New MechWarrior marching onto 360, PC

Jordan Weisman's Smith & Tinker and Piranha Games confirm original installment in acclaimed giant-robot combat franchise; MechWarrior 4 going free.

Smith & Tinker may not be the most well known among gamers, but the FASA-developed intellectual property it holds the rights to certainly is. Earlier this week, rumors circulated that the game company was preparing to revive arguably its most notable IP, MechWarrior, in collaboration with Piranha Games, a development house that has heretofore been known for its contributions to such games as Need for Speed Undercover and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

Robots doing as they do.

Those rumors have since passed into the realm of reality, as Smith & Tinker confirmed for GameSpot today that Vancouver, Canada-based Piranha Games is developing an all-new MechWarrior for the Xbox 360 and PC. According to a Smith & Tinker representative, a publisher has yet to step forward on the project, though Piranha and its aforementioned partner are in active negotiations with a number of companies.

Details on the new MechWarrior game are sparse, though Smith & Tinker and Piranha have released a brief trailer of a prototype version of the game through popular video-sharing Web site YouTube. In the trailer, a Warhammer mech first obliterates a nimble Jenner before squaring off against an imposing Atlas suit in a gritty urban environment. The game appears to feature highly destructible environments.

Smith & Tinker was formed by Jordan Weisman in 2007. Aside from serving as creative director at Microsoft, Weisman also founded FASA Corporation, in the process contributing to the creation of a number of the gaming company's notable IPs, including MechWarrior, Crimson Skies, and Shadowrun. Weisman has been working with Piranha on the new mech-combat game for the past six months, according to a representative of the company.

To promote the announcement, Smith & Tinker also announced that it will be offering FASA Studio's well-regarded MechWarrior 4, along with its several expansion packs, as a free download through BattleTech.com. Smith & Tinker did not indicate when the free download would be available, saying only that it will be coming "soon."

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331 comments
maffaxxx
maffaxxx

Reactor: online. Sensors: online. Weapons: online. All systems nominal. *BEEP!*

simon1812
simon1812

they should make it an mmorpg, why not? the setting and lore totally begs for it! and it would be cool to have an online experience with no elves,wizards or dragons, seriously.

amodelaestra
amodelaestra

Always loved the PC MW series, It's mint to see it getting revived again. Just hope they keep all the good bits

mdhprime
mdhprime

Mechwarrior (and Battletech) is a great gaming setting and the Mechwarrior games have always been a lot of fun to play. Really looking forward to this one!!!

FAIEr1000
FAIEr1000

this game looks like an interesting revival of MW. out of the choice between copying MW and MA, MW4 would be the more likely and better choice. MA, while being a good bit of button mashing, exploding fun, was just that. it lacked a lot of the things established in BT, such as quite small amounts of ammo., a much lower heatscale, and a lower pace of thought out action. what MA did do was speed up the fighting, which is somthing this game should incorperate, though unfortunately this might compromise the tactical side of MW, like the customisation of your machines to suit what your doing, and ordering your NPCs to move to a better position. smith and tinker have their work cut out for them to create a decent game that will please the majority if not the entire playerbase

earlgrey23
earlgrey23

OMG OMG OMG....I want to have smith and tinkers baby....

Red-Beard18
Red-Beard18

MA may have benefited from a bit more "down time" in between the fighting...not that I didn't enjoy the frenetic fighting. MW always seemed limited by the mechs slow movements. I felt way more connected to the game in MA. Didn't care for MA2. I will definetly get MW 4 on the DL, and I cannot wait for the carnage. My guess for a release time frame is Xmas of '10. From the looks of things, they already have a good headstart. And the story line is already somewhat written. Some good voice actors and some CGI work, a year, maybe a year and five months. I wonder when they will start letting folks buy new games through DL on XBL. They sell full games already, but not the new ones. That would to a huge time chunk away from the release. But I actually would rather buy the box with all the trimmings...I have to sniff the manual...

