Free To Stomp: MechAssault Devs’ Reign Of Thunder

ROT is an unfortunate acronym

2012: what a funny old year. It’s one in which we get remakes of both X-COM and Jagged Alliance, and now it looks like there’ll be multiple mech games too. First there was MechWarrior Online, then there was MechWarrior Tactics, and now there is Reign of Thunder. Coming from the steady but Xboxen hand of MechAssault pilots Day 1 Studios, RoT is a free-to-play affair due for launch later this year. No confirmed platforms, but ‘free to play’ and ‘PC’ seem to go together like dogs and lamp-posts (no, I don’t know which one equals which) so I’d be very surprised if Reign of Thunder didn’t walk this way. Our first glimpse of it marches through the storm below. Wow, that was a horrible, mixed metaphor-blighted sentence if ever there was one.

A quote!

“Mech fans have been asking us for years to return to the genre and we’ve been listening. Reign of Thunder is an all new Mech IP being developed by the people who brought you the award winning MechAssault series. We’ve been hard at work creating a hard hitting, fast paced, explosive action game with all the customization options you could ever want.”

A trailer!

A website!

A speculation that being free to play will involve the purchase of new mechs, weapons, armour and appearances!


  1. JackDandy says:

    Holy heck, Mechwarrior Online, Hawken, and now this?

    3 F2P mech games coming at the end of this year.

    Which do you think will come out on top?

    • ThTa says:

      I think it’s unfortunate these games have to come out around the same time, using the same business model. Competition might be healthy, but considering this is a niche genre and F2P generally desires dedication in the same way MMOs do, and multiplayer requires active players (and servers, particularly master servers), they might not all be able to survive if one truly trumps the others, despite being perfectly functional and highly laudable had they come out in a time without such competition.

      Then again, I would’ve said the same thing about the MOBA genre only a while ago.

    • Zarx says:

      I wonder which one will come out on top, I would say Mechwarrior Online is the front runner at the moment mainly because of brand recognition.

    • Phantoon says:

      Depends on how well they cater to their audience.

    • neonordnance says:

      I’m not too worried, because all three games have a distinctive style.

      MWO is the most Sim-y of the bunch, and probably the one I will enjoy the most. Reign of Thunder looks a lot like MechAssault (Great game!) so it’s going to be fast paced, third-person and arcade-y, with lots of stompy and destructive buildings. Maybe not as deep as MWO but more instant gratification.

      Hawken, on the other hand, is in a league of its own. It’s much more like Quake III with mechs, something on a much smaller scale. The graphics alone make it worth checking out but in terms of gameplay I’m not completely sold.

    • irongamer says:

      I am loving the flood of mech games! Finally! Hope to see some RTS and RPG in the coming torrent. Sure some will be awful but I’ll take the wave of incoming games (good and bad) over the complete lack of anything mech over the last few years.

  2. Fumarole says:

    I’d like to see another Battletech RPG.

  3. Dominic White says:

    It’s basically Mechassault HD with the serial numbers filed off, far as I can see. Good for fans of the MA series (and apparently there’s quite a few), but Hawken looks to offer a meatier, more solid ‘arcade’ mech game, Armored Core 5 does the hyper-speed stuff great, and the upcoming Mechwarrior Online at least sounds like the developers understand what makes the core franchise tick.

    • Phantoon says:

      Yeah, the transition of stompy bots to swooshy anime mecha in Armored Core disappointed me a lot. Even more than the simplification of customization in Mechwarrior 4.

    • Joshua says:

      I thought the simplification of customization in MW4 was a good thing… MW3 allowed for way to overpowered not-so-very-fun builds IMO..

  4. DocSeuss says:

    That seems like a WEIRD map for mechs to fight in. I would have thought maybe they’d want to go for a more futuristic thing.

    Also, funny fact: I was listening to Nero’s remix of the Syndicate theme before switching to this. They’re strangely similar.

  5. TheWhippetLord says:

    OK, the deathmatch online mecha games are covered. Now can we have some decent single-player mech games to fill the aching void in my soul left by Mechwarrior and Mechcommander please, industry people? :P

  6. mondomau says:

    This looks silly. Also, are any of the new mech games going to have some kind of single player or is it all multiplayer, all the time now?

    • BillyIII says:

      Singleplayer is for stories and fun/gory action imho. Competitive games are best played against human opponents.

