Mech love, not war. That is the lesson we must learn from the futuristic prophecies of the MechWarrior games. Yes, it is very noble to slam your big steel shoes upon a separatist’s bedroom, and to laser him in the head. But would it not bring greater valour, greater unity, greater enlightenment, if those same 65-ton brogues were used … to dance!
No. Here is a list of the 9 stompiest mechs in PC games. The heaviest, most murderous machines we know and trust with our frail human bods. But are they are all good at squashing?
Leap Mech - Into The Breach
There is no greater stomp than the sky stomp. The Leap Mech in this tactical game of kaiju chess is a masochistic megaflea. It hops across the tiled map, clearing buildings, mountains, rivers and its own team mates to land next to its giant insectoid foes, pushing them aside with a damaging slam. This leaping botboy puts a dent in his own armour in the process, but such is the price of a really good stomp. If you cannot bound several miles across an abstract landmass, do you even qualify as a mech? No, says the Leap Mech, you are just a big microwave with legs.
BT-7274 - Titanfall 2
Titanfall 2’s campaign was short, sweet and full of hot man-on-mech action. The story is not sci-fi Shakespeare, but it is at least a fun buddy cop show. Respawn understood that a player wouldn’t care about a throwaway tin can with machine guns attached, so they gave your bot-bud a voice and the rudimentary personality of a very shiny K-9 unit. Through close calls and palsy bants, you begin to think of your giant metal warsuit not as a tool or weapon, but as a big metal dog you climb inside.
Metal Gear Sahelanthropus - Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Y'know when your cat hears something unusual? And it stands on its hind legs like a meerkat in the Kalahari, looking alert and sort of disturbing? That’s Metal Gear Sahelanthropus, except it is hundreds of tons heavier and covered in a skin of depleted uranium. Also, it has a laser penis. Sahelanthropus is the bi-pedal robo-tank that exudes big dick energy, and it literally stands up for what it believes in: discriminate murder.
Magitek Armour - Final Fantasy VI & Final Fantasy XIV
This mech has ears. It is the only mech on this list able to hear its own stomp.
Think about it.
Thunderbolt - Battletech
There are a lot of big trampers to choose from in the Battletech universe, but let’s pick the Thunderbolt, because he carries a missile battery on his broad kegger shoulder like it’s a barrel of Milwaukee’s Best. According to Battletech lore, this mech is “affectionately” known as the T-Bolt, which is a good rapper name. It is also liable to cook its pilot like a boiled egg because of the sheer number of weapons attached to it. Mech commanders will often order these big hot bozos into nearby water at the start of a battle, says the Battletech wiki, just to keep this mechanical mensch cool enough to fire his own lasers. Imagine being so hot and stompy your boss tells you to get in a pond. That’s power.
Sea Prawn - Subnautica
But a pond is no ocean. The Sea Prawn is one of gaming’s few mechs confident enough in its stompiness to shun firearms entirely. You could put a torpedo launcher on it if you wanted, but then you’d be playing Subnautica wrong. You would still be thinking of your mech as a war machine, a metal maniac with dog tags and a mech wife back home, waiting for him to come back, a beautiful mech wife he is planning to propose to, just one more week and then he’s on leave, he can’t wait to see her, look, this is her, in the big flowery dress, isn’t she massive? Man, it’ll be good to smell her oily chassis again, one week, one more week...
The Sea Prawn is a mech of peace and knowledge. Conflict has no place here. It should be equipped with a mining drill and a grappling hook. If you do not understand the Sea Prawn enough to know the goodness of its heart, then you do not deserve to see its subaquatic stomp. Get out of my article. Don’t let me catch you here again.
Little Johnny’s Tripod - The Surge 2
Stompier than a West End musical, this tripedal mechanoid disaster flips and flops around without grace or composure. It is an embarrassment. It spends its free time battering you with its feet, like an enormous daddy long-legs having a tantrum. I hate him, and if I woke up tomorrow and he was gone, I would not feel guilty.
MEC trooper - XCOM: Enemy Within
You need to get your arms and legs cut off to wear this suit of robot armaments, which some may consider a downside. But not the brave idiots of XCOM. The MEC troopers are the ultimate xeno-stamper of this turn-based strategy game. They can’t take cover, but that is because they are so bulky they technically qualify as cover for normal squaddies (unless you choose the jet boots in the skill tree instead, obv). Still, what excellent team players. Naysayers would argue that being stripped down to a torso and head is a high price to pay for shins of bulletproof alloy. But those people are cowards, and they will get the alien government they deserve.
Robot body - Soma
Becoming a robot shell in sci-fi horror Soma is like the de-bodying process of becoming a MEC trooper in XCOM. Except the resulting mechanoid body is laughably fragile, and you don’t even have a head left at the end. Only the digitised dregs of a questionable personality. You might think this botbod is not stompy at all. Incorrect. Soma’s robosuits do stomp. They stomp all over the philosophical notion of the Self. They slam their feet upon interesting questions about human identity, and trample across several metaphysical doctrines. Is there a “you”? Would you die if you were copied to a floppy disk? And if the drone pilots of modern warfare, instead of using a tiny camera and a Thrustmaster, had to transfer their entire consciousness to a Predator drone before bombing a village, would the US and UK militaries commit fewer atrocities? The answer to these questions are no, yes, and no, respectively.
One Off The List from… the 9 harshest winters
Last week we listed the 9 harshest winters in the recent history of PC games. It was a bitter, gruelling list, and we lost many commenters to frostbite and poor SEO. But a decision has been made to jettison one game from that cold rundown. It’s… Life Is Strange 2.
It is to be removed on animal welfare grounds, as argued by commenter "MiniMatt" with the ferocity of several John Wicks. "Any entry which includes the puppy getting it must be removed from the list," he said, "lest it encourage other developers to consider the same."