When Chromehounds arrived at the office a few weeks back, I played through the single player and waited for Sega to setup some multiplayer matches. Unfortunately, Sega was unable to get any multiplayer matches going, and I was informed to wait until the retail version was sent out to get in some multiplayer. Well, the retail version arrived late last week, and to my surprise the Chromehounds servers were down.
While some titles use multiplayer as an added bonus to a solid single player experience, if you’re going to have any fun with Chromehounds, you’re going to have to play the game online. Oddly enough, when I talked to a few UK players about the failed online experience (more on that later), they informed me that even though the game had been out for a couple of weeks, they’ve had no online play. Interesting, Sega told me that the reason the US had no online play was due to the heavy use of the servers in Europe. Oh well…
If you’re unfamiliar with Chromehounds, it’s a team-based mech combat title that features a variety of mech units, known as Hounds. Each Hound has a specific role in team combat, and you’ll need to utilize each Hound properly if you plan on being successful. There are six different Hound types as follows: Soldier, Sniper, Scout, Defender, Heavy Gunner and Commander. Teams can be made up of anywhere from two to six Hounds, but a good team does not necessarily need all six Hound types to be successful. You’ll have to learn the strengths and weaknesses of each Hound type to determine the right team setup for each mission.
The single player experience in Chromehounds seems to exist for the sole purpose of acquiring parts for your Hound and learning how to use each of the various Hound types. At first, this is very helpful in learning the basics of each Hound. Each Hound type has a different story arc that is seven missions long, starting with a training mission. As you progress through each story arc, you’ll earn new parts for your Hound, as well as experience points in each Hound class. These will all transfer over to the online environment which Chromehounds has been created for.