Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

MechWarrior Online

Preview: MechWarrior Online

1:30 PM on 08.02.2012 // Steven Hansen
  @dtoidsteven

The MechWarrior property is an oldie. Perhaps even unrecognizable to some, as there hasn’t been a proper entry in like ten years; I know it in name and concept only, having seen box art or occasional screens. Accordingly, I was not quite prepared for what I was getting myself into with MechWarrior Online.

These robots are decidedly measured and deliberate in their actions. I’m used to fleetfooted, humanoid mechs the likes of Gundam, Evangelion, Gurren Lagann; anime, in short. MechWarrior’s machines are much more like frighteningly advanced tanks and you feel like the operator, heightened by the in cockpit view, in what is much more of a simulation experience than a crazy robot shoot-‘em-up. These death machines feels like the sort of thing you would oppress a people with.


MechWarrior Online (PC)
Developer: Piranha Games
Publisher: Infinite Game Publishing
Release: Summer 2012

More and more titles are embracing the free-to-play market and MechWarrior Online is among them. With recent, praised releases like Blacklight Retribution and Tribes: Ascend, as well as the upcoming, mech-based Hawken, visual fidelity up to current standards is basically expected of Western free-to-play games. As such, MWO boasts some high-fidelity visuals and DirectX11 support. That being said, the art direction largely leans towards a dank and war-torn direction.

The levels I played felt rather similar, despite changes in color tone. There was a snow-blindingly white locale, a rainy, mountainous evening, a level with a sickening greenish industrial flair and smoke stacks, a washed out, crumbling urban environment, and so on. Everything feels quite desolate and the levels are mostly open outdoor environments -- these battle mechs need room to strut their stuff -- so there is an air of familiarity about them, despite the changes in terrain and lighting.

However, I’m sure these subtle stage differences are going to be important factors to consider for someone who knows the game well and isn’t in their equivalent of a first day behind the wheel. The devil’s in the details and there are details here for days, to the point of intimidation. It’s not the most accessible title around. It took me a while just to get acclimated to the vehicular piloting of the mechs and it wasn’t until I was just about ready to call it a night that I claimed my first victim. Giants robots are hard to destroy, even if you have your own giant robot. Who would’ve thunk it?

For the uninitiated, as I was, down (s) and up (w) control your throttle forward and backward, setting your mech to a constant speed. Right (d) and left (a) point the mech in the direction you want it heading, while your pilot looks around freely relative to where your mouse is pointing, though you can no longer look around a full 360 degrees (at least not in the ones I used) like an inquisitive owl. Otherwise, the scheme is familiar. Click the mouse to fire your lasers (or, sometimes, other weapons), space to jump for mechs outfitted with such an ability, and so on. Oh, and a super neat controller is in the works, too, though I didn’t get to use it. Simulation!

These lumbering hulks can absorb a lot of punishment and your lasers overheat with quickness when overused, which causes a temporary system-wide shutdown, leaving you vulnerable. Again, it’s a slow-moving affair. Teamwork, restraint and thoughtful piloting seemed imperative, giving confrontations a dogfight sort of volley as you trade strangely whimsical red and green pew pews of laser. Mechs are armored differently and will take a lot of damage to different portions before finally sustaining critical damage, rendering you a scrap heap for the remainder of the present match.

In addition to the combat, there is an extensive warehouse for playing robot dress up, as well as selecting pilot perks. BattleMechs can be outfitted with different armor, weapons and color schemes. Also in this depot, you can choose between your available battle bots, which come in light, medium and heavy varieties. During my hands-on time, there were about a dozen available, all of which had dull names like HBK-46 or the slightly more colorful Ranger, instead of cool ones like Deathscythe, but I guess you can’t fault them for that. These are heavily industrialized, realistic death machines, after all.

Once you begin to swap out parts, the possibilities are rather staggering. Each individual piece -- head, torso, arms, legs -- has applicable weapons or armor to change and more still to buy. It remains to be seen how viable all of the possible builds will be, but, for the time being, they’re possible, and should work towards giving your mechano-man a distinct feel that conforms to your play style. Equally up in the air is how purchasable content, like parts, will affect stat differences, or how viable a completely (real-world) purchase-free build will be; balance, in short.

