Archive for the ‘fasa’ Category

How MechWarrior’s return took me back to the early ‘90s mall in my mind

December 10th, 2019
Screenshot from latest MechWarrior video game.

Enlarge / 17 years later, the first-person bombast of MechWarrior returns to PC in campaign form. What better way to pilot a King Crab than with a robust HOTAS rig? (credit: Piranha Games)

Today marks the launch of MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries on Windows PC, which is a pretty big deal for any gamer who likes blasting massive robots to bits. This is one of many video games based on the biggest Western mech-combat franchise out there, BattleTech, but most of the recent games have landed in tactical, top-down territory.

That befits a series that began life as a tabletop strategy game, but any hardcore PC gamer who came up in the '90s remembers when the series' bombastic, first-person offshoot, MechWarrior, debuted as a drool-worthy highlight of the 3D-gaming revolution. And it's been a while since we've seen a traditional MechWarrior campaign game: 17 years.

As such, you can't take a single mecha-stomp through MechWarrior 5's gameplay without trampling some fields of nostalgia. For some players, that rewind may go back to 2002's MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries. For others, it's a brief rewind to 2013's MechWarrior Online, an MMO that's still in operation and resembles MW5:M.

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Posted in battletech, fasa, Gaming & Culture, hotas, mechwarrior, mechwarrior 5, Thrustmaster | Comments (0)

Video: Taming the player-murdering machine that was MechWarrior 5’s level generator

April 3rd, 2019

Video shot by Sean Dacanay, edited by John Cappello. Special thank you to Piranha Games for providing MechWarrior 5 development footage. Click here for transcript.

First things first: No, you haven't been caught in a time warp and zapped six months into the future (at least, not that we know of). The subject of this "War Stories" episode is the unreleased MechWarrior 5, which is still on track for a September 2019 debut. This is the first time we've done a war story on a game that hasn't come out yet, but it also came with the opportunity to interview Jordan Weisman, the guy most directly responsible for the BattleTech universe and its giant stomping robots.

So we packed up our gear and flew off to beautiful Vancouver, where Mech5 developer Piranha Games is headquartered. Usually, pulling together a "War Stories" video involves a lot of brain-wracking and memory-hunting by the developers, especially for older games; this time, since we were interviewing developers still actively battling through the development process, all the wounds were still fresh and the memories vivid. We got to see a bit of the game in progress and hear some interesting tales about how one wrangles building-sized BattleMechs—and more interestingly, how one builds a world that can accommodate them.

The world’s the thing

MechWarrior 5 will see players hopping freely among a large number of planets in the Inner Sphere. As with many other games, developers at Piranha turned to automated tools in order to create those planets and populate them with realistic biomes and gameplay spaces. And, as with many other games, the quirks and features of those automated tools—and the levels they produced—ended up in turn defining a lot of the gameplay's shape and feel.

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Posted in Ars Technica Videos, fasa, Features, Gaming & Culture, mechwarrior, mechwarrior 2, mechwarrior 5, Piranha Games, war stories | Comments (0)