View Full Version : Interview: MechAssault 2

04-20-2004, 10:30 AM
2004 end will see the release of MechAssault 2, Day 1 Studios' all-singing, all-dancing sequel to the developer's pleasingly addictive, frantic blaster MechAssault on Xbox. Bigger, better and more explosions and violence guaranteed, the follow-up is building on its predecessor with all manner of new gameplay additions to single-player (plus there's an entirely new plot, of course) and Xbox Live online multiplayer.

We recently grabbed hold of Day 1 Studios President Denny Thorley to find out a little more about what's in store.

Firstly, could you give us some details on MechAssault 2's plot?

Thorley: In MechAssault 2 you are going to get a chance to finish off what was started, and nearly finished in MechAssault. Some of the technology found in the Ragnorok plays a key role in the development of the BattleArmour and hints at other technology the enemy has developed. You are searching for this tech to get on an even playing field with the Word of Blake.

How many missions are there in the single-player campaign, and could we get examples of some of the objectives we'll be trying to complete? Are missions all-out action, or are there any kind of stealth elements involved?

Thorley: We'll have all types of missions that will take advantage of the new game dynamics. The number of missions won't be determined until we get a little farther along. You can expect the campaign to be more intense and more challenging. Throughout the game you will get a terrific glimpse into the rich BattleTech world from a much closer perspective.

BattleArmour, a new feature, allows players to hijack enemy 'Mechs, which sounds pretty cool. How exactly does the player hijack 'Mechs?

Thorley: The BattleArmour is extremely responsive, and in the hands of a skilled pilot it can out manoeuvre many of the 'Mechs' seeking weapons, but engaging a 'Mech head-to-head is taking an unnecessary risk. For a successful "jack," a more stealth approach is advisable.

Engage the enemy 'Mech from behind and use the BattleArmour's jump jets to elevate to the upper back of the 'Mech. The BattleArmour's claw can viciously pierce the 'Mechs armour and attach to enemy 'Mech. At this point the pilot does a series of accurately timed button presses to jack the 'Mech. If the encounter is in multiplayer, the 'Mech's pilot gets to try to shake off the BattleArmour with a similar interface.

What major gameplay additions have you introduced as a result of players being able to "choose from a roster of combat vehicles including Tanks, Vertical TakeOff and Landing crafts (VTOLs), BattleArmor, and, of course, BattleMechs"?

Thorley: We are seeing some interesting interactions between the vehicles themselves, as well as cool tactics emerging from the player's battlefield choices. The VTOL can pick up BattleArmour and Tanks. This gives it both rescue capabilities and can also help put firepower in strategic locations that can only be reached by the flying craft.

The pilots in the Tanks need to watch their back because enemy VTOLS can also pick them up and drop them to their death in a lava pit or deep water. While the VTOL is transporting a Tank it gets shielded from direct hits coming from beneath it. So the two vehicles work together well. The VTOL can also drop salvage for its team mates and steal salvage from the enemy.

These additions and changes in MechAssault 2 are letting players co-operate more and be rewarded for using good team tactics. The bottom line is our testers are having a riot and the gameplay is never predictable.

Any new content in terms of weapons, equipment and such?

Thorley: Of course! We have announced the mortar cannon on the BattleArmour. This is a blast. You can hide completely but still launch these mortar rounds over a building or hill. You can hear it coming before you see it and it smacks you pretty hard. It takes some skill to be precise with it, but it is very satisfying when you drill somebody.

We've also put in a new flame weapon. Its pretty short range but it can set objects on fire quickly and the visual effect is stunning.

We can't forget about the claw on the BattleArmour. This thing is lethal. Three swipes with this thing and you can demolish some of the smaller tanks. Of course, dispatching enemy infantry is pure sport with the claw. It also allows the BattleArmour to climb walls and attach to the VTOL.

MechAssault 2 will be playable over Xbox Live - what multiplayer modes are you including?

Thorley: We've got some big stuff planned for Live. MechAssault was the most played game on Live last year and we intend to keep that record up. You will see all of your favourite game types, but the new vehicles change everything. Players are dynamically altering the game as tactics shift based on 'Mechs getting jacked and spawn points being destroyed.

We will be releasing all the details of some incredible new multiplayer features in the June-July time frame. Stay tuned for that.

So can you give us any idea at the moment how, in general, multiplayer in the sequel differs from multiplayer in the first MechAssault?

Thorley: MechAssault 2 has more of everything. More depth, more tactics, more vehicles, more choices, more recognition of the best players. The game is still easy to get into and the action is fast and furious, but dedicated players that take the time to explore alternative tactics will be rewarded with more victories.

What other cool bits in MechAssault 2 should we know about?

Thorley: Our engineers have seriously upgraded the game engine. MechAssault 2's building destruction is even better then before and it has more impact to gameplay. Our artists have stepped up to create some incredible characters and the games visuals are off the charts. The designer and writers are working very hard to immerse the player in a deeper story while keeping them in the action of the game.

Finally, what's your favourite gameplay moment from MechAssault 2 so far?

Thorley: In a multiplayer test session, my team mate in a VTOL picked my Tank up and put it in a strategic spot on a inaccessible ridge. I took the Tank nul-sig and rained hell down on the enemy team. It took them awhile to even know where I was kicking their ass from. It was awesome!


When I submited this I noticed it was hard to read hopfully its fixed now.

04-20-2004, 07:47 PM
I saw the preview in OXM, and it looked awsome. If I ever get a cable connection to the interent, this will be the first game I buy for Live.

I don't think that it is worth just for the single player game though.

04-22-2004, 06:35 PM
This game does indeed look awesome, but is it's multiplayer option online only, then? what about linking?

l Maximus l
04-22-2004, 08:23 PM
This game does indeed look awesome, but is it's multiplayer option online only, then? what about linking?

Microsoft is publishing this title, so, I think it's innevitable that it will, indeed, be system link compatible.

As for the game itself...finally! A huge improvement of the first installment. I'll definately give this a rent first since I'm not a die hard fan of the first one. But, it definately sounds and looks sweet! :hump:

Professor Kaos
04-22-2004, 11:47 PM
An instant buy for me! I cant wait.

04-23-2004, 07:58 AM
Im gonna love this game until the community degrades into MA1 status....eugh.