I’m quite interested to see how the well traveled MechWarrior property adapts to this free-to-play model, especially with sexy up and comer Hawken right on its tail. There’s definitely a learning curve to it, which could keep new players from investing the time it takes to learn its nuanced, restrained combat, without the impetus of making the most use of their money spent.

Given its niche, the steady influx of newbies could also frustrate those who are deeply invested in its sim-like style, upsetting match balance. In the mean time, you can head over to the MechWarrior Online site to reserve your pilot name, lest some cretin swoop in and filch your moniker.



Steven Hansen, Features Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure dtoidsteven Tips
Steven watches anime & sports, buys meat out of trucks, dates a Muppet, and is only good at cooking. He stands before you bereft of solace and well on the road to perdition. ('^ω^) more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
MechWarrior Online


  Jul 25

Fight cancer with giant mechs

MechWarrior Online selling unique $10 mech in honor of cancer victim, proceeds donated to Canadian Cancer Society


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Video Gaming Bits -- Rampage: Total Destruction

Roses are black, PS4 lights are blue; This is a game, and it has valkyries too?

Cblogs of 02/10/16 and WONDER-isms

Modern face of survival horror

Discussion Discussion on Games

PStoid Episode 38: Doomed from the Box Art

Cblogs of 2/9/16 - Only Slightly Late Edition

Narrative Mistakes: Mass Effect's Reapers As Primary Villains

Journey to Become a Jedi Knight - Jedi Outcast

Waifu Wars - The End

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

TysonOfTime avatarTysonOfTime
Uncontrollable with slightly less Engrish.
Scrustle avatarScrustle
Hachi Roku is my waifu.
Occams avatarOccams
#Darksiders2
ikiryou avatarikiryou
Finally getting around to cataloging all the intergalactic-level augments I want to use for post-game Tyrant killing in XCX. The grind feels more substantial than Monster Hunter but then again there are no four-story-high monsters in MH.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Your waifu is poop. The Ultimate Waifu agrees.
mrandydixon avatarmrandydixon
Boner.
Kaio Da Silva Queiros avatarKaio Da Silva Queiros
Kaio Da Silva Queiros avatarKaio Da Silva Queiros
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
So due to things at my job picking up and bunch of real life stuff, I don't think I'll be able to give my Waifu Wars blog the love and attention it needs. Still, I don't think I need to remind you guys who best waifu is, but just in case you forgot.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Nurse Joy is watching your Waifu quick posts
RenaudB90 avatarRenaudB90
Happy belated 30th anniversary!
LaTerry avatarLaTerry
Playstation Universe obviously taking notes from Destructoid. http://www.psu.com/news/29381/Enter-PSUs-Nitroplus-Blasterz-Whos-Your-Waifu-contest
TheBlondeBass avatarTheBlondeBass
I said I'm sorry Linkslaya, I never meant to hurt ya, I never meant to make you cry But today, someone else brought PM up (in the discord chat)
Nathan D avatarNathan D
Waifus. Waifus everywhere. I want them all, but I won't dare. nya
Torchman avatarTorchman
THE TRUTH BOMBSHELLS ARE DROPPING FOLKS. OH MY LORD, GAJ'S SUPPOSED LOVE FOR NAOTO IS ALL A LIE
El Dango avatarEl Dango
For the next Assassin's Creed, they should completely overhaul the gameplay and base it on the latest Splinter Cells. Stealth, climbing and action would all be massively improved that way.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
I come to remind you all , that these tights are ever vigilant , Best Waifu is watching YOU
Torchman avatarTorchman
YOUR WAIFU IS AS GARBAGE AS ZELDA IN COMPETITIVE SMASH 4.
SayWord avatarSayWord
So I am totally in love with adult Nep Nep. New Waifu approaching...
Brazen Head avatarBrazen Head
When does Undertale get "Interesting"? Played for 2-3 hours, having fun, but failing to see what it does that's so utterly amazing.
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -