There’s an abundance of chrome, explosions, flashing lights and sincere-sounding commentators exuding a casual enthusiasm regarding the brutality taking place before them. Welcome to Metal Drift, a futuristic sporting arena that has a lot in common with the likes of Rollerball and Speedball, but with oh-so-floaty hovertanks.
Metal Drift is a six-on-six online battle. Games last eight minutes, with each team trying to get the magnetic ball from its spawn point in the middle of the arena to the opponents’ goal-hole. The team that’s scored the most goals wins. It’s simple, ’splodey and, most importantly, fun.
The way your profile levels up as you play more and more matches is inspired by CoD4’s advancement system, allocating points for kills, assists and goals, leveling up your weapons as well as your rank. To begin with, you’ll level-up after almost every match, gaining access to more advanced weaponry and tank upgrades. Unfortunately, the advances don’t come thickly enough. Your skill level may rise rapidly, but there aren’t many weapons to discover and only a few upgrades – though the cloak is satisfying.
The arenas themselves are static and plain too, with that abundance of chrome making each of the five levels feel familiar far too quickly. There’s only a single game mode, with very few options to change, should you decide to set up a game.
That said, single-player mode is enjoyable, with the effortless control and impressive bot AI making up the numbers. It may only be offering limited replay value for its cheap price tag, but it’s fun while it lasts.
Nov 6, 2009