“TACTICAL ‘MECH COMBAT RETURNS TO THE PC.”
I was a backer of MechWarrior Tactics before it fell apart amidst development. MechWarrior Online is alright from the first-person view- vehicle simulation side, but I was hankering for something a little closer to the original source material, and with a much richer immersion in the interstellar politics and intrigue that makes up the BattleTech universe. Personae Studios‘ MechWarrior Tactical Command was, in my opinion, an unsung classic game that gave me a mobile MechCommander fix. But the game was fairly short and its title’s similarity to MechWarrior Tactics as well as its exclusivity to high end Apple mobile products made it instantly obscure and isolated. Of course there is always Megamek, but for one reason or another, I’ve never really had a good experience with it.
In the meantime I am having the time of my life reliving the glory days with the Shadowrun Returns series; including its sequel Dragon Fall and its upcoming Hong Kong titles. Being from the generation of 2D graphics, having a 2D isometric game with painted backgrounds in a game also featured for mobile devices really appeals to me.
So scrubbing through my Facebook feeds today I saw that Harebrained Schemes is going to be launching a fall-slated Kickstarter for a BattleTech title. You can see the official page here, but it’s very bare bones without any concept sketches or plot. However like Shadowrun Returns, BattleTech creator Jordan Weisman will be at the helm of the project. You can also sign up for updates by email.
My speculation is that the game might be in a 2D Isometric view with 2D or 3D rendered sprites similar to Shadowrun Returns since they are going to be using a turn-based combat system. Shadowrun Returns also uses a highly intuitive cover system I believe would lend itself well to a BattleTech game, substituting hills, trees, and buildings for cars, building facades and office furniture. It makes the most sense to me from a standpoint of development efficiency. And given the popularity of Shadowrun Returns games, (I think the third installment, Hong Kong, made its initial Kickstarter goals within twenty four hours), If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Political Intrigue is also mentioned in the brief text copy, so I’m thinking that the backstory and plot will be at least as sophisticated and true to the source material as the Loren Coleman-written story arc in MechWarrior Tactical Command. Though it seems like there will be more sandbox elements to it.
In their own words:
“Steeped in the feudal political intrigue of the BattleTech universe, the game will feature an open-ended Mercenaries-style campaign that blends RPG ‘Mech and MechWarrior management with modern turn-based tactics.”
To me, that heavily suggests a turn-based MechCommander Desperate Measures, and I know there are a lot of socks being blown off at the concept in BattleTech fan circles. My own included.
I just hope they make a mobile version as well.
Well bargained, and done.