THE BUZZ: For fans of giant robotic metal machines waging war against one another, good news—the MechWarrior series is returning next year with MechWarrior Online.
Crafted by Piranha Games, and published by newly-formed Infinite Game Publishing, MechWarrior Online will transform the franchise into a free-to-play online game. Set to launch sometime in the second half of 2012, MechWarrior Online will let players delve into the history of the BattleTech universe, living out those events as a part of one of the story’s five “great houses” (aka factions).
Featuring team-based combat, players will be able to jump online alone, invite and team up with friends, or come together with other players to form Mercenary Corps.
Though the game will be a free-to-play title, the team behind it is promising that MechWarrior Online will feature all of the aspects that fans of the series would expect from a new chapter. BattleMechs will be heavily customizable in terms of weapons, armor, and cosmetics; control will still be heavily based on skill and simulation; and gameplay will continue to require an emphasis on intelligence, careful planning, and wise decision making.
EGM’s TAKE: The free to play revolution really has been interesting. Originally starting as a crutch for games that weren’t of a high enough level of quality to justify a monthly subscription, the concept has now turned into a way for beloved niche games to find success without scaring people off with large up-front costs. It’s great to see MechWarrior Online given a chance via this idea—hopefully the game turns out to be a worthy new addition to the franchise.