In a recent interview with Game Informer, Respawn’s Joel Emslie said something disappointing and worrying in equal measure regarding the mecha in Titanfall. The main quote being “Mech is kind of a dirty word with us, we don’t like it. These aren’t mechs” (screenshot above). Despite the very obvious and widely acknowledged aspects that define the game’s Titans as mecha, it seems that this is another attempt by a game studio to re-brand mecha as something else and new (though with Hawken, Adhesive to their credit did change their tune). This is likely intended as a means to distance the game from any form of Japanese inspiration. Doing the typical American thing of making out that this was some kind of immaculate creative conception, which in itself is still worthy of copious eye rolling. Whilst this is a pretty shitty thing to do, what’s more worrying is how the mecha are being described as a “second skin” for the pilots. In that we may likely see the game with more human controlling mecha, which is basically the same route Front Mission Evolved went down. In short, that didn’t work out too well. Anyway we’re now somewhat skeptical about Titanfall, especially as the lead artist is saying stuff like this. Thanks to Bonk for the heads up.
Whilst we haven’t talked much about Heavy Gear Assault, much of that was down to the fact its Kickstarter has been somewhat of a car crash. So much so that it missed its asking price by such a wide-margin they’ve now resorted to crowd sourced funds via their website. Interestingly, the latter option seems to be netting them more cash so that’s good at least. Personally, we want nothing but this game to get properly funded. These guys really seem to get Heavy Gear and it would be a shame if they weren’t able to bring this project to fruition. So get out your wallets and support them as best you can.
A small team of indie developers have crafted something pretty damn cool via the Unreal engine. Called Strike Vector, it utilises semi-transforming craft in a multiplayer dog-fighting environment. So mixing straight flight and lateral movement (basically a plane crossed with a helicopter – something that’s quite commonplace with the mecha in shows like Macross for instance). No word on a release date or platform, though with the latter it’s likely developed on PC so it’s safe to assume we’ll see the game released there too. We like the mecha design a lot as well and the new in-game trailer (shown below) looks great.
Whilst it was leaked recently that Respawn Entertainment were working on a mecha themed FPS, it has now been officially announced. Called Titanfall, it’s a sci-fi FPS set on what appears to be a far off future colony world. On foot combat seems to have parkour and quick boosting elements (so quite interesting) but the mecha look like something else entirely (as shown above). Whilst we did berate Front Mission Evolve’s idiotic standardisation between human and mecha handling, it’s not entirely clear if that’s the case here. That aside, the mecha designs have some nice nods to Yutaka Izubuchi’s and Kow Yokoyama’s work though, which we entirely approve of. Whilst this was premiered along with the Xbox One, apparently there will be a 360 and PC release too. The announcement trailer is linked below.
Oh, and to our readers from Respawn (of which there are a few), “hi!”.
Whilst this is not the first toy of Sakura Shinguji’s pink custom koubu from the Sakura Taisen series, this new Variable Action toy from Megahouse looks to be one of the best. Released at the end of September for 7,800 yen, it has a nice sculpt and what appears to be decent articulation too. Sadly, it doesn’t look like it comes with a Sakura pilot figure (though this likely helps to keep the price down). If you are one of those that enjoy pink steampunk mecha then make sure to pre-order yours here.
Whilst we have lost somewhat all hope for Lost Planet 3, this new trailer has re-ignited a modicum of interest on our part. In so far that this trailer covers the multiplayer aspects of the game, it also reveals that the game will have early vital suits (rather than the huge and fugly “rigs” that we’ve seen thus far). Admittedly you still seem to control these VTs in first person (why Spark, WHY?) but the fact they’re here at all is still a blessing. Especially as from a multiplayer standpoint VTs are more comparable in terms of size to that of human players and that makes it more of a fairer and faster paced fight (read: good). The game is still on track for it’s late August release this year and we will be reviewing it once it’s out.
Normally we don’t post tech related trailers but this is actually pretty cool. The very accomplished (and fun!) Hawken will support all manner of new PhysX particles if you have an nVidia card. The video shows all manner of nice looking debris as well as quite complex cyclone based particles. The effects are also quite striking when present, to the point that they actually improve the game’s visual messaging quite a bit (the shield and repair effects are notable in this regard, with the shield changes shown above). If you’re not already playing Hawken then you’re really missing out, it’s one of the best mecha games we’ve played in years.
The much anticipated open beta for Hawken starts today. We’ve been playing the game since the closed test phases and it’s truly an impressive and fun mecha game. So there’s no excuse whatsoever to not check this game out, especially if you regard yourself as a discerning mecha gaming connoisseur. Make sure you have an account set-up for when the game goes live to the public later today. The new trailer below is a fair representation of what the game looks like when running, minus the dubstep and slow motion stuff obviously.
We’ve been meaning to post our impressions on Hawken since the NDA was lifted for the closed alpha and beta testers (of which we were one). As we’ve been quite busy, it took us a while to get around to this. Whilst we’ve had all manner of weird PR about the game trying to make out it isn’t a mecha game, the truth is that this is very much an old school hardcore mecha game (in the best possible sense). What follows are our impressions from playing the alpha and beta builds.
A gameplay walkthrough was uploaded for Lost Planet 3 pretty recently and we’ve linked it below. If we’re honest, it really doesn’t fill us with hope for this narrative prequel. It looks functionally very awkward and the QTE’s (or re-branded “struggle” moments) appear to be pretty damn tedious. Even the rig setup seems just a bit crap. Admittedly the final controls could assuage our worries but it doesn’t look like a fluid game. Comparing this to the bloody wonderful E.X. Troopers, where all the game videos looked super tight and that then being proved true with the recent demos, makes this new Lost Planet 3 footage come across as though the final game could very well be a bit pants. Anyway, we’ll know for sure once the game gets released.