Shogo: Mobile Armor Division

Created by and published by Monolith

Previewed by Jason Cross

Recently, Jason Hall and Paul Butterfield from Monolith Productions stopped by our offices with the latest build of Shogo: Mobile Armor Division. Back at the end of May, we did an extensive preview about the game, which you can find here. Since many things haven't changed since then, this won't be another entire preview, so for an overall picture of the game and what it's about, read that article. Instead, this will be a sort of bullet-list of features and notable experiences we had playing around with the game all afternoon.

Perhaps it's best to start at the end, in this case. Many gamers wonder if the people who make the games they play are really hardcore gamers. Sure, they call claim to be, but they're often too busy or too involved with something else, and when you ask them if they've played something recently or watch them play a game that isn't their own, you get the feeling that they don't really play all that much. Well, we finished off Monolith's visit by playing a couple of short one-on-one deathmatch games against Jason Hall, the CEO of Monolith Productions. Now, Doug and I aren't bad Quake2 players. We're pretty good, in fact. Whenever we just jump on whatever server Gamespy tells us is good, we usually end up in the #1 or #2 spot.

Having said that, Mr. Hall embarrassed us. He whipped us soundly. I was actually holding my own at first, with a tied score for the first 2/3 of the match, but then things fell apart and it went totally lopsided. I guess we should have expected that from the guy who was the champion of the three biggest Duke Nukem 3D leagues. He's not the best player I've ever played against, but he's definitely in that elite class that can regularly whip people who consider themselves good. So if you're wondering if the fine folks at Monolith really really play games, the answer is yes.

Jason and Paul brought their own machine with them, a P2-400 with 64MB of RAM and Voodoo2 SLI. So it was hard to really gauge exactly what the speed of the game was, except to say it was perfectly smooth all the time. Final speed numbers are hard to guess, since everything isn't optimized and polished, but expect it to be much faster than Unreal, and a little slower than Quake2. The baseline machine will be a P166, preferably with a Voodoo 1 card but there will be a software renderer.

Graphically, the game looks about on the same level as upcoming "modified Quake 2 engine" games like Sin or Half-life. All the expected features like 16-bit textures and colored lighting are in there, but there are some key differences in the engine, which will be detailed in the list below. Overall, the game was pretty close to completion--simple adjustments and polishing is all that's really left, with a few minor modifications. They're expecting the game to ship in mid-October, and they honestly look like they're right on track for it. Without further ado, on to the list...

Read about Shogo's features and our gameplay impressions.

Shogo:MAD preview

Official Shogo:MAD page