Nothing makes you feel old as a gamer more than loving a game some people have no memory of existing. That was my plight when talking about Chromehounds.
I will be the first to admit that Chromehounds is in no way a visually attractive game, it’s also not a game that has aged well in terms of controls. If you’re not familiar with what actually made Chromehounds great, it’s simple, it’s just how far ahead of it’s time it was.
Chromehounds launched in 2006 on Xbox 360 exclusively, developed by From Software and published in partnership with Sega. It was primarily a mech building shooter, the player built HOUNDS (mechs) and joined a bitter war among factions for control of a fictional area called Neroimus.
It was this aspect that made Chromehounds great, the raging war was fought in a persistent online capacity that changed depending on which player factions won the constant online battles. This online landscape would actually change in terms of controlling factions, you may have a session were you capture numerous areas, only to log on the following day to find an enemy faction had won them back whilst you were away.
So few games, especially in the early 2000’s console market had anything like this going on, a constantly shifting, online battleground that was directly impacted by players was huge at the time and hasn’t been replicated in such a smooth way by a console game since. It’s worth mentioning that there was also an Offline mode too, this featured missions depicting the events leading up to the (online) war.
On the mech building side of things, Chromehound offered a deep level of customisation made up of parts won in missions. There was also an online lottery for parts, DLC parts and one-off limited time parts. Experimentation was key, building wild and deadly HOUNDS and testing them out in the field was a thrill will a great risk to reward ratio.
While it wasn’t hugely received the community that did form around the game made it an enjoyable experience online.
It currently holds a Metacritic score of 71/100. In 2010 Sega finally pulled the plug on the servers, effectively killing off the game.
Were you one of the few on the on the frontline of Chromehounds? Let us know your memories in the comments below!