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New MechWarrior Announced, MechWarrior4 To Be Distributed Free 229

Posted by Soulskill
from the as-in-beer dept.
Vamman writes "In light of the recent announcement of the new MechWarrior game, Smith and Tinker has granted our online dev team MekTek.net (which has been supporting MechWarrior for almost a decade now) permission to release MechWarrior 4 entirely for free using the same type of distribution model that id Games used for Quake3's free release.
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New MechWarrior Announced, MechWarrior4 To Be Distributed Free

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  • Woo-hoo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RogueyWon (735973) * on Thursday July 09, 2009 @01:19PM (#28639801) Journal

    Excellent news about Mechwarrior 4. I wonder if the stand-alone Mercenaries spin-off (which I preferred) is also included (I note the expansions are)?

    Also good news that if the screenshots/concept art are anything to go by, they plan on doing this properly. It doesn't look to me like some arcade-ified MechAssault type of game. I used to love the Mechwarrior games, partially because the complexity made it feel like you really were in command of a huge lump of metal. I don't expect they'll use half the keyboard on controls again, but if they can get something with even a vaguely sim-like feel, I'll be delighted.

    I'm also very pleased that they're jumping back in the time-line. The Clans are great, and it would be neat if this game could feature the Clan invasion as its finale (like Battletech 2 and Mechwarrior 2 Mercenaries), but I always felt that the narrative just meandered after that. Plus it's actually a lot of fun trying to survive in relatively primative mechs like the Jenner.

  • Excellent! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Khan (19367) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @01:26PM (#28639917)

    Aside from the original X-Wing trilogy, the MechWarrior series of games have always been my favorites! I can't even begin to account for all of the time I lost playing those online.

  • Re:Woo-hoo (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Thursday July 09, 2009 @01:26PM (#28639925)
    The main thing I'm concerned about them getting down is the tweaking. By far the best part, for me, was always building your own mechs, coming up with new combinations. It was especially great if you had a regular opponent: my roommate and I were always looking to one-up or counter the other's newest mech design. That's the key part of the game to get right, in my opinion. If they get that, the rest isn't too hard to have fall into place.
  • by werfu (1487909) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @01:27PM (#28639935)
    I really hope they'll open up the game engine for MW4 and MW3. I never been able to finish MW3 do to a nasty bug in the game :@ Anyhow, I hope they'll stick to the classic MW gameplay and it'll be a success for sure :D Well, I'll be buying!
  • by oogoliegoogolie (635356) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @01:33PM (#28640029)

    My gods, please don't take yet another PC game that works so fantastically with the keyboard-mouse combination and 'dumb it down for the masses' that use console controls. Note, I'm not saying console gamers are dumb, just the controls are in many types of games.

  • by Yosho (135835) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @02:11PM (#28640647) Homepage

    MechWarrior is great and all but its often frustratingly slow controls makes it a snore fest.

    I hope they improve on this major flaw. Its the one aspect of MechWarrior that hurt it.

    No, that's exactly why many people loved the MechWarrior games so much. They (the good ones, at least), are not arcadey action games, they are giant robot combat simulators. Hundred-ton hunks of metal covered in weapons are not quick, agile acrobats; they are tanks with legs. The more realistic behavior of the mechs makes combat more about strategy and tactics than twitch reflexes.

    If that's the kind of mech game you want, there are other ones out there that cater to you (ZoE). Please don't try to change MechWarrior into something it's not.

  • Re:Woo-hoo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shadow of Eternity (795165) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @02:13PM (#28640691)

    Sorry but that just doesn't fly when you actually play a PC game. I think it's cute that people are that obsessed with how it was originally configured in a tabletop game but there's no logical reason to start forcing me to use lasers instead of autocannons just because that's whan someone else did.

    Gameplaywise I think MW2 really had it set. You could do pretty much anything you wanted, including strapping nothing but machineguns and PPCs to a mech that'd been stripped down to a leafblower for the engine and 3 sandwich wrappers for a heatsink. You'd explode if you tried to fire and never get anywhere but you COULD do it. It was up to you to find effective loadouts, you weren't shoehorned into it by some consoleized list of restrictions.

  • by Sagara Sozou (726002) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @02:18PM (#28640753) Homepage
    "Masakari, to you freebirth scum."

    There, fixed it for you.
  • Re:Woo-hoo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RobotRunAmok (595286) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @02:29PM (#28640905)

    It's not a matter of being cute, it was a matter of improving on the logic of the game. There you were in a Madcat, the most iconic of all the mechs, with what were clearly two shoulders filled with missiles (or something that looked pretty close to them) and you were --- what? saying "Pay no attention to those things that look like missiles, they're REALLY a mix of lasers and machine guns" ?

    Video games are a visual medium. Function should follow form, especially in a giant robot. Especially in Multiplayer. Imagine playing Halo online and what looks like a pistol in your opponent's hand is really a BFG.

