Fans of the Mechwarrior Universe will be happy to hear that the long-awaited Mechwarrior Reboot is well underway. Since the original plans for the series reboot were shelled back in 2011, Piranha Games has since rethought their game and have come back with the free-to-play Mechwarrior Online. This version of Mechwarrior is further proof that “free-to-play” does not by any means imply an inferior product. While still in the Beta stage, MWO has come a long way in the short period that it has been available to the public. With monthly updates and patches, new mechs and maps are being added all the time.
MWO has come a long way from MW4. Simplified controls help to cut down on the learning curve for new pilots, and immersive environments and mech cockpits impress upon the player that they are in direct control of their 100 ton Atlas assault mech. Vastly improved graphics, new mechs, re-vamped old mechs, and new twists on old favorites help to make Mechwarrior Online’s roster an impressive lineup. From soft-hitting but faster-than-hell light mechs to the slow moving, heavily armored brute force of the Assault mechs – there’s a variant and a mech for everyone. Each mech comes with different variants, allowing a player to personalize and find the build that best fits their play style. Beyond mech variants, players are able to choose from three major weapon types: Laser weapons, which boast high damage, no ammunition, but generate a lot of heat; Ballistic weapons, which can pack an extraordinary punch, but are limited by ammunition weight, reload time, and moderate heat generation; and Missile Weapons, which can deal heavy damage at long or short range, and when built as an SRM “boat” like the catapult – they can be quite an explosive game ender if a pilot can land a good shot.
All in all, Mechwarrior Mercs is a great online game, and they have a good start. Matches can go downhill very quickly if everyone fails to work as a team – even one “lone wolf” charging the enemy lines alone can disrupt your team’s strategy and cause havoc. Players need to stay in constant contact making this an ideal game for friends with voice chat. Matches can feel a bit repetitive if one sticks to the same mech and variant, so change it up every now and then!
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