Mechin’ Good: Mechwarrior Details Approach

By Jim Rossignol on September 30th, 2011 at 8:28 am.

LASER LASER!
Blue has noticed that there have been some rumblings from Pirhana Games about their new Mechwarrior game. An announcement announcement! There’s already a bit of information on their site, including this: “Gamers will pilot a deadly BattleMech and use information warfare to dominate a dynamic-destructive urban battlefield. The game features include classic and new mechs from the BattleTech universe with persistent character development and plans for a single player campaign, as well as, co-op, and multiplayer gameplay.” You apparently play “a wayward nobleman” who ends up with a motive for revenge when his family are killed during a planetary invasion.

Worringly the site also runs with the headline “Not Your Father’s MechWarrior” which makes me sad because I am my own father. That said, the CG teaser which we first posted a couple of years ago (below) does look promising, and seems to get the plodding weapon-blastiness that is Mechwarrior.

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103 Comments »

  1. MiniMatt says:

    I just made an odd noise – it was kind of a rising pitch “weeeee-oooooohhhh”.

    My inner pessimist fears it’ll be a horrible pillaging of much loved IP. My inner five year old is screaming LAZORS! AND ROBOTS!

    The five year old is currently winning.

    • imperialus says:

      I have faith… Jordan Weisman’s company Tinker and Smith has the IP for B-Tech.

      For those of you who don’t know Weisman is the dude who originally created the B-Tech tabletop game… The one that involves pushing little plastic robots around a hex map and slowly scratching points of armour off sheets. I don’t think that dumbing down is in his vocabulary.

      He actually picked the IP (including Shadowrun) after the Shadowrun debacle and made a public apology to fans for ever having lost control of it in the first place, so if anyone is going to give Mechwarrior the treatment it deserves it’s Weisman.

    • Inigo says:

      I just made an odd noise – it was kind of a rising pitch “weeeee-oooooohhhh”.

      Dammit, Ling.

  2. c-Row says:

    Worringly the site also runs with the headline “Not Your Father’s MechWarrior” which makes me sad because I am my own father.

    Jim, you should play less Achron.

    • adonf says:

      How does this work exactly ?

      I can see how someone could be his own stepfather (by marrying his mother), but not his own father. Even cloning wouldn’t work. Please explain, in the interest of science.

    • Subject 706 says:

      You obviously haven’t been watching enough Futurama. You simply travel back in time and impregnate your mother. Presto! You are now your own father!

  3. Nim says:

    Do tell that the reveal trailer is 2 years old.

  4. BoZo says:

    I want a new Shogo.

  5. Vexing Vision says:

    What! They’re turning this into a FPS?!!!

  6. Gormongous says:

    “Not Your Father’s MechWarrior”. My father would probably describe MechWarrior as something pathetic, childish, and not worth a decent person’s time. I certainly hope the new installment isn’t my father’s MechWarrior.

  7. sassy says:

    I was worried there for a second, when I read the title of Mechwarrior I was afraid they went into my fathers basement and stole his copy, fortunately they have assured me via the magic of the interwebz that they haven’t.

    Game looks surprisingly awesome, the gameplay and feel seem to be there and I love how the smoke completely obscured the characters vision. Of course Mechwarrior was so much more to it then this video provides, so we’ll have to just wait and see if they get the other elements right.

    • PoulWrist says:

      Prerendered cutscene. Not gameplay.

    • Grey_Ghost says:

      @PoulWrist
      It has “IN GAME FOOTAGE” printed in the lower right corner, you sure it’s not a scripted game engine cutscene?

    • sassy says:

      It’s unlikely to be gameplay footage but it still shows us quite a bit. We get an idea of the view we will get, the way the mech moves, the way weapons work and some visual effects we can expect to see during combat (like the smoke). This might be scripted but it is still using functions of the game engine.

  8. Bensam123 says:

    Google “Mechwarrior Living Legends”. If you have Crysis installed, download, play, have fun!

  9. dansdata says:

    Yeah, this trailer – usually titled something like “Mechwarrior: Phoenix” – is great, but is also a couple of years old.

    One day there’ll be a new properly-ponderous-mech game for PCs; in the meantime we’ll have Hawken. Which is too fast, but at least they’re not roller-skating everywhere.

