It’s hard to believe this game is part of an established franchise that runs about 3 decades now dating all the way back to the NES/Famicom, but only having so many new, core titles in its lineage among a sea of remakes and cancelled entries. Only one previous game was ever released in North America, Metal Saga for the PlayStation 2. Many years later, Metal Max Xeno is the first new entry that wasn’t a mobile game since 2013, but much like many other long-running JRPG series, you don’t need to know what’s happened in one to approach another.
You play as Talis who is on the lookout for allies to help turn the tides of war in favor of the remaining few humans. One of the very few who was able to overcome the onslaught and eradication of humanity by the SoNs and the evil mother computer known as NOA. He’s discovered by a small team of other survivors who now advise him to venture out into the vast world and look for other remaining survivors, so that humanity has some chance of being rebuilt. In a war waged against machines, 50 years ago that very same computer, NOA, became sentient and almost wiped out humanity – NOA reduced the planet to a wasteland.
Metal Max Xeno comes off like a mix between a JRPG and a survival game. Your tank’s single cannon only has so many shots, meaning you can only venture so far outside the base before needing to come back to replenish your inventory, regardless of your health otherwise. The beginning can be a real slog, which is punctuated by an odd early gameplay loop that makes a horrible first impression and betrays the deep intrigue of the game once its systems begin to open up.
There on-foot sections, so not only are you managing your collection of tanks, you’re also building your party members on a much smaller scale. Metal Max Xeno even revels in opportunities to trip you up, as certain enemies are impossible to fight unless you’re safely inside your tanks. Combat works in two ways. You can attack enemies, and if a hit is not successful, then the combat will turn into an encounter, where you and your enemies take turns in shooting each other. Beware though since your tank’s cannon does not have an unlimited supply of ammo, so you will need to resupply often – keep an eye on your ammo! Naturally, the more you fight and win battles, the more you will level up, and as you level up, you will get to learn new skills. Not only that, but Talis will also learn new job ranks which will help you on your quest. Enemy battles are random, and