Steel Battalion - Xbox

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Steel Battalion (Xbox)
Viewed: 3D First-person / Third-person Genre:
Combat Game
Shoot 'Em Up
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Capcom Soft. Co.: Capcom
Publishers: Capcom (GB)
Released: 28 Mar 2003 (GB)
Ratings: 11+
Accessories: Memory Unit, Steel Battalion Controller


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Mech games have been around for quite a while and, since their inception, have seemingly arrived with increasingly complex control methods, as each new console seems to introduce a more complex controller. It has to be said though, Steel Battalion really takes the biscuit, coming packaged with perhaps the biggest and most complicated game controller of all time ever. "But we've already got an Xbox controller", we hear you say. We're not talking about an Xbox controller, however. Steel Battalion has its own proprietary 40-button peripheral that you can't play the game without. And it's huge.

The story behind the game tells of a time somewhere in the near future, when military unrest runs rampant and you've just been promoted to chief pilot. Your weapon is the state-of-the-art, tactical battle-mech known as the Vertical Tank (VT), the most evolved, high-powered form of military weapon ever created. Steel Battalion propels you into the world of hi-tech robot battles in the middle of a massive military coup. The success of every mission lies in your hands.

Choosing from multiple models of vertical tanks, including the Behemoth, the Decider and the Falcon, as well as a mass of weapons such as plasma torches, a 270mm rifle and a twin pod rocket launcher, you take the helm, reaping destruction across 24 action-packed levels. Along the way, new missions, maps and enemy robots can be unlocked, giving you even more machines to destroy and more places in which to destroy them.

It is without a doubt the controller (or Cockpit Simulator, as it's referred to) that makes this game, helping to recreate very faithfully the controls of the vehicle. With over 40 buttons there's a great deal to master - this is a serious boy's mech game. It therefore comes with a serious price tag of £130, which may be out of the question for many gamers. If it's not, however, it's definitely worth considering, as Steel Battalion is truly a unique experience.