    • Nullkigan says:

      Do you have something against the alternative movement systems in Heavy Gear? >:(

      (I know what you mean. Armored Core games are so fast you spend more time battling the camera and controls than playing)

    • John Connor says:

      Hawken has more than one kind of mech. There are fast, nimble but lightly armoured ones and slow, heavily armed and armoured ones.

    • sassy says:

      Armoured core has so much potential. The mech in it are fantastic and move great, the customization options are fantastic, the gameplay is certainly there, the mission structure is imperfect but interesting. Unfortunately the missions are uninteresting for the most part and the camera is terrible.

  10. Inigo says:

    Have they actually sorted out the legal issues with this or not?

    • Nullkigan says:

      Apparently the legal issues were negligible, somehow. Or at least Piranha were confident that they could be dealt with.

      They’ve just spent the last few years making other games to earn money to fund this one.

  11. Ernesto says:

    Hmm… Maybe my joystick gets a purpose again after all these years.

    But when will game designers learn that lasers don’t sound like that. If it’s a cw laser you won’t be hearing anything but huge generators providing power. And if it’s pulsed you would hear something similar to gunfire. And you certainly wouldn’t see single pulses flying around. There are many people out there who are extremely disappointed when they see a real high energy laser firing. Just smart-arsing around ;)

    I’d like it anyway if it doesn’t get too fps-like.

    • PatrickSwayze says:

      Next you’ll tell me missiles travel in straight lines rather than circling around all whooshy like.

    • theleif says:

      That was a PPC firing. I can’t believe you don’t know the standard outfit for a Warhammer! Well, it has 2 medium and 2 small lasers, but the guns in his arms are Particle Projection Cannons. Also an SRM6 and 2 Machine guns. Haven’t played the board/tabletop game in 15 years. Can’t believe I still remember that.
      And maybe I’ll finally find a use for my Logitech G940. That was probably my most stupid purchase in my life. I don’t play flight simulators.

    • Ernesto says:

      Wot I meant was: laser sounds and visuals in gaming as well as in movies sound/look very similar since… well, I don’t know who or what started it (Star Wars??). I don’t care if it’s realistic or not, after all it’s a fantasy. I’d just like some diversity.

  12. PoulWrist says:

    “Not your father’s Mechwarrior” … Mechwarrior is now an FPS, you battle as a dude running around trying to get to the mech, fighting off the legions of footsoldiers that the enemy send out, and whenever you do manage to get into a mech, you are rewarded with an awesome cutscene like the one above.

    No more managing heatlevels, reactor output, ammocount, hardpoints, jumpjets and other such confusing nonsense that just gets in the way of what it is clear was always meant to be a really awesome action FPS, it was just limited by the technology of the times.

    So get ready! Call of Duty is totally going down!

    • Inigo says:

      No more managing heatlevels, reactor output, ammocount, hardpoints, jumpjets and other such confusing nonsense

      So, MechAssault?

    • John Connor says:

      Mechwarrior was always an FPS…

    • diebroken says:

      MechWarrior was always more simulation than FPS, like the Wing Commander series and Star Wars X-Wing/TIE Fighter series. Heavy Gear on the other hand…

    • TeraTelnet says:

      Well, if a mission or two put you in a suit of Elemental battle armour I certainly wouldn’t object.

      Altera-joke: hey, didn’t you just describe Battlezone II?

    • imperialus says:

      I sure hope they don’t put you in a suit of elemental battle armour…

      Elementals were genetically engineered specifically to pilot that armour by the clans… They (the pilots) are around 8 feet tall and can’t physically fit in a battlemech cockpit.

      You’ll also notice I mentioned the “clans” there… Well if you look at the date in the video it’s 3015… The Clan’s didn’t make an appearance (with the exception of Wolf’s Dragoons) until 3049.

      MW5 looks like it’s set during the 3rd succession war with the Draconis Combine (House Kurita) invading a Lyran Commonwealth world. No Clans.

      The only thing that has me concerned is the fact that it’s being developed for consoles too… I really hope that doesn’t have a negative effect on the gameplay and control…

    • Fumarole says:

      I can’t be the only one who remembers the Crescent Hawk games. You know, the quasi-RPGs.

      edit – and I see that downthread Wizardry remembers this fine game as well. I should have known, really.

