Weakened condition of metal parts of machines, vehicles, or structures caused by repeated stresses or loadings, ultimately resulting in fracture under a stress much weaker than that necessary to cause fracture in a single application. Fatigue-resistant metals have been developed and their performance improved by surface treatments, and fatigue stresses have been significantly reduced in aircraft and other applications by designing to avoid stress concentrations.
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Metal Fatigue is a 2000 real-time strategy and mecha computer game developed by Zono, Inc and released by Psygnosis in Europe and TalonSoft (a Take2 company) in the United States. The game's AI designer was Mark Baldwin, while the gameplay was designed by Jason Hough. The French release was known by another name, Metal Conflict.
The storyline takes place in the 23rd century and involves three brothers separation into three different "CorpoNations" as they end up waging war on each other. The CorpoNations are Rimtech, MilAgro and Neuropa. In the missions, Rimtech is customized as blue, MilAgro as red and Neuropa purple. Each CorpoNation has its own unique philosophy, tactics, technology, and storyline. Each of the three storylines take place simultaneously, and as such the three brothers meet frequently during operations (though on different sides). At the conclusion of all three campaigns, a special cinematic is played in addition to those from each campaign.
Players have the option to play as one of the brothers in the single-player campaign mode, controlling tanks and other various units at ground level, in underground tunnels, or on orbiting asteroids. The main units in Metal Fatigue are large mechs, or "Combots," which can be configured and customized part-by-part. Different torsos, arms, and legs can be created in the player's own factory, or salvaged from a wrecked enemy Combot or amputated off of one, providing for thousands of possible combinations. Any part taken from an enemy can also be studied, allowing the player to make copies for mass-production.
Though not the first game to feature this "build-your-unit" style gameplay, Metal Fatigue was revolutionary in its design. Unfortunately, poor advertising, almost non-existent support and a few uncorrected glitches combined to spell doom for the game. After release, it received mostly average reviews, and quickly fell off the map. It gained almost no popularity in the gaming world, and the official website ceased to update, even before the game was released. Metal Fatigue's European publisher, Psygnosis, was absorbed by Sony just months after the game's release, and neither they nor any other company still sell Metal Fatigue.