Chromehounds: single-player hands-on

As you progress through the lengthy single-player campaign, you'll be rewarded with new parts for your Hound... no big surprise there for fans of robot combat games. What we found intriguing in our 13-plus hours with Chromehounds was that, in all that time, we only penetrated about 59% of the way into this immense title. The bulk of the early levels you encounter are somewhat tutorial based, giving you ample instruction on the six different roles that Hounds can take in battle. You'll earn a new achievement for each role type you master and an accompanying medal that you can affix to your Hound to show off your success.

Most of our time was spent building up our titanic titanium terror to the point that the simple pull of the right trigger unleashed a devastating barrage of molten hell into a three mile arc directly in front of us. There's nothing more rewarding than fire-linking four machine guns on one arm of your Hound and two enormous cannons on the other... the smoking, charred rubble piled at your robot's huge feet at the end of every battle is a testament to both the amazing detail afforded by the 360 and the joy inherent in blowing stuff up.

Despite some convoluted menus and the plodding pace that some Hound-builds provide, this game gripped us firmly by our gaming jugular. We can't wait to wade knee-deep into the maelstrom of lead and fire that awaits us in the online multiplayer side of the game.