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New MechWarrior

The MechWarrior Q&A on IGN confirms yesterday's indications that a new MechWarrior game is in the works, discussing the project with Piranha Games president Russ Bullock and FASA cofounder/MechWarrior creator Jordan Weisman about the Unreal-engine project, which will be simply titled MechWarrior, as it is one of those franchise reboots that the kids are all so wild about these days. This separate IGN article offers a teaser trailer and details about the game, which is in development for Windows and Xbox 360, but does not yet carry a projected release date. Here's a bit on the game, including plans for co-op support:

This new MechWarrior is set on the planet Deshler in the year 3015, and places players in the role of Adrian Khol, a wayward nobleman who prefers partying and shirking responsibility over his training and studies. However, when House Kurita launches a massive invasion to conquer Deshler, resulting in the death of his entire family, Khol discovers a purpose to fight for.

There are ambitious plans for this new MechWarrior. The original MechWarrior games were limited by technology; now with modern computing power, the developers are hoping to really capture the sense that you're piloting a giant, walking war machine in the middle of an incredibly dynamic battlefield. While the two companies are still talking to potential publishers that could determine the final production budget, Weisman and Bullock explained that they plan to have a full single-player campaign, as well as support for a four-player co-op campaign, and a full multiplayer suite.

One of the key features is a sense of information warfare, using everything from unmanned drones surveying the battlefield from above to light scout mechs relaying information to teammates. Weisman and Bullock both explained how they want every class of mech to really matter in this game; it's not just a race to the heaviest, most powerful mechs. The designers want to reward you for picking a mech and sticking with it -- you will gain experience and become better at piloting your chosen mech, and that will translate into better accuracy and damage with weapon systems. This way, a player could specialize in a light mech throughout the entire game if they choose. It also means there are multiple playthroughs with different mechs. The developers also said the game will change based on your chosen mech class.

While the developers didn't go into how many mechs will make the game, based on the video trailer and the discussions, we know of at least four. There's the Jenner (light class), both the Warhammer and the Rifleman(heavy class), and an Atlas Prime, a feared assault-class mech.

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