MechWarrior will return to PCs and show up on the Xbox 360 someday soon, and BattleTech co-creator Jordan Weisman is at the helm once again. Are we ready for an intense tactical mech war game in destructible urban environments, with three of your friends joining your assault lance? Yes. Yes we are.
IGN has a lengthy interview with Mr. Weisman and Russ Bullock of Piranha games. Weisman’s newest company, Smith & Tinker, has teamed with Piranha to develop a prototype of this new MechWarrior game. There’s no release date in sight becase the game still needs a publisher. Once it gets one, there will still be a full development period. But once the game finally comes out, it looks like it will be made of weapons-grade awesome.
For starters, watch this prototype trailer (I know it breaks the frame, but it’s worth it to see it in widescreen).
To summarize what we know at this point: the game is a reboot, not a sequal. It takes place at the beginning of the Fourth Succession War. Multi-player is a major priority, and they really want to have a four-player co-op mode so you can team up with your friends and form a full lance. Better video game technology will make the game more tactically rich, and improve the feel of “piloting a giant war machine” rather than “being a giant robot.” Players will have to use different types of mechs to accomplish various battlefield goals – tactical information will be crucial, so scout mechs will have a vital role even at higher levels of gameplay. No more “lock on, fire and forget.” You’ll have to actively acquire and maintain targets, and the dense urban environments (which appear to blow up nicely) make for great hit and run tactics.
A few months back, I speculated that Smith & Tinker’s purchase of the MechWarrior license from Microsoft was a portent of something truly amazing coming down the line. This is it. If they can find the right publisher and get the budget to make the game that Weisman and Bullock are envisioning, this could be one of those games that gets people to buy an Xbox just so they can play it.