11th Apr2019

‘Mechstermination Force’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Britt Roberts


Playing as a cross between the best parts of Lost Planet 2 (albeit in a 2D version), Shadow of the Colossus and Cuphead, Mechstermination Force is an action/platform ‘Boss Rush’ title with tongue firmly in cheek. As humanity’s seemingly last hope, you (and a friend if playing in Co-op) travel the country in a bid to stop the enormous metal monsters from destroying cities and it’s a helluva lot of fun.

From the developer of the Gunman Clive series of games, Mechstermination Force’s visuals are colourful and cartoonish. You can choose from four characters that all handle the same with the only differences being aesthetic…and the ‘Rambo’ character hitting things with a massive guitar. Good.

Beginning with a machine gun, the game throws you into the action against the first boss and the general sequence of the game is laid out. Each enemy has certain weak spots that are either highlighted in red (which means that they can only be destroyed by a melee attack) or yellow (which can be destroyed by either gunfire or melee… my favourites) although these are often hidden under armour that needs to be shot off first. In single player, the game is great but in co-op it shines more than Yul Brynner’s oiled head on a Florida beach. It’s really satisfying to lose a load of health and finally claw your way through the bosses multiple forms, adjusting your plan of attack to suit each one before finally slaying the boss in an explosion of machinery with a single hit point left. There are moments when you clamber up to the top of a multi-screen teetering two-headed dragon using your super cool Magnetic Gloves and smash the final weak spot (with your massive guitar, natch) only to find the boss transforming into YET another form before its eventual demise. Can you make it through without getting hit? Only one way to find out…

The game is really moreish. Each time you see a new boss (and there are an impressive number to fight your way through) it seems impossible, dodging hails of gunfire as you hack away at the enormous enemy, switching between your unlocked weaponry to suit your position, you’ll die several times but then a sort of zen kicks in where you completely gel with the game and take it down in only a couple of minutes, having learned the patterns and various screenweavings required to snake up your foe to victory.


There are some flaws, the controls aren’t quite as fluid as I’d like and therefore bosses that require vertical movement with the more intricate platforming elements involved feel slightly more difficult than they perhaps should but if anything it weirdly adds to the fun factor, especially in two player mode where the screen zooms out impossibly far to keep you both on screen as you tackle your opponent. The shops and small areas between bosses allow you to catch your breath and explore the (terribly designed) base (I mean, why aren’t there ladders anywhere?!) and upgrade your weaponry or health. There’s also a cool and helpful feature whereby you can pay a nominal fee to buy some extra hearts for a boss that you may be struggling on. This isn’t the twitchy grind that Cuphead is, where a few minutes in you could come to a screeching halt, it’s much more forgiving and yet does definitely pose a challenge. Perfect after a few drinks when the tension really ramps up.

I tend to play Boss Rush games in short bursts but Mechstermination Force was a game my friend and I played all evening and I didn’t expect that at all. There were times where I had to pause the game because I was concentrating so much and so completely hips deep into the game that I had forgotten to blink and my contact lenses had dried out! As I’ve already mentioned, this is a cool game in single player but in co-op mode (offline only) it really comes alive and grabs you. Definitely a contender for my co-op game of the year and makes a great pairing with Rival Megagun for those moments where you want to shoot each other instead of a shared enemy.

Also goes well with a litre of Greenall’s gin with a bitter lemon mixer, apparently.

Mechstermination Force is available on the Nintendo eShop now.


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