In a post-Armored Core 6 world, can Mechabreak smash the mecha curse?

By admin Apr16,2024

A team-based 3rd person mech PvP game sounds like the exact kind of high-octane action the people want. Who doesn’t like big robots, armed with a variety of distinct and powerful weapons, duking it out? Point me to someone who detests the idea and you’d be pointing at a rube and a coward. Yet, even so, the multiplayer mech game has historically struggled to find much of a footing in Western markets. Enter Mechabreak, the latest game hoping to break this precident.

Mechabreak – created by Chinese developer Seasun Games – is a brand-new mecha IP focused on unique mechs with their own distinct abilities and quirks. It’s a role-based team shooter like you’vee seen with Overwatch and other multiplayer games in a similar camp, but encased in sleek sci-fi robots and the like. It comes to the world while the ashes of Gundam Evolution are still warm, a game with a well-known IP that burned out without latching onto much of an audience. Mechabreak will have to be good – damn good – to succeed in the current free-to-play death tornado that’s culled many games with genuine merit.

With that in mind, it’s good news that Mechabreak is undoubtedly fun to play. No question about it. During my time with the game, I was engrossed in the variety of mechs available in the base roster. A slow and sturdy tank mech, able to withstand overwheling firepower through smart use of shields and other protective abilties. A lightweight aerial alternative, able to take to the skies in a jet mode while raining down on enemy players was also enticing. Ultimately, my heart rested with an axe-wielding close-quarters mecha that allowed me to box in and cut apart players who got too close. There’s a dish for any palette here.

Mechabreak melee image
For me? I couldn’t stay away from the melee mecha. | Image credit: Seasun Games

Trying them all out in the standard PvP objective game modes was a window into the team-cohesion at the heart of Mechabreak. Like any game in the same sub-genre, it’s all about picking the right roles for the specific objective you’re trying to achieve. One of the matches we played – a twist on King of the Hill – forced us to capture and carry an item to a central command point.

The winning team (not us) were able to clutch out the game with a mix of super heavy and especially fast mechs that protected points and carried items respectively. Our team, too interested in messing around with whichever mech looked the coolest, fell short. But it’s hard to get too mad at myself or my compatriots for fumbling the bag – the dance between two mechs as they fight it out is incredibly moreish. Every match a test of whether you can pull yourself away from needless but exciting fights.

We also got a peek, albeit a small one, into how the game will support itself. There’s a Battle Pass, of course. It’s practically as much of a core feature of free-to-play multiplayer games these days as guns and music. But it’s through this that a selection of alternate colours, new mechs, and various other cosmetics will be unlocked. The cosmetics I’m okay with – it’s part of the deal with this sort of game – but how much this all will cost and how hard it is to progress up the pass remains to be seen. Getting rinsed in a game like this can be a terrible downer.

Mechabreak combat image
If it’s free from any gross money gouging, this could be a great one. | Image credit: Seasun games

So Mechabreak is fun, at least from the small play session we had with it. The elephant in the room is, perhaps unfairly, seperated from that somewhat. Is there an appetite for this kind of game right now? Sure, Gundam games still rule the roost in Eastern arcades and Overwatch 2 continues to waddle about. But we’ve seen games like this come out – good games too – and falter. Perhaps your could argue that in this post-Armored Core 6 world we live in a greater hunger for mech PvP is there – but the flip side of that coin is that those keen on a fast-paced competitive mecha experience are probably still player AC6.

It’s not exactly a fair comparison, anyway. But place Mechabreak in the same role-based shooter pond as its closer relatives and it’s not looking especially great either. Sure, Overwatch 2 is still kicking, but numerous other games have straight up died trying to eat its scraps. Much of this happened years ago too! One could argue that this opens up space for keen newcomers, but I’m leaning more towards the belief that players still keen on this sort of game are more entrenched than ever in their favourite games. Pulling them away will be harder than ever.

Ultimately what I’d like to see from the Mechabreak team is a lot of marketing, if they have the budget. They need to go as hard as they can at grabbing a day one audience, then work to keep them around. The game is solid, Seriously, it’s got a nice hook to it. You just need to tempt folks over to see that for themselves. This, I feel, will be the hill Mechabreak lives or dies on.

There’s not currently a release date for Mechabreak, but the game is currently on Steam where you can wishlist it now. Well worth doing, for those who consider themselves fans of team shooters and are looking for the next interesting thing.

By admin

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