    • Zenicetus says:

      It’s the new lazy, fast-buck paradigm for game design. Make it multiplayer only, so you don’t have to code AI, or develop a compelling campaign, story line, and game world for stomping around in. The level design is easier too… everything is an “arena,” more or less.

      And yes, humans are more challenging opponents. Doesn’t matter. The old singleplayer mech games were popular for a reason, dammit!

    • marcusfell says:

      Well, The Old Republic proves MMO’s can have a good single-player so not all hope’s lost…but I get your point.

      Plus, Hawken has the excuse of very limited resources.

    • Brun says:

      Well, single player really has little place in a F2P game because it’s difficult to effectively monetize a single player story-driven campaign.

  7. Velijah says:

    Hawkeen for the competitive mech scene, Mech Warrior Online for the Battletech franchise lovers. Anything else….meh

    • sidhellfire says:

      Unless it’s new Earthsiege 2.

      I’m looking forward MW:Online due being complex simulation with economic background and multiplayer focus. Not because of universe, which personally I think went a bit silly. Mech desings from 80’s are nowdays rather a jest than anything “cool”.

  8. mckertis says:

    “Mech fans have been asking us for years to return to the genre and we’ve been listening.”

    Obviously not. Not even one of you was listening.

  9. Cinnamon says:

    explosive action game with all the customization options you could ever want

    Translation: white bread action game with as many overpriced items in the game store as we think you might possibly buy if you play when drunk or forget to log out and your cat sits on the keyboard.

  10. Nullkigan says:

    Isn’t MechAssault part of the MechWarrior franchise?

    Do not expect it to come to PC if so because Piranha (Mechwarrior Online) own the exclusive rights to MechWarrior games on the PC.

    Piranha even made announcements to that effect a couple of weeks back when a the MTX Mod Team, responsible for the free re-release of MW4:Mercs, made noise about releasing a Solaris (MW “Arena”) game. It was eventually revealed that the Solaris game was for arcades only (and by god did the work in progress shots look bad).

    EDIT: I CANNOT READ. A *New* franchise. Interesting.

    • JackDandy says:

      This isn’t a part of the Mechwarrior franchise.

      It’s a new IP.

      EDIT: Saw your edit! Whoops!

  11. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Are giant stompy robots the new zombies?

    I hope so.

  12. Hydrofoil Goat says:

    Oh dear, what were they thinking when they chose that “music”? It didn’t fit with the images at all, especially at the start. Urgh!

  13. Eclipse says:

    it looks so fast paced that looks more like quake 3 with robots than a real mech game

    • Galaxy613 says:

      Exactly, it feels like a generic FPS wrapped in mechs and scaled down buildings. :\ Even Hawken made it seem like they were at least heavy.

    • Torgen says:

      I have to agree. It moves and looks like Tribes with mecha Halloween costumes.

    • mondomau says:

      Eloquently put. It’s what I meant when I poorly described it as ‘silly’.

  14. somini says:

    I would say the PC is the lamp-post, being pissed upon by all this F2P nonsense. Poppycock, I say.

    • z3rokarma says:

      Goddamnit I read all the way through the comments getting ready to post exactly this, and the last person on there’s beaten me to it >_<

      I would add that Reign of Thunder is a very silly name, the trailer music was woeful and I would rather play Exteel, if NCSoft hadn't given it a mercy clipping :(

  15. Yuri says:

    Axeplosions! Pew pew! Metl music! Robotzzz!

    I dunno. It was nice and all, but didn’t hit that “damn that’s impressive” note as Hawken did. Feels kinda generic.
    Can’t say about gameplay, but the environment design just doesn’t click.

  16. wodin says:

    I want a single player tactical turn based mech game. That looks fantastic aswell….please

  17. merakai says:

    Mechassault was an abomination of the Mechwarrior/Battletech series. The complexity and feel of driving a mech was completely lost on them. Of all the mech games that will be coming out, this is one is probably the least exciting of the bunch.

  18. ikh says:

    Those look like robots, where are my mechs?

  19. Tams80 says:

    Still no recent mecha anime style game. =(

  20. kzrkp says:

    I’m glad they aren’t doing this with Battletech/Mechwarrior. More platable to me when they aren’t shitting on my favorite series. I am curious and interested.
    Also Re: Front Mission, Evolved sure was a shame. There is a sad void of Front Mission tactical games.

  21. Thunder13 says:

    Reign of Thunder
    Reign of Thunder is a free to play mech-and-robot-themed TPS being developed by Day 1 Studios.
    The game is currently live with a teaser site and a debut trailer.
    link to