Did I by accident slip into parrel universe where dreams of old pcgaming farts get fulfiled? Because first they announce new Monkey Island at E3 and now Mechwarrior is coming back? IGN has lenghty interview with Jordan Weisman (one of the guys who created the BattleTech univers) and Russ Bullock (president of Piranha Games, the developer behind the new Mechwarrior). I’ve read the interview, I’ve seen the footage. And well… it looks like Mechwarrior, the video is obviously scripted like hell, but it shows what they are aiming at. And I’m relived to say it does look like Mechwarrior 5, not MechAssault 3 which I was afraid off. Not everything is all that rosy though (just like Tales of Monkey Island announcement also wasn’t fulfillment of all our hopes).
So what I didn’t like?:
-First of all the developer isn’t exactly a known material and so far they’ve been only doing second rate console games
-It’s multiplatform. Hopefully they realize the main audience for this type of game is on PC and it will be a lead platform for it.
-They want to make 360 and PC gamers do crossplatform play, Shadowrun style. This is absolutely horrible idea, it didn’t work in Shadowrun, it won’t here. Not to mention it would mean P2P only MP and use of dreaded Games for Windows Live. We can only hope that whatever publisher they find he will beat this nonsense out of them.
Still, the trailer and interview made big enough impression on me that I’m cautiously optimistic. I doubt it will be as simulation heavy as Mechwarrior 3 (my favorite part of the franchise), but neither was Mechwarrior 4 and it didn’t stop me from enjoying the hell out of it. Plus it’s Unreal Engine 3, it’s not the best engine for a PC game, but it’s one that modding communities have plenty of experience with. So even if the new Mechwarrior ends up being disappointing in some areas, there’s a very good chance Mektek and others will fix everything that’s wrong with it.
But that’s not all.
To celebrate Battletech’s 25th anniversary Mechwarrior 4 will be released for free along with all expansion packs and MekTek’s glorious enchantments.
Before I joined the glorious ranks of PC Gamers I was a hardcore Commodore fan (yes, instead of being “polluted by consoles” my childhood was filled with stealing mother’s hairpins, squashing them with hammer and then using them to calibrate the Commodore64 cassette player :D. I was lucky though, my friends who had Atari XL had to leave the room when the game was loading as even a single squeak of wooden floor could result in AtariXL’s cassette player screwing up the game’s loading). Then came Amiga and with it Alien Breed. Team 17 back then was kind of what Blizzard is today to PCgaming. You could buy any game they made without reading any reviews, or even without actually knowing what it’s about. They were THAT good. And among Team 17 games Alien Breed was always the one series I loved the most. For years I’ve been waiting for a real follow up. I had to suffer through two attempts of turning the series into FPS, then I was hoping others might clone the concept successfully. Some have tried to do just that: Shadowgrounds turned out to be a pretty nice Alien Breed clone. The ones that came the closest were modders though, as Alien Swarm mod for UT2004 not only managed to recreate the brilliance of Alien Breed, but actually succeed in pushing the formula forward (which is why the recent lack of updates on commercial follow-up is breaking my heart).
As the Alien Breed is slated to be released on multitude of platforms, I doubt they will implement the great mouse-based controls Alien Swarm had, but even if it remains old school at it’s design, it’s still Alien Breed, I get all fluffy inside when I think about it. 🙂
New Mechwarrior and Alien Breed? For real? Next thing I know I will be hearing X-COM annoucement (yes please, pretty please! 🙂 )
COMMAND AND CONQUER 4!
Of course the announcement alone is big news, after all the franchise is one of biggest ones PC Gaming has, but this time there reasons to get a lot more excited. In the interview the EA guy revealed not only that there will be no DRM but also that it’s developed as PC only title. Straight from the horse’s mouth:
While we are very proud of the work done [for] console versions of our previous titles, we are developing Command & Conquer 4 exclusively for the PC. Given the ambitious scope and significantly reworked infrastructure of this game, it felt like the right approach to focus purely on our core platform and make sure we get everything right.
I guess the terrible sales of Xbox 360’s versions of Command and Conquer 3 and Red Alert 3 are to blame for that 😀
The game will finally attempt to redesign the formula (CnC hasn’t really changed since 1995). Of course it’s always risky to play with as strongly established formula as the one in CnC, but since there are currently two separate lines of CnC games it would be a great idea to experiment in one and then just polish and improve on the old formula in the other.
This week was also marred by some dissapoitments too. THe “big LucasArts” annoucement turned out to be adding their games to STEAM. An Alan Wake took a pretty dissapointing 360 only route (at least for now there are no comments on PC version), loosing open ended nature of it’s gameplay along the way.
Despite this though, there’s no denying it was a week filled with insane annoucements and even some problems can’t downplay just how awesome the last couple days have been for PCgamers.