I was thinking about Starsiege, Heavy Gear and Mechwarrior earlier this week and lamenting the fact that mecha games have gone a little the way of the dodo. So it's good to see that Harebrained Schemes, makers of Shadowrun series, have a different view. And so do gamers.
It's called BATTLETECH. Yes, it's all in capitals. And yes, it's a Kickstarter campaign.
But here's the good news: it's bringing the BattleTech universe back to life. The campaign has already raised nearly US$700,000 in its first day, smashing its US$250,000 goal.
"ALPHA STRIKE A SUCCESS," the developers wrote in their first update. "FUNDED IN 53 MINUTES. MAINTAIN SUPPRESSION FIRE."
The project, which is targeting a May 2017 release, is being lead by the MechWarrior and BattleTech creator Jordan Weisman. It's a single-player turn-based game, although the notes say "the game may also include PvP multiplayer" if funding surpasses US$2.5 million.
Curiously, while the game was only asking for US$250,000, the developers said a full story campaign wouldn't be included unless funding reaches US$1 million — although at the insane rate of donations, that's not an issue.
BATTLETECH, which is being built in Unity 5, will also be entirely in 3D. "We’ll be building an all-new codebase in Unity 5 to deliver a 'Mech command experience that can fully do justice to the awesome scale and depth of the BattleTech Universe," Harebrained writes.
The minimum tier to grab a digital copy of BATTLETECH will set you back US$25, while the US$35 tier comes with the soundtrack and BATTLETECH concept art.
Over 9,300 backers have already jumped on board, which isn't much of a surprise: it's not like there are a surplus of mecha games (that people are universally happy with, emotions not attributable to MechWarrior Online and HAWKEN).