redtiger02
redtiger02

Incidentally Punkrocker7026, MechAssault and MechAssault 2 were two of the fastest and highest selling games ever created for the Xbox. It wasn't MechWarrior, we're all agreed on that, but it wasn't bad for the time. The console limited what they could put into the game. If you go into this expecting a clone of either game you're going to be disappointed. Like I said earlier, expect slow, tactical movement with moments of hellacious action.

redtiger02
redtiger02

For the record: If you do your research, MechAssault 2 was very much a part of the MechWarrior universe, albeit a bastardized version of it. The conquest mode was fun. Really the conquest in MA2 was the first time the Xbox had anything of the sort and people were really into it at the time. What ultimately killed it was the kids that would get mad when their house was losing and would jump house to house trying to win. They ultimately fixed it but it was far too late by then. I stand by my statement: We desperately need a hybrid game to satisfy both groups. MA2 was great at the time, but I was in my early 20s then and looking for a different feel. Now I am after a game that will give us the strategic strength of MW and the active combat of MA2. I agree that they need to limit the ammo MW style. Get rid of the kids that spam shots, force them to think before they start mashing buttons. You think a lot more when you have 30 shots than you do with 300. Give us the combat of MA2 where a smart player in a Catapult could take down an Atlas by playing to their own strengths. At the same time, give us the tactical strategy of having to know where to send your people instead of a free for all in the middle of the map.

redtiger02
redtiger02

Based on the looks of it, we're talking a hybrid between MechAssault and MechWarrior. I don't agree with the way RedBeard goes about things, but I can see the point. Why can't we have a hybrid? The MW junkies get their strategy, the MA junkies get their action. Based on the concept video, the movement and thinking is a lot more MW, slow and cautious. But the action after initial contact seems to favor the MA2 camp. I really don't care if you call yourself a MW "purist," you have the right to call yourself whatever you wish from the confines of mommy's basement. I'm a fan of Battletech going back to the very early days, but I also really enjoyed MA2. Economics drives the game and I will guarantee you they will go with what sells instead of what some niche groups say. Niche games don't sell! There does seem to be a consistent factor among sites of including the VTOL from MA 2, which was an excellent innovation to the action as it added a new level of depth. A good VTOL pilot could win or lose the game for you. Simply put, the smart money is on a hybrid game. I don't care, I just want a MW/MA game that's good after the crap that was Chromehounds. Really, the VTOL is all I care about anyway, I rarely got into a mech in MA2. Say what you will, I was ranked #1 in the world for more than a year without getting into a mech 99% of the time. Just get along, hope for a hybrid game, get over your issues and just thank God we are finally getting a mech game worth the $60 we pay for it.

Red-Beard18
Red-Beard18

As far as the new game being "like MA", I fully understand that the game will certainly resemble MW simulators more than it will MA, but one can hope. As for what the creators have already come out and said about what features the game will or will not have, remember this: They do not have a publisher yet and even Weisman said it himself so many things truly are still up in the air.

3rr-T1n
3rr-T1n

Red-Beard18. Reading your past comments.... wow. Your one of the most ignorant people I've had the displeasure of knowing. The developers already said there going to make the game true the original franchise. I doubt its going to be like MA. MechWarrior was praised by the fans for having the tactical gameplay and customization. Every shot you made counted. Like firing twin PPC's. You generate a lot of heat and you have to wait for a time to shoot again so you don't overheat. Or how important it was to make use of the gauss and make sure you don't waste ammo. Because there wasn't a lot of it. (like 30-15 ammo I remember). (of course all of this wouldn't be a problem if you turned off heat and turned on infinite ammo, which killed the experience) And on you're most recent comment. LOLOLOLOLOLOL. MA wasn't a huge portion of the Battletech universe. Infact MA isn't even considered a part of the battletech-video game series by the original fans. And the MA fans don't know sh*t about the battletech universe because the MA drifted away from BT lore. That was a funny comment though. You are absolutely clueless.

