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News: Mecha RTS Airmech in Alpha

Posted on : 31-03-2012 | By : | In : News, Videos

Hardware:

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Released in 1989 to little fanfare, Herzog Zwei, an action/strategy hybrid, was one of the most influential titles in video game history despite remaining relatively unknown to this day. Its major innovation was strategic gameplay in real time, with bases creating units that would be carried by your commander mecha’s fighter form into battle. This real-time aspect, the management of resources, and construction of units would inspire what is generally considered the first Real Time Strategy game, Dune 2, which would inspire Command & Conquer, which would in turn inspire Warcraft. Despite helping launch an entire genre, Herzog Zwei has unfortunately never received the modern update it so rightly deserved, other than an indie spiritual successor in Cyber Wing and a stealth homage by way of the brutally underrated Brütal Legend.

Thankfully, Carbon Games is bringing Herzog Zwei to the 21st century with a freemium game called AirMech. While still in alpha, and currently only playable in the form of an add-on for the Google Chrome browser, the game already has all the charm of the original and then some. Many were put off by Herzog Zwei’s almost impenetrable game mechanics, but the short tutorial and simple controls of Airmech allow you to get right into the action. Thankfully, this doesn’t mean the game has been dumbed down; it remains the same hectic mecha shmup crossed with the grand tradition of screwing your friends with a lightning raid of tanks right outside their headquarters.

Spoiler

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Comments (2)

For the record, it is currently available for PC users outside of Chrome if they’re in the closed alpha… which is currently restricted to friends&family, IGN Prime subscribers, and PAX East attendees.

I’ve played some of it but I’m not a big fan of the hand holding you have to do when you spawn new units. Having to pick them up, set their AI pattern, set them on their path and then do it all again for the other units is taxing and tedious. Other than that, it is a pretty fun time but that issue really makes it drag on for me.

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