View Full Version : MechAssault Interview (THIS GAME IS GOING TO ROCK)

06-19-2002, 10:57 AM
Along with the crew over at DropShipCommand.com, we had a chance to speak with Denny Thorley of Day 1 Studios, the team behind MechAssault. As Executive Producer of the game, Denny is responsible for directing the MechAssault development team and contributing the design of the product. The idea of experiencing the power of giant Mechs had been in the mind of Denny since the days of the Sega Genesis and he thought it would be really cool to help create a Mech title for the Xbox. MechAssault is on the way, and we are certainly ready for the action.

MechAssault takes place in the BattleTech universe like MechWarrior and MechCommander, franchises that are already classics in the PC gaming world. How will MechAssault distinguish itself from those games?

Denny T: The three games are dramatically different and each fills a specific niche in Microsoft's portfolio. MechWarrior is a PC simulation focused on life in the ****pit of a 'Mech. Realism and managing the sophisticated systems of the 'Mech are part of the fun. Game play is structured with a level of realism, established loosely by B'Tech rules. MechCommander is a tactical strategy game on the PC where the player gets to direct multiple 'Mechs on the battlefield from a Commanders point of view. Game play is more cerebral and contemplative.

MechAssault takes the gestalt of BattleTech and tunes it for the high-powered console environment of the Xbox. The game is frenetic and keeps the player continuously engaged in conflict. Of course, there is sophisticated interaction with the environment and MechAssault will reward players familiar with 'Mech tactics such as using water to cool off and using buildings to destroy enemy. If you like 'Mechs you will want to play all three.

One thing all of the 'Mech games do have in common. they all rock in Multi-Player. MechAssault on Xbox Live is awesome. Put your headsets on and go kick a little wannabe butt.

We've seen quite a bit of footage of 'Mechs blowing stuff up so far. Give us the short version of the storyline that will tie this wanton destruction together. Is it somehow linked with the MechWarrior storyline?

Denny T: Yes it is, but we're kind of off on the side…at least for the moment. You're with the Wolf Dragoons and you've been contracted to hit a deep Periphery world that's controlled by the Word of Blake (a group of techno-zealots). The planet is protected by a remarkably sophisticated network of anti-orbital guns that have to be destroyed before the main force can land. And that's your job, to go in ahead of the might of the Wolf Dragoons and clear the way…Just you against the Word of Blake. Should be easy, right?

Every structure in the game is fully destructible, so the physics must be fairly advanced in MechAssault. Could you please give us a brief description how these physics will affect gameplay strategies? Can you use a structure like a building or the fall of a bridge to damage other enemies/players?

Denny T: To reinforce the power and scale of the 'Mechs we spent an inordinate about of time tuning the building / 'Mech / enemy interaction. We are striving to have the destruction of buildings utilized for offense and defense. Example: You get tired of having a jump capable enemy 'Mech sniping you from the roof top of a building.. take the building out. Or you are out of missiles and must rely on your lasers, but you are running too hot. Head for the river to cool off your heat sinks. Better yet fight from the river with no limits on your lasers. Getting fed up with the five Bull Dog tanks blistering you from the bridge…. Those tanks don't float too well.. blow the bridge. Five for one.. cool! It is very gratifying to bring a building down and take out a bunch of enemies. How many players can play at a time in MechAssault?

Denny T: Final numbers are not available at this time. All the combinations of 'Mechs and environments have not been tested. Keep in mind MechAssault has weather and lighting changes that take place in real-time and impact performance. There are many performance combinations to consider.

What multiplayer modes can we look forward to seeing in MechAssault? Can you describe the multiplayer modes?

Denny T: We will be supporting most of the popular multi-player modes. Additionally we are incorporating a base defense mode that will allow the player to build a more powerful base at the expense of the 'Mech selection. Or vice versa.
I bring home three friends and sit the four in front of my Xbox in order to play against online players? Will each local player be able to use the voice communicator?

Denny T: With the detail we've crammed into this game this type of play will be limited to 2 people.

In the single-player campaign you have a pre-mission BattleMech configuration for you to tweak your mech chassis, swap out weapons or maximize your armor. Can you do that (like in Counter Strike for the PC) before joining or starting a LIVE game?

Denny T: You will accomplish this via your selection of 'Mech and during game play. You will have plenty of options and we'll get you in the game quickly.

What excites you most about MechAssault?

Denny T: That it's a new 'Mech game for the ultimate gaming platform and MechAssault gets to redefine an established genre… it doesn't get much better then that.

This game will rock!!