Chrome Hounds From SEGA

Live X360 mech combat.

As well as unveiling a number of next-generation tech demos on its stand at E3 this week, SEGA also revealed that it will publish From Software's Chrome Hounds, a mech combat game with online play for Xbox 360.

The video shown of the game was, according to SEGA reps, entirely real time, and looked phenomenal. It featured a squad of armoured mech robots defending an area against rival mechs, and SEGA said that players would be able to team up in squads of mechs online and fight for world domination.

It sounds similar to Capcom's Steel Battalion: Line of Contact title, but there was no sign of an unwieldy 40-button controller here, and the level of graphical detail will once again prompt speculation that we were actually watching pre-rendered images despite SEGA's denials.

The detail on the mechs covered the smallest joints in their legs and the environment was incredibly detailed, strewn with rubble and clearly very interactive; at one point a sniper mech lurking away from the battlefield - its pilot quietly muttering bible verses as he took out his enemies - moved forward to line up a shot and the enormous gun barrel actually crept out through a gap in the crumbling brickwork.

Explosions were wild, and the muzzle flare and expulsions of smoke with every shot were emphatic, like someone with a handful of confetti throwing a punch and releasing it once fully extended.

As with so many of these next-generation demos, the actual gameplay mechanics weren't alluded to in any detail, but it wasn't too hard to get the picture: there will be lots of big stompy robots blowing the hell out of each other in obscene detail.

SEGA hasn't mentioned either when we can expect the game to be released. We'll let you know when we do.

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