Mechwarrior’s Twin Resurrections

By Alec Meer on October 30th, 2009 at 1:31 am.

Well, triple resurrections, if you also include the upcoming sequel/relaunch. For the purposes of this post though, it’s vintage Mechwarring. Not been able to try this myself yet – mainly due to the torturously slow proprietary bitorrent client necessary to download the thing – but there’s a whole lot afoot in Mechwarrior land. First, a major new version of a free remake of Mechwarrior 2 made in Blitzbasic. It’s called Assault Tech 1: Battletech. Tech tech? Tech. Tech! Apparently, it now looks better than the original, thanks to a revamped DirectX7 engine. Oh, mighty seven. Decide for yourself in the videos below. As an additional ray of robotic rapture, the MW fan/mod site behind AT1:BT, MekTek.net, are also gearing up to re-release the rather splendid Mechwarrior 4, in its DRM-free, modern-Windowsed entirety.

Here’s some footage of Assault Tech 1′s new version 2.3:

Looks like good, stompy, if slightly murky fun to me. You can grab it by downloading the MTX Bittorrent client/installer thingum, which will also be your means of accessing the MW4 rerelease later. Was super-slow for me, but that seemed to be because it choked my bandwidth by maxing out my upload speed, despite me throttling it in the options. Bah. AT1 came down eventually, however, and it’s sat on my desktop ready for a play soon.

In terms of Mechwarrior 4 getting a second chance to shine, turns out we totally missed the announcement of such back in July. We then also missed the update as to its progress in September. We’re the best! Here’s the most recent statement on the matter:

The unfortunate aspect of all this great news is that all of these new developments could have been ironed out before the announcement but they were not. Our partners felt an initial announcement was necessary and so did we. We plan to release Mechwarrior4 for FREE when developments are completed and considered stable. We are also waiting on legal paper work from lawyers and as anyone out there that has worked in the professional industry knows, something of this magnitude takes time on all fronts. MekTek is not receiving any financial support from the partners regarding this release and obviously no one can quit their daytime job to get the job done faster either. The release has entered beta status and will be delivered to the world very shortly. MekTek is supported through donations from our community and thus far we have received 50% of our goal to cover server infrastructure costs. We hope the community will continue to support us during this very busy time to ensure we have the best possible hardware in place for this release.

Good stuff. Great stuff. Great big giant shooty robot stuff. Keep an eye on updates as these twin Mechwarrior projects here.

And here’s one more video, which shows off quite how pretty AT1 can be, but unfortunately includes voice-acting that makes me want to attack someone, anyone, anything. If you don’t have any even remotely accomplished voiceguys on hand, chaps, you really shouldn’t include quite this much dialogue in your game. Still, can always play it on mute, or perhaps with the 1980s Transformers: The Movie soundtrack in the background.

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56 Comments »

  1. (fish) says:

    http://www.mechlivinglegends.net/

    And then there were four =)

    • Rabbitsoup says:

      you beat me to it fish, and that ones the best looking IMO

    • JonFitt says:

      Does this exist beyond a set of renders at the moment?

    • (fish) says:

      I like the complete approach they are taking to battletech in living legends, the aircraft and tanks mixed in with the mechs will hopefully keep things interesting. Also impressed with their patience in making things properly rather than being iterative in their development as most mod teams are.

    • Ghiest says:

      This by far looks the best option at the moment and it is pretty close to beta release and based on the CE2 (crysis) engine it looks fantastic. As far as their updates go they look pretty much done with game play and its now all to implement the assets ready for a beta, and they have said it will be this year sometime.

  2. destroy.all.monsters says:

    Wow, someone finally managed to make Men of War’s voice acting sound stellar!

  3. Will says:

    What was that game from the 90s where you could design your own mech, and then use it on missions which were conducted in a turn-based fashion on a hex-grid map? 2d isometric. Was that mechwarrior 1?

    I remember having the demo on a CD wot came with an issue of PC Gamer once when I was smaller. I quite liked it.

    • MrCoffee says:

      mission cyberstorm?

    • Dave says:

      Cyberstorm was the same universe as Starseige Tribes, if I remember right. It and its sequel were pretty good I thought, though plagued by weird interface stuff (though wasn’t everything at the time?)

      The sequel could be played real-time or turn-based, but the micromanagement of turn-based was MUCH easier to survive.