EYE0NE
EYE0NE

Red-Beard18: I've had enough. You haven't once actually listened to anything I've said. Every word I've said has flown right over your head and hit the wall behind you. You have, time after time, missed the point of what I'm trying to say. And every time, I think I'm being clear enough to make sense, but apparently not for you. It's amazing to me how completely you miss my points. You must be young or something.

IanMclintock
IanMclintock

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Red-Beard18
Red-Beard18

Well, I don't know. I trust Wikipedia more than I trust you. And by their account, it is VERY MUCH a part of the Mechwarrior universe. Or is this simply your OPINION. If that's the case, then that's your problem. More people agree that MechAssault was a great game and that it is definetly a GIANT portion of the series. As a matter of fact, there are a huge group of gamers whose only exposure to the series is Mechassault. So let go of it pal, you are WRONG. Long live Mechassault.

EYE0NE
EYE0NE

Did you even read my message? I don't care if it sold 10 billion copies it wasn't a Mechwarrior game.

Red-Beard18
Red-Beard18

Well, they changed MW's core elements for MA and it sold like hotcakes. So....maybe they should.

Red-Beard18
Red-Beard18

I would rather this game be a MechAssault clone than stain the world of video games with another simulator that plays like garbage. Maybe if they combined the two games somehow.... If they release a MW game as a sim on the consoles, they will ruin the MechAssault legacy.

EYE0NE
EYE0NE

Red-Beard18: Man, you still aren't getting it. Perhaps they are more concerned with making a game true to the franchise they helped create than they are selling a few more copies to some teenagers. If it's a choice between pleasing the 360 players and making a true Mechwarrior game on PC only then I'll take the PC only version. I game exclusively on 360 now because my computer is just too far behind, but I'd rather be forced to upgrade in order to play this on computer than have it screwed up like MechAssault was. You keep thinking that what you think is complete fact when the truth is they do not NEED to do anything and console players have not ALWAYS rejected sims. Like all console players have ever united in the rejection of a genre of game... I'm fully aware that sims might not appeal to the console crowd as much as the PC crowd but that doesn't lead me to the conclusion that they need to dumb it down. Truth is every game in existence could change some core element that would make it appeal to a larger group of people, but does that mean they should? Of course not. Mechwarrior needs to be Mechwarrior first and foremost. Being a top selling Xbox360 doesn't need to be the priority.

IanMclintock
IanMclintock

if you want a lot of action just play as a light mech :)

Red-Beard18
Red-Beard18

Yeah...if they make it too much like Mech 2, it's toast. They NEED to include a helping of MechAssault's action. Console player's have ALWAYS rejected the sim style play. Something in between the two may work.

firefox2142
firefox2142

I hope that they will make a good game because it has great potential. It would be a shame to mess it up.

juuhammertime
juuhammertime

im frothing at the mouth for some hardcore robot deathmatch

Red-Beard18
Red-Beard18

I hope your right, but I'll go with whatever they make. The game teaser looks good.

lazychazman
lazychazman

Red-Beard18: All the mechwarrior games have had the option for external view except the first one, so there will be cockpit view and external view most likely

CaptainFallout
CaptainFallout

@ Red Beard18, I'm not sure exactly why you what faster pace action? Honestly it doesnt fit. Battlemechs seem more mechanical, clunky, and "powerful" than anima 'robots'. The Speed issue is also more realistic to the fact the higher you are the slower it seems you're moving... Even slow moving fights can be exciting to the fact of importance of timing your movement just right (like the movie) Plus we haven't seen any light mechs move around except jump so we gon't have anything to go off.

Red-Beard18
Red-Beard18

Well, if you have read the interview, you would know that the creator's have every intention of making the two platforms work together, ALA Shadowrun, so my guess is that they plan to make both games, for the most part, the same animal. More fast action please. And maybeinclude the option for cockpit view, and not just have that be the only view.

DaveA6489
DaveA6489

I have the feeling that this will end up being sim-based on the PC version and end up as a somewhat arcadey shooter on the 360 version.