  13. LuNatic says:

    I’d written this off as dead in the water. I’d dearly love to be proved wrong…

  14. Mehbah says:

    “dynamic” and “persistent”

    Strike one. Games marketing really loves their buzzwords.

    For the sake of the Mechwarrior fans, I hope “not your father’s Mechwarrior” does not mean “we wan’t Call of Duty’s audience”.

  15. coldvvvave says:

    Wasn’t it dead due to legal problems? Which is sad because I wanted a new Mech game. I want Mechcommander 3 more than Mechwarrior n+1, though.

    • PatrickSwayze says:

      I was playing Renegade Ops and all the little vehicles reminded me of the ones from MechCommander.

      If ever there was an engine suited to a game, that’s the one.

    • Groove says:

      So true. Mechcommander is still one of my favourite games.

      I still have the instruction manual from the 1st one on my book shelf. The colour centre was wonderful, and the weight of information and tactics guidance was incredible. When I was 12, having the manual suggest I set a forest on fire to create dummy heat signals was more tactical involvement than I could have dreamed of.

    • PatrickSwayze says:

      Yep MechCommander was trully amazing. The game was originally rendered in 16bit but they changed it to 256 late on so it fitted on to one disc.

      If you look there are 16bit screens somewhere.

      Pains me that all those sprites will be sitting unused and corrupt on some ancient hdd.

  16. herschel says:

    I can´t get over the americana-urban-city-backdrop. Is this really in the far future an a planet far away? Why are those radio-chatters copy-pasted from BF3?

  17. The Sombrero Kid says:

    Mechwarrior 2 was seminal.

    • Quine says:

      Planet Colemar, ambient temperature 94.6 degrees.

      Reactor - Online

      Sensors – Online

      Weapons – Online

      All systems nominal.

  18. cliffski says:

    so… a CG video. How informative. this shows what the publisher wishes their game looked like, and that they like throwing money around.
    As someone who always presses the escape key, I wonder why they bother…

    • Unaco says:

      It’s interesting People enjoy watching things such as this. It sets a scene, an atmosphere. It works as promotional material, gets people talking about it and the game. If a picture paints a thousands words, then perhaps a moving picture paints a couple thousand.

      Just because you don’t appreciate it, doesn’t mean the entirety of the gaming, and perhaps non-gaming, public don’t appreciate them either. First Mechwarrior game I got was MW2 Mercs… because I happened to pass a machine running the Intro cinematic in a shop one day. Never heard of the series before then, never thought I’d ever play a game like that, but I was hooked from that very first video.

    • Grey_Ghost says:

      @cliffski
      It has “IN GAME FOOTAGE” printed in the lower right corner, doesn’t that mean it’s not your typical CG rubbish?

    • cliffski says:

      You think thats just captured from gameplay? In-game footage my ass.

    • Unaco says:

      It might be in game footage, it might not be. Doesn’t change the fact that such things (CG trailers, cinematics) have a use. Just like people say Syndicate isn’t Syndicate without the Persuadatron… A Mechwarrior game isn’t a Mechwarrior game without multiple poorly (voice) acted cinematics. They’re a part of the series.

    • Burning Man says:

      For an analogy, I would totally buy a Samaritan game. Despite never having seen any gameplay. And I suspect a large number of people who’ve seen that Unreal vid would do so too. You’re selling the idea behind the game, not the game itself. That’s what people actually want. Your game is just a poor substitute for what they can imagine it to be if they allow themselves to dream.

      At least that’s how I would market a game if I was in charge. Cinematize gameplay nicely, but make sure the gap between SHINY and in-game doesn’t disappoint. People shouldn’t feel cheated.

  19. Jajusha says:

    Loved mechwarrior back in the old days. Theres something about firing your lasers and overheating your mech that makes me feel all tingly inside.

  20. Gundrea says:

    I can’t wait to see a mechwarrior game for this generation. Regenerating health, a realistic weapons system with shoot grenade melee just a button tap away and more streamlined maps that remove the confusion from the old PC games.

  21. kyrieee says:

    That writing

    :X

  22. smoke.tetsu says:

    I have the soundtrack of Mechwarrior 2 stuck in my head. I used to play various 3D card specific versions of that game back in the day.

