The last thing you think of when it comes to bipedal war machines trying their damnedest to reduce each other to scrap metal is “turn-based gameplay.” Yet that’s exactly what the browser-based free-to-play MechWarrior Tactics is all about.
Developer Roadhouse Interactive, in conjunction with A.C.R.O.N.Y.M Games, and publisher Infinite Game Publishing are launching MWT later this year. It’s firmly rooted in the rich history of the BattleTech board game, the same universe that the MechWarrior video game franchise spun out of. It was also a last-minute addition to the MechWarrior Community Day, an event held at the Nvidia campus in Santa Clara, Calif.
“MechWarrior Tactics really is a homage to the original board game,” said James Romanchuk, the producer at Roadhouse Interactive, to GamesBeat. “A lot of the MechWarrior games that have been produced [in the past] have been sort of first-person shooters, but there’s nothing really that’s been done to port the board game over to the PC…at this production level or budget [and] with a professional studio behind it.”
Just like in the board game, the battlefields in MWT are designed as a hex grid, and your actions are asynchronously turn-based, so you can play multiple battles concurrently. These turns are split into two distinct phases of combat — Attack and Movement, respectively — and after you lock in your choices, the camera switches over to a cinematic view of the map as the mechs duke it out with a barrage of ballistic missiles and laser-powered weaponry.
Even as a “friends and family” beta that was prone to slow loading times and crashes, the effects looked fantastic, and judging from the audible reactions of hardcore fans watching the game behind me (the Tactics demo was limited to members of the press), it sounded like they were satisfied, too.
The nuts and bolts
It wouldn’t be a MechWarrior game without an extreme degree of customization options. For Tactics, the developers designed the system around packages that act like collectible card packs. By using either real-world money or in-game currency earned from battles, you can buy these bundles and receive a random assortment of pieces (weapons, torsos, engines, etc.) for you to equip your team with.
“There’s gonna be different levels of packs — different theme packs — depending on the type of promotion [running] that month,” said Romanchuk. “And people are able to buy this and add to their collection of MechWarrior stuff to play with.”
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Via venturebeat.com by Giancarlo Valdes