CaptainFallout
CaptainFallout

Jordan Weisman:"Russ and I have spent a lot of time talking about how this is not your father's MechWarrior," Damn

Valas_Azuviir
Valas_Azuviir

@punkrocker7026 Now now Punkrocker, you're going a wee bit too far, if you say that nobody outside of Red-Beard liked MA. Have come across a number of folks who liked it, even folks who also enjoy the actual miniature game. But they too make a difference between the MW series and MA. MA is apparently great for some quick smash and bash fun, not taking it really seriously and having a lark with friends. MW on the other hand, tended to be more like the miniature game in the sense of: Hey, pay attention, or else you're going to get smoked and then it's game over. And with the deeper plot hooks with regards to Clan/Faction loyalty you didn't want to lose. You wanted to know what happens next and possibly mine it for ideas for your next regular game. The MA had the unfortunate circumstance that the story dealt with the Wobblies, whom most miniature gamers disliked anyway. So it doesn't really matter what happens, seeing how they would end up ignoring said storyline anyway. Like I said, different strokes for different folks. *shrugs*

EYE0NE
EYE0NE

Red-Beard18: That's what I've been trying to say (Perhaps not well) Mechwarrior might be better off with my fast paced action, in your opinion. But we old Mechwarrior fans like it because of the customization, the tactical gameplay, and the sim aspect. And when you have been playing MW games for almost a decade at the time MechAssault came out it felt like a slap in the face.

IanMclintock
IanMclintock

@Red-Beard18 I believe you left a zero or two off your estimation it will probably sell 2,500,000 - 25,000,000

JuXuZ
JuXuZ

lol, i see people all ready arguing about this game. cmon there isnt even the release date, lots of things can change. Im a mech fan and im waiting anxiously for the release.

Red-Beard18
Red-Beard18

Fair enough to say that I had not read that interview as of yet. Now that I have, a few things are much clearer. Now that they have officially announced that the game will be "non arcade" style, which means that it will be a sim, ( we all know that there is no such thing as an "action/sim" ) the game will MAYBE sell 250,000. Like I said, no arcade action, it's a turd floating in the water. Who is to say that this game could not be great if made with all of the trappings that they put into the interview, but with faster, more appealing action? I believe that it would see a much bigger success. Oh well. PC guys will love it. Not expecting much out this whole thing now, after reading that interview. I guess I'll keep an eye on it, but I am really let down by what they said.

punkrocker7026
punkrocker7026

I'd like to see where Redbeard is getting his statistics because I'm pretty sure the mechwarrior series has sold loads of games where the mech assault games were terrible flops that made no money and no one I know except Redbeard actually liked the mech assaults. I know a ton of people that would love to see the mechwarrior simulation experience taken onto xbl and I know no one who would like to play the arcadey bs of mech assault on xbl

lazychazman
lazychazman

mechassault was meh. Mechwarrior is pwnage. Now the title is Mechwarrior, its not mechassault. Also mechwarrior is way more indepth which is why i liked it, mechassault took too many liberties from the battletech universe, mechwarrior 4 took some liberties too, but it still was overall faithful to the universe

Valas_Azuviir
Valas_Azuviir

It might not have been playable for you Red-Beard18. But it was playable for the rest of us, and Mechwarrior 4 and follow-ups are considered the least faithful of the games when it comes to customization. Mechwarrior 2: Mercenaries was the high point in that sense. Want a Clint with a PPC as opposed to an AC10? You got the C-bills? Then you can have it. That's always been part and parcel of the universe. Want to do something unorthodox with your mech load out? Pay for it. That's what sets Omni's apart from regular Mechs, because the Omni's can switch around without that problem of having to reroute powercouplings, ammo feeds etc etc. Now you want Mech Assault 3, we want Mechwarrior 5. Looks at the title, gee it says Mechwarrior. Looks like you're in the wrong section. :P And you can say all you want about bigger audience etc etc. Irrelevant. There's a difference between the MA and the MW series and this one is pegged as MW. Going the MA route again, essentially makes the PC version a waste of their time, because they won't be attracting the core MW audience who is PC based. They don't want another MA, they want MW. And no amount of proclamations that MA is superior and better yada yada yada, is going to change that. Different strokes for different folks