  23. Matt says:

    i’m confused that this does not appear to be reimagined as an FPS. surely it’s a hoax?

    also, My fathers Mechwarrior would probably be made from mechano and clockwork. although that could be kinda cool..

    (i feel old)

  24. aircool says:

    Ahhh, Mechwarrior games. A constant one-circle fight to shoot the other mech’s leg off.

  25. Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

    I really really hope they go the MW2 “sim”* route rather than the MW4 “FPS on stilts” thing.

    *Yes I know they aren’t real you know what I mean shut up.

  26. Gunsmith says:

    MW4 made my blood boil with its childish shooty shooty action, i used to revel in managing my mech whilst engaging and i hope to god the clunky heavy movement system in this trailer remains in the final thing.

    The Vulture will ride again.

    • Nullkigan says:

      This one is set before the Clan Invasion. 3015-3025ish, I think? No Vulture/Mad Dog, no Timber Wolf/Mad Cat, probably no Gauss weapons. Single Heatsinks only! Heat management will be a major factor.

    • Quine says:

      I’m praying for Hatchetmans myself. Plus being able to beat mechs to death with detached limbs.

  27. RegisteredUser says:

    Regenerating Mech health.
    Wanna bet?

  28. JackDandy says:

    I knew it would come someday! Alright!

  29. Axyl says:

    I’d much rather have a new Mech Commander game.
    That was one of the most awesome RTS series’ ever imo.

    I’m very very “Meh” about MW5 as I’ve been playing the MW:LL mod for Crysis/Crysis Wars for ages now and it’s bloody spectacular.

    Time will tell I guess, but i’d still far rather have Mech Commander.

  30. yhalothar says:

    I loved that game, mashing “shutdown override” and praying the next salvo won’t blow up my ammunition, my reactor, and will kill or cripple the guy that’s CHARGING HIS PPCS GODDAMNIT DON’T FAIL ME NOW was one of the best experiences I had in gaming. It’s too bad MW3 is such an unreliable mess on modern systems.

  31. mrd says:

    Mechwarrior… 3? With my MS force feedback sidewinder stick was about THE most immersive gaming experience I’d ever had.

    It was certainly the best example of force feedback I’ve ever experienced, even having the ff wheel too: driving it just felt like a normal thing… but you could feel the weight of the mech in the shudders ‘up through’ the stick….

  32. Wizardry says:

    The best BattleTech game is The Crescent Hawk’s Inception, a turn-based RPG created by Westwood Studios (before they started churning out the C&C franchise) released in 1988, before any other BattleTech game. It effectively turned into the MechCommander franchise as its sequel, The Crescent Hawk’s Revenge, is a real-time strategy game.

    • Chris D says:

      May I suggest that this kind of post is a far more effective way of promoting turn-based games than the whole “This game is not a true rpg!” schtick?

      People object to being told the thing they lack is bad but are usually open to hearing about why the thing you like is good.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      This is the only BattleTech game I ever played, and the first one that had me figure out how to use DOSBox.

      Ah, 2004. The good old times.

    • doktorjung says:

      I played that on the Commmodore 128, aw yeah. And Crescent Hawks’ Revenge was one of the first games I played on a PC, which was a Gateway-made 386. I remember Revenge as being too hard for me until I learned to use the game-speed controls to give myself a chance to respond before getting wasted by Dragons and Centurions, heh.

    • scharmers says:

      No sir, the best Battletech computer game ever made was created by a man named Ralph Reed, who was stationed at Elgin AFB, Florida, back in late 80s and early 90s. The game was, at various points, called MechFort, BattleFort, and BattleForce. It was a nearly 1:1 conversion of the Battletech board game, except that it had a better (phased) movement system. You could build your own mechs, scenarios, battles, maps, and mechwarriors. It had superb, unforgiving A.I. It made the stripped-down, RT combat systems of Crescent Hawk look like a retard cocker spaniel. FASA used to Cease and Desist Mr. Reed at approximately 60 msec intervals.
      It ran on 1MB and a couple of floppies. It was for the Amiga. It is still worth playing today. (It spawned a secessor, Titans of Steel, or something, by other devs and is available free over on the Matrix Games website. ToS added a bunch of crap to the MW formula that bogged it down, kinda like what Dynamix did with their Earthsiege games).

