Great news! It’s been years since last we played a decent Mechwarrior game. But, Piranha has just announced that they’re making an online Mechwarrior game. And unlike the Xbox Mechassault games, this is supposed to be an actual sim (to offer slower-paced, more ‘realistic’ mech-combat).
After two years of near-total silence about the fate of the MechWarrior reboot, Piranha Games has announced MechWarrior Online, a free-to-play, team-based multiplayer BattleMech sim that’ll go live in the second half of 2012. Starting from just before the Clan Invasion of 3050, MWO will tell the story of the Battletech universe in real-time. Each day, players will do battle on behalf of the universe’s major factions, and each day in the game will represent a single day’s action in the fictional Inner Sphere.
MechWarrior Online (MWO) might be free-to-play, but MWO Creative Director Bryan Ekman and Piranha President Russ Bullock insist this is going to be a proper MechWarrior game in the tradition of MechWarrior 2 through 4, not a successor to the Xbox action game Mech Assault. Ekman says joystick support is a strong probability, and both call this a Mech sim.
“I think it’s really the MechWarrior you know,” Bullock says. “It’s fully first-person. It’s not a new interpretation. We’re modernizing things a little bit, I think we’ll get to those questions, but certainly it’s MechWarrior.” (source).
Rumors of it being free-to-play are also interesting. It seems bigger and bigger budget games are opting to go this route, though at this point, Piranha is probably undecided on the matter. Still, a true Mechwarrior game with a strong online component that allows for character and experience building is promising, to say the least.