Free-to-Play 'MechWarrior Tactics' Continues Resurgence of Franchise

It is officially the resurgence of the MechWarrior franchise and the mech genre as a whole. In October of 2011, Piranha Games finally unveiled their long-in-development MechWarrior Online, a free-to-play MMO slated to release this summer, and just a few days ago we found out that MechAssault developer Day 1 Studios is also returning to the genre with the free-to-play Reign of Thunder, another arcade-style mech game.

Now we can add MechWarrior Tactics to the mix. What is this third MechWarrior game all about?

MechWarrior Tactics is being developed by Roadhouse Interactive and A.C.R.O.N.Y.M. Games and will be published by Infinite Game Publishing. The game takes the form of a classic turn-based strategy with tons of in-game collectibles.

While MechWarrior Online, the simulator style game of the three, begins its persistent world in the fictional future of 3049, MechWarrior Tactics also takes place in the BattleTech, but over two decades earlier in 3025. The Innersphere is controlled by five rival houses and players take on the role as a leader of a mercenary company who chooses their own path amidst the conflict.

The official MechWarrior Tactics description explains how the PC game will work with the free-to-play model:

MechWarrior Tactics allows players the freedom to collect and purchase vital combat and cosmetic resources to outfit each Mech, assemble a lance of four Mechs, and then go online for epic multiplayer showdowns competing for large payouts and top billing on global leaderboards. Master each Mech chassis and develop endless new configurations in your Mech Bay. Assemble a lance for the ages and keep one step ahead of both your friends and enemies.

With this announcement, all three incoming MechWarrior games are embracing the free-to-play model although this description makes it sound like players can purchase "vital combat" resources which, if that means what it sounds like it means, will be a controversial sticking point. Usually, in-game microtransactions are reserved for purely cosmetic upgrades, unlocking additional characters (in this case, mechs), but if players with money can buy better weapons and perform better because of it, then the balance of power will shift to those with money.

Game features:

  • Collect, Customize, Command:
    • Earn Experience and new resources as you advance your level through gameplay
    • Upgrade and customize your Mechs in your Mech Bay
    • Make the most of each Mech's unique configuration for total battlefield domination

    Check out the 11 mech card images released for MechWarrior Tactics - including the Catapult, Atlas, Jenner, the Hunchback and more - and see how the art compares to MechWarrior Online imagery released thus far. Official gameplay trailers and screenshots have yet to be released for either.

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    MechWarrior Tactics releases sometime in 2012.


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