Red-Beard18
Red-Beard18

It really seems obvious to me that they need to simply name this new release Mech Assault 3. The game play will HAVE to cater to the console players and the sim style play is not as accommodating to XBL. The truth is, for every whining self-proclaimed, Original Mechwarrior fan there is, there are 2-3 other players out there waiting to see this game go in the right direction, towards the action/arcade style. There just aren't any people who are interested in a "sim" style Mech game on the XBL network. There may be a few thousand hard core Mechwarrior/Super-Ultra Simulation lovers out there, but they are all PC guys. Mechwarrior 4 was the closest they came to a REALLY playable MechWARRIOR game. The rest were pretty flacid, and were only really interesting because the storyline was so much fun to wrap your mind around. Gameplay basically stunk and was a chore at best, usually hobbling a decent game. Those that enjoy that style of "multi-tasking" are in the severe minority. This board has been replete with mostly PC gamers. Look at the enitre thread, anyone who even mentioned Mech Assault ( the superior game) got thumbs-downed into thread hell. All a bunch of butt-hurt PCs guys. The console factor is the key, and if they have any expectations, they will tailor this game to the XBL people. The truth is, PC gamers will stilll buy it and play, especially if they make it heavy on the clan play and add in a bunch of customization.

Red-Beard18
Red-Beard18

Wow....i am really sorry to see you miss the point entirely...later pal!

EYE0NE
EYE0NE

Edit: Ya know whay? Nevermind. I had a response typed but I simply don't care. You think MechAssault is an amazing Mech(warrior) game and I just have zero understanding for that. Goodbye.

Red-Beard18
Red-Beard18

Please remember that my core focal point here has been the need to catch the largest audience in order to bring more gamers into the Mechwarrior world. Some have mentioned that if it isn't first person-cockpit view, it isn't a mech game, or things like that. I say, take a look at the wide range of Mech style games that have come and gone over the years. There have been some many styles, from RPG to traditional, arcade style, you name it. One must acknowledge the success of Mech Assault. Not even as a Mechwarrior game in it's own right, but as just a game. Millions played that game, and loved it. And it was released to a limited group, being XBOX only. I believe there is an audience that would truly love to see the new line of Mechwarior games include a larger helping of the faster action. This is where the big divide is. The consoles really cannot support the complexities that the PC can in terms of interface. But the XBOX has a huge userbase and is primed for a game like this. The XBL market is saturated with crappy MMORPGs and FPSs. Something truly fresh is needed. The other thing that is crucial here is the storyline. All of that part HAS to come into play, IN FORCE. The PC world and the XBL world are perfect for this type of "clan based" play.

Red-Beard18
Red-Beard18

Mech Assault potential audience = 4-5 larger than audience for a new sim-only style (suck-ass) game. No action, no blockbuster title. And I realize many folks disagree, but the "action" in the originals was laughable comparatively speaking. I'm really kinda done arguing about it. I would be too with the things you are saying. Mech Assault is the top pinnacle of mech gaming. The sims style gaming is for the VERY FEW select gamers that like the whole "immersion" thing and not the actual combat, which has always been tired and slow til Assault. There is no arguing these points, regardless of your emotions. We'll have to wait and see what the guys a PS do with this one. The game play in the video looks like it could go both ways, but remeber, sim game on console = lost money for developer. Bottom lines count more than the desires of a few geeky kids.

godsuki
godsuki

Mechwarrior is one of my favorites games. It is more realistic than the Mobile Suits of the Gundams. But who making the game?

EYE0NE
EYE0NE

"It isn't some distant cousin that one can forget about." -Red-Beard18 Haha, yes it is. So in conclusion I think that MechAssault was an "meh" game but abandoned the core gameplay and style that made its franchise famous. And I don't like it. And you think its awesome. I'm really kinda done arguing about it.