    • Wizardry says:

      @scharmers: It’s kind of weird that you’re the only guy on the entire internet that knows anything about that game/simulation. Google searches bring up countless hits of you mentioning it on random websites, blogs and forums. No one else, however.

      It’s not that I don’t believe it exists. It’s just that if it seems impossible to get hold of and thus I can’t say much about it.

    • ryneaver says:

      @Wizardry:

      http://www.theoldcomputer.com/roms/index.php?folder=Commodore/Amiga/Games/Public-Domain/%5BADF%5D/b

      There are several of the games he listed under there. I don’t have an Amiga or an emulator though to see if they are real or not

    • scharmers says:

      @Wizardry:

      Yeah, because, you know I would make this sort of stuff up, whole cloth.

      http://www.scharmers.info/2010/08/forgotten-amiga-classics-1-mechforce.html

      Unless you’d like a YouTube video of me playing it, as well.

  33. Reapy says:

    I’ve always loved the mech warrior games. I really enjoyed 4 and that is when I finally got online with it… however, I found online gaming with it to not be as exciting as I thought it would be. I often felt the battles were more attrition as in I shoot you with an alpha blast first then you fire with an alpha blast second.

    If it wasn’t a never miss circle strafe battle it was advancing over/next to a hill/cover alpha burst, then retreating, or using jump jets to pop over a building and descend.

    I guess really what I disliked was that the simulation management part of it, like eat etc, was all a product of your weapon load out, and actually playing the game was basically lining a guy up and alpha bursting them till near overheat and crawling back to cover.

    In the end for me it was like I loved setting up mech configs and trying them out, but really the tactics needed to be successful to actually play the game out really fell short. It’s a game I wanted to love but the cover pop alpha burst just wasn’t what I was looking for I guess.

  34. nanowired says:

    Mechwarrior 2:Mercenaries was one of my First online games.

    I took part in one of the BT simulation tournies as part of a clan(Ice Hellion). One of my most favorite moments in it was a match where I was in a summoner. I had lost my leg, and used jumpjets to prop myself up against my team mate, before Alphastriking one of the most annoying people who played the game at the time. His death was spectacular.

    Never has a game brought out that much detail or “HELL YEA” in multiplayer ever since.

  35. Sigvatr says:

    Two unidentified targets! What if they are bad guys!?

    Not looking forward to this one bit.

  36. SoggySilicon says:

    Trailer is way old.

    To my knowledge the dev company still has some legal issues to work out with the mech licences with Hasbro, and Hasbro never got all the licenses sorted out with Streamline animation and a couple Japanese animation houses for ripping off all the IS mech/Robotech Mech/Macross Mecha. Probably worked around it by not using the IS mech in question.

    “This is not your fathers Mechwarrior”

    That is a G-D shame, because my Mechwarrior came in books and was a supplement to battletech. The original disk based Mechwarrior was quite good for it’s time, as were the subsequent sequels released many years later. Once Micro$lop got the license they pissed all over the game and took away the simulation bits. (Trying not to think about the license rape that was MechAssault) The last “Mech” game other than Heavy Gear series would be Steel Battalions, which takes the “Mech” back home to Japan and at least “tried” to give it the ponderous simulation treatment it deserves.

    Warhammer done Relic style keeping with the board game tradition is one of the finest examples of the RTS in action, I say that Mechwarrior done properly is THE SAME. If some no name’r company wants to empty their bowels into a box and slap a sticker of a marauder on the cover and sell it on… I suppose it is what it is.

    “Wayward noble… revenge your family?” Are you F’n kidding me? That IS THE SAME STORY from the original battletech PC game, AND the original Mechwarrior game. I feel about this the same way I feel about the X-Com reboot… that is to say… as little as I possibly can, to much thinking about it makes meh eye twitch.

  37. Dogsbody says:

    yes! bring back the plodding, slow, overly complicated Mechwarrior 2 style, there has been a sad lack of these in the last 10 years.

  38. nanowired says:

    Actually, if you look you can see the arm of the Atlas as it steps into the smoke.

  39. Ganj says:

    Hope they retain the level of customisation found in MW2, especially MW2: Mercs, rather than the travesty of MW3/4.

    Running around with silly builds like 14 MLas etc was fun.

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