It was September of 2009 when we first saw footage of what would ultimately become the long-awaited return of the MechWarrior franchise. After disappearing for over two years, Piranha Games came out of nowhere last fall to officially unveil MechWarrior Online, a game based entirely in BattleTech canon and one that fans of the classic MechWarrior 2-4 games would find very familiar.
Since that time, Piranha has steadily maintained the official MechWarrior Online (MWO) blog with developer diaries and explanations of the game's systems, slowly revealing concept art along the way. Those images however, hinted at potential cel-shaded designs for the mechs and some fans were growing concerned about the style and aesthetic of the most most authentic of the three upcoming BattleTech games. Those concerns can now be put to rest.
The first very MechWarrior Online teaser trailer gave players a look at the monstrous Atlas mech, inside the cockpit and out, detailing what we can expect from the designs and HUD. But now we have an even better look at the visuals and style of the game thanks to the screenshots PC Gamer gathered during GDC last week. Take a look and see what MechWarrior 5 would have looked like:
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The images confirm that Piranha Games is aiming to make MechWarrior Online a game that fans of the series can easily get behind. Knowing it will play (and now we can say, look) like the successor to MechWarrior 4 we wanted years ago, combined with all of the awesome details about informational and community warfare, a persistent world, factions, etc., MWO has the potential to finally offer PC gamers the type free-to-play game we want.
Of course, this depends on gameplay and how microtransactions are implemented, and we still await details on that front. The other two recently announced mech games referenced above are MechWarrior Tactics and Reign of Thunder (think MechAssault).
MechWarrior Online launches summer 2012.
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Source: PC Gamer