that scare you away from playing this classic PC game.
P.S. - Always remember to patch your software! It can mean the difference between a great experience and a horrible one.