Recently I spoke with John Nguyen of MekTek Studios and Stompy Bot about their current mech combat game, Heavy Gear Assault and ran through a quick demonstration of the game.
Heavy Gear is the newest project from MekTek, a studio comprised of former MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries modders. Based on the Dream Pod 9 universe of the same name, Heavy Gear Assault is a mech combat game currently in Early Access.
Having been in development since the Unreal 4 engine was first released, quite a bit of the core gameplay is completed. Mektek’s plan for the rest of the content is to release it in modules, similar to what Star Citizen promises to do with a full release in 2016.
Planned releases include more mechs, more weapons, more mech pieces, radar, electronic warfare (such as jamming), custom decals, game commentation, and more. There are also plans to add a single player campaign and the ability to play with friends over a LAN so online play will not be the only way to enjoy the game.
Mech customization is a major component of the game and while it is still in its early stages, the options available are fairly extensive. Players can choose from a few different mechs and then can choose their parts, weapons, colors, paint colors and paint types. If you want your mech to be super shiny and pink that is possible, as is making it look rusted or unpainted. A planned addition is the ability to export your mech build so that entire teams can be matched without having to mess with settings.
All of the mech parts in the game are placed on top of a base skeleton so that when you are shot in certain ways, they can all be damaged and fall off. This isn’t just cosmetic either, losing limbs or weapons can partially or fully disable a player that is unlucky enough to get hit this way.
Another planned feature of the game are missions that will involve players exiting their mechs in order to complete objectives. This will certainly be a test of teamwork as humans are extremely susceptible to enemy fire and must be protected, not to mention the empty mech just waiting to be destroyed.
As the game is in early access, fan feedback is incredibly important. Many fans from MechWarrior 4 and MechWarrior: Living Legends communities have gathered together to give suggestions for improvements, and Mektek has been taking these closely to heart. The idea is to try to make the best mech combat game out there, one that fans have always wanted but never quite got.
Developers play the game themselves every Monday so people can ask questions, make suggestions, and just hang out with everyone. This is another great avenue to interact with the community and build the game everyone wants to see.
As a bonus for early adopters, MekTek ran a tournament during the alpha and there was a surprising amount of interest from the sponsors and prizes included things such as a GTX970. Due to the great support the first received, another tournament is planned for everyone that currently owns the game and the prizes are expected to be even bigger this time around.
Heavy Gear Assault can be purchased in different tiers on their website. Individual pieces of content are also available for purchase if desired. Buying the game will give players instant access to the early access build of the game and every update in the future.