Make your own free website on

Wild Metal Cuntry Preview

Publisher - Gremlin
Developer - DMA Design
Platform - N64
Release Date - March 1999
Type - Action

had a chance to play an early version of DMA Design's Wild Metal Country, a unique multiplayer tank battle game for PC and N64. Although the N64 version is still in its early stages, the gameplay displayed in the PC version already sports that slightly wacked out quality that all DMA titles seem to share.

The storyline behind the game is as follows: For centuries no one has visited the three proscribed planets of the Tehric system. The worlds were abandoned when machine technology advanced to a stage where highly dangerous automated military units developed self awareness with devastating effect for the living populations.Designed to protect vital power cores from invaders, the machines eventually decided to wipe out all biological life. As the machines were the most advanced technology of the era, the only option was to evacuate the planets and leave them at the mercy of the metal life.

Reminiscent of DMA's Spacestation: Silicon Valley the worlds are now inhabited by machines which have evolved to replace biological life. There is little evidence that humans ever owned these planets, just half-buried remnants of buildings and roads. But being the pesky lifeforms they are, humans are scheming to take back the planets using machines with safeguards, that can be controled by man.

The gameplay is straightforward, but offers plenty of depth: From the safety of their homes, players control different tanks, from hulking Howitzers to dual-prop hovertanks and try to blow up the enemy machines. In a twist on the capture-the-flag gameplay of many first-person shooters, you must also retake the power cores to disrupt the machine civilizations, and escape alive. The player will be beamed down to nine key areas on each of the planets with backup air vehicles in support, to take on the denizens of the Wild Metal Country. Gary Penn, the game's creative manager told that WMC will feature super-smart game AI (artificial intelligence) that make the tanks behave realistically and even commit slight driving mistakes at times -- as if they were driven by human beings.

Although DMA has not yet disclosed how many players the N64 version of the game will support, multiplayer is at the top of the list of features. Although DMA has not yet disclosed how many players the N64 version of the game will support, multiplayer is at the top of the list of features. There is even a motivation to the multiplayer battles: Several mercenaries have combined forces to retake the power cores in peripheral areas of the planets. After successfully clearing areas of self aware machines, disagreements have broken out about the sharing of the spoils. Each mercenary fights for possession of the power cores.

The floating point-based levels feature rounded hills, much like DMA's Body Harvest with sparse vegetation, the occasional gun towers or ground installations. Differences in terrain will have a direct impact on your vehicle, slow it down or make the tanks slip sideways.

Weapons range from standard turret missiles, to homing rockets, super shots, mines that tumble down the hills, and teleport shots that swap the player's place with the victim. But the icing on the cake are the Jumping Jack Mines -- once you deploy them, they will go hopping after any metal object and cause high damage. Explosions are momentum based, meaning that a blast will push a vehicle away from the explosion, turn tanks momentarily on their sides or make them stand up vertically. When a tank blows to smithereens, real-time graphics effects produce smoke trails and light up the landscape.

DMA has only just begun on the N64 version and no US publisher has acquired the game for release over here, but the European Body Harvest publisher Gremlin is planning to release the game in the UK early next year. Even at its early state, Wild Metal Country looks extremely promising, with the same involving gameplay that make most of DMA's games such stand-out titles. Hopefully, the Scottish developer will go for an all-out four-player split-screen battle mode in the N64 version and be able to pull off a fast-moving 3D engine that lets you look as far into the distance as the PC version.