      I liked the way the turn-based play was full of interrupts, so you were risking some pain by entering an enemy’s weapon range.

  4. Coded One says:

    Oh my God… That VOICE ACTING. I’ve never cared about voice acting, but that is PAINFUL.

    Pretty lulzy video.

    • mujadaddy says:

      I agree, it was INCREDIBLE.

      He’s. Right. Behind. You. Cad. Ett.

  5. ChampionHyena says:

    You think they’ll take auditions? I have an overpowering need to purge this voice acting from the face of eternity.

  6. Toby says:

    YOU GO DOWN. YOU DIE.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Wisq says:

    First video would be more entertaining if they could somehow find a way to include even more shades of “dark”. No, really.

    Second video sounds like it was voiced by people who don’t know a word of English and were reading from a list of phonetic syllables. Even if they only had a single English-speaking writer on the team to put that list together, they probably would’ve gotten better results just having him do all the voices himself.

  8. Will says:

    @MrCoffee:

    Yes, that’s the one! I played the demo of that to death when I was younger! Cheers for that, I wonder if the nostalgia would hold up if I played it again…

  9. MD says:

    Guys, this is bad

  10. Psychopomp says:

    SUFFER LIKE G DID?

  11. Dood says:

    YOU WILL PAY FOR THIS!

  12. Player1 says:

    Oh nooooo! They so totally ruined it for me. That’s a very good reason not to play it. Never heard something this bad…

  13. Starcide says:

    I’m pretty sure it was this? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechcommander

    I remember playing the same demo :)

    • HidesHisEyes says:

      Mechcommander was great. They gave it out on a demo disk with the X-com space flight game if i recall.

  14. Starcide says:

    This was ment to be in reply to @Will but it broke :S

  15. L1ddl3monkey says:

    Interesting as I never really got into the whole Mechwarrior thing when it was popular the first time around but I would be willing to have a bash at the re-releases. Quite like look of that.

    As for the trailer; it looks pretty, it sounds ABSOLUTELY FUCKING TERRIBLE and why, if you are on radio comms from the inside of what is essentially a walking tank, is it necessary for the walking tanks to face each other during conversations? It’s not even an aid to working out who is talking to who – there are only two of them there.

    Cheesy overblown hardman dialogue, fanciful wish fullfilment trailer and no concept of interpersonal communication skills? First mod ever to be completely developed by people inflicted with aspergers?

  16. Mr_Bacco says:

    I think the voice actors are trying to speak like the Clans do in the Battletech universe. Boot up Mechwarrior 3 if you have a copy and you’ll hear some similar voice chatter from Clan opponents, in the campaign.

    These guys are still pretty terrible though, quiaff?

  17. neems says:

    It’s as if they were taught English by the guy who does the voice work for all those action movie trailers.

    “The rain, in Spain, falls mainly, on the plain. EVERY SECOND COUNTS KID!”

  18. roryok says:

    Bad Voice Acting is one of my pet peeves in games.

    Here’s a thought. Would anyone be interested in forming a sort of collective of voice actors with a bit of talent for narrating? I don’t like the sound of my voice much ( a bit whiny ) but I’ve done a bit of acting, and I know I could do a better job than these guys… We could set up a little studio and offer better voice acting to projects like this one, for free.

    How about it? Anyone out there who’s done a bit of voice acting and narration, or thinks they can?

  19. Luomu says:

    There is no story or voice acting in the game. That video is just some fan thing.

  20. Eplekongen says:

    MechWarrior, ShmecWarrior. When are we gonna talk about how awsome MechCommander is?

  21. ZamFear says:

    AT1:BT’s control scheme makes me want to break things. Too much like the horrible MW3 defaults :[

  22. Billzor says:

    *que awesome hair metal band Lion* Transformerrrrrrrrrs! More, much more, than meets the eye!

  23. Gutter says:

    The voice acting is bad on a bad machinima promo video?

    Oh, lord…

    If those are in game, I am not sure why everyone is complaining, seeing as all the voiced comments are wonderfully on cue. You never hear battle comment like that, even the sport caster in the best coded sport game out there isn’t that good at describing dynamic scene.

    It’s I don’t think that it’s in game. It’s a promo, made by the developer to showcase something. Maybe music would have been a better choice, but a whole comment thread ridiculing them? Whats is this, did the YouTube comments overflow?

