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A.I. Is a Crapshoot: One of the toughest missions has you putting down a rogue AI that has started turning people into an army of cyborgs. Sky Captain, the opponent in the versus/strategy mode, is an AI as well.
Announcer Chatter: For Precinct Assault mode. Helps keep you informed of goings-on, especially if you're playing against Sky Captain.
Announcer:"Blue base turret destroyed."
Announcer:"Enemy within Red base perimeter."
Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: One level has a miniboss that is a gigantic mutant bodyguard goon approximately twice the height of the X-1 (if not more), which is already around two to three times taller than your average human.
Awesome, yet Impractical: The Flying Fortress. Costs 50 requisition (a non-trivial amount!) and does little more than buzz around the center of the map looking really menacing.
Awesome Yet Practical: Most - if not all - of the weapons are well-balanced, and each is useful in its own way.
Big "NO!": Sky Captain has one when shot down. Hear more of his quotes here.
California Collapse: Civil War, super storm and an earth quake didn't go well with Los Angeles. The last one actually created an island which is uses as a weapons test range.
The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Sky Captain, as his name suggests, uses a flying craft rather than an X-1 Alpha. This gives him a pretty significant mobility advantage in the cluttered battlegrounds. In more accurate terms, he also gets stronger, faster and smarter each time you kill him, and as the overall difficulty increases.
He can also call in reinforcements remotely and even buy up bases the same way, both things the player can't do.
Co-Op Multiplayer: Fully cooperative, with two X-1 Alpha Pilots... who share their health bars. Oh boy.
Crapsack World: LA is barely habitable by the looks of things, heavily flooded, filled with mutants, ganglords, and lord knows what else. Best not to think about the rest of the planet.
Hover Tank: The X-1's Hover mode, and the standard ground/attack unit in Versus mode.
Joke Level: Accessed after beating all maps against a Difficulty 10 Sky Captain. It is very similar to Testing Range except more green, replaces all tanks with worms, helicopters with butterflies, turns the Super Tank into a Sand Worm and the Flying Fortress into a giant bat. Towers become flowers. Sky Captain? A dragonfly or cocoon. All this insanity plays to hilarious music.
Mercy Kill: One of the scientists working on the rogue AI was... put up as an "example" to interlopers. You have to put him out of his misery to proceed.
More Dakka: The starter primary weapon is a gatling cannon.
One-Hit Polykill: An ability of the Concussion Beam, since it is only stopped by the terrain. Helps conserve ammo!
Platform Game: Jumping puzzles are present in several levels. No, really. Precise jumping can get you to weapon power ups too.
Player Versus Player: Precinct Assault - two players go head-to-head in a sort of very lightweight strategy game. You can also play it against the AI, which plays as Sky Captain.
Police Brutality: Nobody ever comes peacefully. Cue X-1 solving everything with absolutely ludicrous amounts of violence and a triple-figure body count.
The X-1 is only called in when the situation escalates beyond the control of the normal police units. When it's called in, police use "Code X", meaning the situation is extremely hostile and requires lethal force to regain control. Which in this case means a transforming mecha armed with more firepower than some small nations. What are you expecting? It's Los Angeles.
Power-Up: Numerous 'reloaders' that can restore health or ammo to one of your weapons, some of them containing special superpowered ammo. It doesn't even try to hide the fact and just flat out calls them Power Ups.
Prison Break: You have to foil one of these in the fifth or sixth mission, as a disturbingly well-armed terrorist group is rescuing their leader from the cells there, along with many of their brothers. Finishes with a Showdown at High Noon-esque shootout for the end-level cutscene.
Super Drowning Skills: Avoided and played straight. Touching water in the Walker mode forces an instant transformation into hovercar mode when on the easiest difficulty setting. Otherwise, you sink.
Tank Goodness: The Dreadnought Hovertank. Still absolutely helpless due to dumb AI, as otherwise it charges blindly ahead and gets itself killed.
Transforming Mecha: The X-1 has both walker and hovercar modes. The former is more agile and better suited to urban combat, whilst the latter is faster and ideal for covering a lot of ground quickly. All of your weapons are accessible in both modes, however.
Weaponized Landmark: The very first mission sees you smashing your way through Griffith Park to destroy an observatory that has been converted into a gigantic cannon, and is being used to take potshots at passing airliners and other commercial aircraft. Later on, you must destroy a flying UFO-esque restaurant that has been turned into a giant weapons platform.
You Require More Vespene Gas: In Precinct Assault, the points/requisition needed to purchase tanks/dreadnoughts (offense) and gunships/flying fortresses (defense) or outposts (forward bases) are earned by capturing neutral turrets, destroying enemy units/turrets, and destroying the enemy player/Sky Captain.