Beginning in the latter part of 2005, MechCorps is a rather interesting mix of mobile arcade and MechWarrior training command. Not many people can say that they have climbed into a totally encapsulated cockpit with fully functional controls to play a videogame- especially these days. If you visit 16034 West Road or attend any of the conventions to which they attend, not only can you try it out but can play with seven other pilots also riding customized Virtual World Tesla II simpods. Running BattleTech Firestorm; custom MechWarrior IV Mercenaries software, MechCorps features forty two mechs and who knows how many variants. While the engine and graphics won’t exactly mesmerize you MechWarrior Online players out there, there is something to be said for the 100% immersive experience over just sitting at a desk on a chair. Those of you who have built your own custom simpits know exactly what I mean.
Headquartered in Houston, Texas, I feel MechCorps is an absolute must-visit for any BattleTech fan living or visiting the Houston area. They have regularly scheduled events and regular’s nights where you can catch discounts. And for the truly immersive they even have their own uniform style specifications and unit patches. You can get also find official lapel pins, teeshirts, and noseart flash through the unit PX store.
Being a thirtysomething, the arcade element of this is definitely a positive draw. Having spent far too much of my formative years in video arcades in the ’80s, there is a lot more interactivity here than just firing up Teamspeak. You can build actual friendships here while going over game footage with sodas and getting out of the house Friday night or for a weekend convention (whether or not you want to wear bloused BDUs in south Texas is up to you). MechCorps to me is closer to a golfing or bowling league than anything. Though if they ever get to use a version of MWO in the pods, well so much the better.
Their website features a discussion forum and news section as well as an extensive training and technical specification area. They also maintain a marketing website for those who might wish to book MechCorps for events. That’s right, they go on the road with options including four, six, or all eight of their Mobile Armor Division simpods. There are other groups out there that do this, but I believe that MechCorps has the greatest number of simpods available.
In June, MechCorps will be at A-Kon in Dallas, Delta H Con in Houston, Texas Comicon in San Antonio, and Bayoucon in Lake Charles, LA. In August they’ll be attending the launch of Space City Con at the Galleria in Houston. Questions can be addressed to Muerte at their about page. MechCorps can also be found on Facebook.
Bargained well, and done.