  24. pirate0r says:

    if you start the download and then check in the mtx temp folder you can find the torrent file that’s used to download the game. I opened that in utorrent and in less than 4 mins later it was all downloaded.

    • mujadaddy says:

      This is the most important bit of information on this page.

      RPS, you should host that torrent file :-)

  25. disperse says:

    The question is: which one most faithfully recreates the Battletech/MechWarrior rules and allows me to upgrade/customize my mechs?

    • mujadaddy says:

      That was the problem with MW4, as I recall — you couldn’t sub out weapons by tonnage, just fill up “slots” …

      MW2 was the most-accurate BT sim to date, so it seems like AT1 is your best bet, fella.

    • disperse says:

      Yeah, MW2 was my favorite grade-killer all through college (IMO Mercenaries was the best of the bunch). For that reason, I kept my eyes on the sequels but they seemed to deviate more and more from the original rules and become more arcade-y. Yet another tragedy to blame on the console generation I suppose.

      Thanks! I’ll take a look at Assault Tech 1… or maybe I’ll just drag out my MW2:Mercenaries disks…

    • JonFitt says:

      I’ve not played Chrome Hounds, but from Tycho’s description of the radio/radar model it sounded like a much better Mech “sim” than MW4 was.

      I want Mechs. I don’t really care if it’s Mechwarrior or not. The Inner Spehere/Clans fiction was always tedious to me, and I’d skip the pages of briefings.

      Is there something similar on the PC?

    • KP says:

      Mechwarrior 3 was the best of the series, in my opinion. The story was great! I’m going to play MW3 Pirate’s Moon again, now…

  26. PC Monster says:

    I hereby volunteer to read every line of that dialogue for their game, safe in the knowledge that I could do a job several million times better than either of those two…amateurs.

    I could also do some work on the dialogue itself which isn’t exactly sparkling.

    On the plus side, that music STILL rocks my world even after all these years.Good thing I have it all safely mp3′d on my hard-drive!

  27. PC Monster says:

    PS: I’m perfectly serious about the offers of assistance. Releasing dialogue that bad would be like pooping on the corpse of the hallowed Mechwarrior series.

    @Disperse. I heartily agree. Mechwarrior 2 et al were classics. 3 was good but showing signs of slippage. 4 I just can’t get into because of the slick, arcade-y feel.

  28. IncredibleBulk92 says:

    I believe you ma be talking about Mech Commander a spin off to Mech Warrior. You buy mechs and customise them as you could in the Mech Warrior games and then you go into each misson with your team. I believe the original game had a hex based map but the sequel went fully 3D. I don’t think that it was turn based but I also got the demo with PCG

  29. Cosmo says:

    Living Legends looks good since it’s on the Crysis engine, but i trust MekTek to deliver since they’ve actually released stuff and have been working on this for quite awhile.

  30. Thranx says:

    … holy poop that voice acting is bad.

  31. EyeMessiah says:

    This is as real as it gets.

    Personally I liked MW3 the best. I loved the voice of your commander dude, he sounded like he knew what he was doing, and I liked the premise of being stranded on a enemy world, scavenging for chassis and mech parts. Good game!

  32. Heliocentric says:

    I want a Mechwarrior game which gives the freedom of battletech’s full range of units while allowing for personal range of interaction. Be that action or strategy.

    I want to be able to field in wars in any scale. Whether thats fielding a few light mechs to pick off some support vehicles while being able to attack a ammo depot and limit the enemies use of heavy munitions later in the campaign. Or drop in with an assault lance wipe out the command and leave to collect the bounty leaving the war to be fought by the locals.

  33. Dave says:

    Too… Many… Mech…. Games… Cant… Choose…. Death…. Is….. Only… Way….. Oueeeeuuuggghhhh

  34. randomdude says:

    All of you…

    The 2nd video is clearly just an indie MACHINIMA made by perhaps a random person like the zillions of machinimas seen on the cesspool of youtube. Doesn’t really mean the minds behind this game actually directed this horrid (yes, admittedly AWFUL and head-drilling) voice acting.

    All the demos before featured no voice at all, though this one seems to have some voice-com acting, even if in game you can’t really understand anything (perhaps intentional)

  35. Demtor says:

    Awesome update. I appreciate the `Mech lovin’ that’s still going on by a dedicated few. Battletech will always live on with its fans, no matter what form it happens to take. Glad to see video games are still being dabbled with by them.

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