I rub my eyes and blink. Something’s not right. The living room furniture’s in its proper place, but the trusty carpet – grizzled veteran of countless drink spillages – seems… different. Segmented. I glance down at the grid-based mech marathon unfolding on my PC, then back up again, and the terrifying truth suddenly dawns on me. Hexes. Hexes everywhere. I dash outside – one turn at a time – into a blinding tangle of sunlight and gold-tinged grids. Horrified, I run back upstairs, only to catch my reflection in my bathroom mirror. I am gridded. I fall down weeping in vain hope that the tears will wash this waking nightmare from my seared retinas. This unsettling vision of my probable future has been brought to you by MechWarrior Tactics, which you can catch a glimpse of after the break.
Sure, the framerate takes a nosedive into a slideshow land toward the end, but there’s plenty of time to clean that up. I’m also intrigued by the prospect of asynchronous battles, even if that means I’ll play frequently enough to see grids every time I blink for the rest of my life. It’s also great to see a “browser-based” game embrace this level of general sophistication, though I still have my reservations about pairing randomized booster-pack-based item purchases with special manufacturer set bonuses. That sounds like a land where even the most nickle-and-dime-stuffed piggy banks fear to tread. At any rate, MechWarrior Tactics is set to launch sometime this year, so I’ll be able to brave a hail of missiles and Unbeatable Prices (!) to let you know soon enough.