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MechWarrior Unveiled for Xbox 360 and PC
Classic franchise will be rebooted
By Nick Arvites 07/09/2009 06:59:36 PST
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Teaser trailers released earlier this week hinted that the classic PC franchise MechWarrior may be making a return. At 12 Midnight PST, this was confirmed.

The franchise is based on the now 25 year old Battletech tabletop game, and has spawned four PC titles and several console games through its history. The video game rights for Battletech (and other former FASA properties like Crimson Skies and Shadowrun) were held by Microsoft and were licensed to Smith and Tinker. Smith and Tinker was founded by Jordan Weisman, the co-creator of FASA and the Battletech franchise.

No publisher has been named at this point, but a PC and Xbox 360 version have been confirmed. The game will have a singleplayer mode, 4 player co-op, and a full multiplayer suite. However, exact details are pending until the project gains a publisher and a budget, so this is subject to change.  

A full trailer and information hit the net (first on IGN, then quickly spread to YouTube) early this morning detailing the game. The game is being developed by Piranha Games, and serves as a reboot to the franchise.  The game is set in 3015. This places the game near the Third Succession War and before the events of any of the prior games in the franchise. 

The game is built on the Unreal Engine, and the trailer--which uses in-game footage--shows off several features of the game. Urban combat looks to be a realistic option for this iteration. Prior installments in the series took place in vast open landscapes. Urban combat allows for more cover and tactical decisions. The trailer shows that a UAV can be launched to detect enemies. It also shows that buildings are destructable, and this can be used for both damage and cover. The full cockpit view is shown, including popups in the HUD and the pilot pressing buttons to perform functions. 

The only mechs shown in the trailer are a Warhammer, Jenner, and an Atlas. However, the goal of the developers is to make a role for each weight class and make them viable. For example, a light mech would act as a scout for the lance, providing information on enemy positions. One of the main focuses that this trailer seems to showcase is that there will be an emphasis on the "war of information" in this game. The longer players use a certain mech, the better their character will be in the mech. This seems ripe to provide a sort of leveling system that would not only give the game an RPG style progression system, but also reward players for sticking with one particular mech. 

MechWarrior is announced nine years after the release of MechWarrior 4 and seven years after the release of the final expansion. The trailer looks impressive, and the property is in the hands of its co-creator. While it does not have a publisher as of now, this certainly will not be the case for much longer. 

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