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Metal Max Xeno Reborn: Review

I’ve spent several hours in the dusty and dangerous world of Metal Max Xeno Reborn, and it was quite unique. To give you a picture, imagine the world’s gone to ruin, robots are out to wipe out what’s left of humanity, and here I am, waking up with a mechanical hand, ready to save what’s left of us. But is the ride in my trusty tank worth the time? Let’s just say when you slap the word “Reborn” onto a game, you’d hope for a brand-new shine. Let me dive into why that’s not quite the case here.

Tanks, Dogs, and Big Explosions

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Right out the gate, Metal Max Xeno Reborn isn’t shy to pull you into its version of Tokyo, now a vast, open space filled with enemies. You’ve got your character, Talis, and a band of survivors holed up in Iron Base. All you know is you need more firepower to take down a big machine called Catastropus. That’s the gig.

What’s new, though? You get a Shiba Inu with a gun on its back. Meet Pochi, a top-tier good boy who’s here to fight by your side. He’s got skills, he’s got a gun, and, best part, you can pet him. In this dark world, Pochi is a ray of light, making it all a bit more bearable.

Driving a tank around this burnt Tokyo is your primary way to get around. I was excited – it’s not every day you get to drive a tank in a game. But it turns out it’s the only day, every day, until you wish you could just travel another way.

Battles pop up out in the open, and while there’s a thrill in seeing your firepower blow up enemies without changing screens, I sometimes felt like I was going through the motions rather than playing out epic warfare. And while there’s a lot of freedom, it doesn’t always feel like there’s a point to it.

Customizing for Combat

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I had fun with the customization, though. Tanks can get all sorts of weapons, and you can mess around with armor and other gear. It’s satisfying at times, weighing up durability against the destructive power. Want to load your tank with the big stuff? Go ahead, but you’re trading off the ability to take hits.

The game tries to make the combat feel lively, with some real-time elements added in, letting you move characters a bit while waiting to strike. Yet, I can’t say it had the impact I hoped for. The idea seems right, but the execution? Not quite there. It lacked the punch and strategy that could’ve made the fights pop.

A World Left Wanting

Metal Max Xeno Reborn is a pretty game in an anime style, but truth be told, it does feel a bit behind the times. I appreciated the better frame rate and the enemies blowing up, giving some satisfaction to the wins. But the world itself, while vast, felt empty and without life.

And the music? Well, it’s okay. Nothing that’ll get you humming the tunes as you go about your day. The controls work fine – I mean, they get you where you need to go, but flipping through menu after menu gets old fast.

The Story’s Hollow Echo

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I found myself just getting stronger, driving from point A to B, fighting, but not feeling anything much about it. Stories can be simple, sure, but I never felt gripped. No big moments, no twists, no character had me cheering for them. You’re just building up for that final fight that feels like it’s only chapter one of a book that’s missing the rest of its pages.

And yeah, the “bad” joke endings? Honestly, the only time I laughed or felt something in this game. That’s not great, is it?

Design That Turns Heads (For the Wrong Reasons)

Let’s not shy away from the fact the design choices for women characters in this game… are questionable. There’s this one character who’s basically fighting in way too little clothing. In a world of deadly robots, it just feels silly. Armor seems to be in short supply, at least for her. I’m all for equality in game design, but it’s ironic how this game is about fighting for survival yet can’t seem to gear up its characters right.

Conclusion: A Second Chance Not Fully Seized

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In the end, Metal Max Xeno Reborn tries to right the mistakes of its past. It brings back a beloved dog mascot, ups the combat engagement, and gives you tanks galore to play with. But it still feels like a scenic tour of a world that forgot to fill in the sights.

It often felt more like a simulation for managing tanks than an adventure in a world on the brink of collapse. Sure, some will love the quiet of the wasteland, the joy of finding a new weapon, or the niche charm of hunting monsters with minimal guidance. For others, though, the emptiness might just be too much to overlook.

As for me? I wanted to be wowed, to be taken on a journey that merged excitement with emotion, strategy with storytelling. Instead, I found a prettier version of the original game that still can’t shake its roots, the kind that keeps it from truly standing tall among other games today.

So, after putting my tank in park and giving Pochi one last pet, I sit here thinking about what might’ve been. A world rebuilt, sure, but one that might need just a bit more work before it’s truly reborn.

About the author

Tom Henry

I worked as a PM in video games, now I'm trying some new things.