MechWarrior Online announced, due 2012

By Brenna Hillier
31 October 2011 21:42 GMT

Classic mech sim series MechWarrior is back in action, as Piranha finally unveils a long-awaited reboot.

PC Gamer reports the beloved franchise returns in the form of a free-to-play, team-based online multiplayer mech sim.

Played from first person perspective and described by the developers as “really the MechWarrior you know”, the game draws heavy inspiration from the series’ heyday in the 90’s and early 2000’s.

Players can join teams of four, or lances, for battle, and band together in guild-like mercenary leagues. Conquest mode is the main focus, but deathmatch games will be available.

MechWarrior traditionally features a heavy emphasis on upgrading and customising mechs, but Piranha hopes to turn battles into tactical affairs focused on information flow, rather than “arms races”.

Freemium features will be available, but the developers promise that players will not be able to pay to win – in-game items which grant advantage during battle will not be available for real-world currency but must be earned through play.

The game’s plot will actually play out the entire series’ fiction in real time, with one real world day equal to one day of the game’s universe, beginning ahead of the Clan Invasion of 3050. That seems to make it a perfect starting point for those unfamiliar with the MechWarrior canon and the Battletech franchise it draws on.

The sweeping storyline will take in a number of locations, and the differing environmental factors will affect gameplay significantly; ask any 90’s PC gamer about MechWarrior and you’re likely to hear a rant about overheating.

MechWarrior Online is expected in the latter half of 2012.

Thanks, EvilAvatar.

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