With any system that comes out, the game designers try to create new games to cater to the audience type that typically plays. SEGA attempted this with Chromehounds, a overall weak singeplayer game that has a lot more value as multi-player game, but even there, its slightly mired by some problems that prevent it from being a must have on the 360.
Simple premise, in a war-torn world, you pilot a customizable hound, a giant mech basically, and do missions as a mercenary for hire for 3 different factions. Sounds like fun, but it is actually a chore to do missions, and a bigger chore to get through the somewhat mediocre presentation of the game.
Graphics- The game looks pretty good for the current Gen. Not spectacular, like Oblivion, but more on the simple side, like Table tennis. Your hound looks the best, obviously, and the other hounds all look good to. The landscapes, however, and very flat and drab, and other things, like destructable buildings and the like, are kind of plain and ugly looking to.
Another problem, at least for me, is the framerate. It is strange, because Oblvion and Dead Rising, two games that USE the advantages of the 360's hardware, don't slow down at all, here it happens when the fighting gets to intense. I guess maybe I got a bad copy or something.
Basically, its good, but considering the standards for the system, it could of been better.
Final Score- C+
Gameplay- The game is simple, follow orders, using the variety of mechs, and you win. The problem is that the orders are repetitive, and it takes you a long time to do them because your mechs move really slow. Especially heavy ones like Defenders and heavy weapon mechs. Ligher ones like Scouts and Snipers are not as bad. Movement is wooden though, and the controls are kind of shoddy to begin with, which makes it harder to aim, shoot, and move all at once, and you need to do that, especially against human oppoenents and not the simple A.I in the single player game. The single player game is a dud, but you essentially need to play it in order to get the goodies.
Which brings me to part of the genius of the game, the customization process. There are over 200 parts to the mechs, from different chasis, to weapons, cockpits, extenders, engines, even shields and radar jammers. This is why you play missions, to unlock the various parts and make your own, pride and joy mech. The missions suck, but at least the reward for it is good.
Another nice quality are the 6 different types of hounds you have to pilot. They range from Soldier hounds, the bread and butter unit, Sniper hounds, great support, Defender hounds, also good support, plus great at soaking up damage from the enemy, Scouts, which are quick, and used to, well, scout, Heavy Artillery, the big mechs with the big firepower, and Commanders, the intel units for the hounds. The strengths and differences are great to play with, and it is nice that not all of the missions are based simple "blow up this" type missions. It is also catered to the X-Box Live community, giving some variety to the teams, which makes a somewhat balanced team, consisting of at least 4-5 of the 6 different types, near essential.
But this is also without its flaws. Realisticly, few people would play as a commander or a scout, because of their inferior firepower and lack of armor. Defenders and Heavy Artillery are probably used most, with Soldiers and Snipers in the middle somewhere. Also, waiting online is a chore itself, as games fill up, and end, as quick as they began. Don't expect 20 minute to an hour ground wars here, try more like 5 minute popshots. It really is a pain, because the game is designed for online play, and it's, frankly, not good at being an online game.
Final Score- D+
Sound- The hounds sounds are as wooden as the way they move, with simple clanks of the joints going and the whizzes of the maching turing to face an enemy. The gun sounds fare better, each click of a bullet is good and on time. Explosions are abundant, and are pretty good to. Background music is on a repetitive track and is boring, and the voice acting for the humans you never see (everyone is identified by a hound basically) are fine, but nothing special.
Final Score- C
Overall- Chromehounds tries to do a lot right, but I think it wasn't quite ready yet. If SEGA could of worked out the kinks in the system, tweak the graphics and control a bit, and change the multi-player to more than deathmatches with squads, and try to make the last longer than 5 minutes a time, then well talk. Otherwise, I would just rent this or play it on a rainy day.
Final Score- C-
Overall Score- C-