    I think it's cute that people are that obsessed with how it was originally configured in a tabletop game
    Seems to me you're the guy who should be playing the pen and paper game. Maybe upgrade yourself to a spreadsheet, and you can tweak your mathematical "what ifs" to your heart's content.

  • Re:Woo-hoo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RogueyWon (735973) * on Thursday July 09, 2009 @02:38PM (#28641037) Journal

    Yes, I was going to repond to the grandparent, but you've said it all better than I would have done. For me, the biggest defect of MW2, particularly Mercenaries, was the way that all of the mechs felt so generic once you got into the tweaking. They were basically all just slightly differently shaped shells with a set amount of capacity for weapons.

    As you say, in Mechwarrior 4, your mech's function actually had to match its form to some degree. There were actually mechs that had a lot of versatile slots for their weapons, making them completely customisable, but these mechs tended to have glaring defects elsewhere.

    It also meant that when I picked out my lance for the mission, I actually ended up arranging it so that the lance looked and felt plausible within the context of the fiction. If I wanted a long range support mech, I'd be using a Catapult or a Vulture, not a Zeus stuffed with invisible missile racks.

    It's funny, really, how excited I am that they've gone back to an early time-line setting. I mean, I do hope the Clans show up at some point, even if only in the multiplayer, but my defining memories of Battletech and Mechwarrior games basically revolve around frantically scuttling about in a lance of Locust and Jenner type mechs, with a couple of SRMs and lasers, frantically trying to come up with a way to take down a Dragon.

  • a few features (Score:4, Insightful)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @03:00PM (#28641379) Journal

    I stopped playing video games after Mechwarrior 4. Partly because I had other things to do (like raise a child) but partly because I haven't been able to get interested in computer games since.

    With a new Mechwarrior out, I will probably go out and get a modern joystick and give it a shot. I'm especially glad they went back to the Clans, as they had the more interesting mechs and backstory.

    I'm hoping that we see some new abilities in the new game. I always thought it was odd that in the 31st century you fired weapons by manually lining up a hood ornament on your enemy, when 20th century technology has object recognition and automatic targeting. Or, at least, some kind of helmet tracking. What, did computer technology get lost in the intervening years?

    In a slightly different vein, it seems like in all that time someone would have thought to weld on a few weapons backwards on the chassis. (With associated hardpoint and weight penalties, of course.) A lot of knife fights depended solely on how fast you could turn your chassis to bring weapons to bear. This doesn't seem reasonable in the 31st century. I want to be able to glance in my rearview mirror and squeeze off a few rounds or missiles at that mech sneaking up behind me. Or -- this would be cool -- have the arms be articulate enough to temporarily point backwards.

    It should be possible in this day and age to have the mechs be as fully articulate as the backstory led us to believe.

  • Re:Woo-hoo (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Thursday July 09, 2009 @03:33PM (#28641807) Homepage Journal

    Welcome to Slashdot.

    Now start taking the time to use proper spelling and grammar. You're not in high school any longer, so act and speak like an adult or shut the fuck up and go play with the children.

  • Re:Woo-hoo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shadow of Eternity (795165) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @03:45PM (#28641961)

    Take a look at how many other mechs you destroy in the average mechwarrior game and at how readily we can retrofit things here on earth. If they can make a giant walking robot (which is already physically impossible by it's design) then it isn't much more of a leap to think they could just take the missiles out of what is essentially a giant empty rack and put something else in there and plug it in.

    The mech universe is inherently self-contradicting if you go by what you've put forth. Mechs are a rare commodity and yet you destroy hordes of them, mechs are specifically designed and yet their designs are ineffective and tend towards being self-destructive, you can keep maintained these massive and supremely complicated machines but you can't move some weapons around the chassis.

    The logic just doesn't work in it's own context.

  • by t0qer (230538) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @05:54PM (#28643803) Homepage Journal

    One of the primary reasons I disliked doom/quake was I knew it meant the death to other forms of input for video games for a long time to come. Ever since Thresh kicked everyone's butt at doom and later quake, I knew the keyboard mouse was here to stay.

    The problem for me was I liked games that were 6FOA(6 Freedom of Axis)Descent being the most notable. At the time of Doom/Descent there was a lot of innovation for PC gaming. The Voodoo1 3d card came out, there was the spaceorb3d, the logitech mouseman, and various other input devices made for 6FOA type gameplay. Microsoft's Sidewinder joystick was wildly popular with the descent crowd (although I always preferred my thrustmaster)

    I always felt like the only reason the kb/mouse was so popular was because it was what came with a PC by default. Linear plane FPS games only need a kb/mouse to give the player the maximum control they needed without having to spend extra on fancy controllers.

    Linear FPS games stifled controller innovation for a long time. Up until the Wii there wasn't really anything new or innovative for 3d control.

    Most innovative controller of all time? Steel Battalion controller.
    http://www.steelbattalion.org/controller.php [steelbattalion.org]

    Pure awesome.

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