Ok I joined the Open Beta a few days ago. Here are some impressions. Please take note Im a diehard Mechwarrior fan, I have played every Mechwarrior game to death since I discovered the series way back when with Mechwarrior2 so I might be a little bit biased. (Which still remains my favorite, simply because of the grand storyline and the strangeness of the Clans)
First the graphics. This is the best looking Mechwarrior game to date. Shit blows up in your face, the cockpits are excellent, Missles leave chemtrails, Lasers heat up the enemies armor to a glowing white glow, mechs shake and rattle when struck you name it the Cryengine3 does it pretty well.
The gameplay though leaves a lot to be desired. Sure the game is a beta but they are taking people's money so it IS a valid discussion point. IMO its extremely simple and there is not really much to do other than duke it out TvT. There is one game mode assault which features 8 mechs per team but it basically boils down to a WoT style kill the enemy before they kill you. Teamplay is rather important and good teams make short work of the enemy but more often than not the makeup of the specific teams is much more important. Newbie mechwariorrs who dont want to dish out cash need to grind out the ingame currency C-bills to purchase mech variants which can be customized to your hearts content but up until that point you are basically stuck playing the very crappy 'stock' mechs which basically means you are more or less a target practice dummy on the battlefield. The grind doesnt seem to be excessive though which is good because it only means I need to LOSE 100 matches before I can buy a decent mech variant which can be customised.
Combat mechanics are ok, people complain of lag but its not that noticable (at least for me) and I usually ping around 150 from Europe.
What is horribly noticable is the mech clipping. As far as I can tell you clip through friendly and enemy mechs 100%. This is a HUGE bummer, as it gives an unfair advantage to light mechs who dont have to manuever as much and DFA (death from above) is obviously not working as intended.
All in all it feels more like a tech demo than a full game, and the strategy in 8v8 matches is very limited. Basically the team that has the better equiped mech wins always hands down.
The longevity of the game depends on them adding more mechs, factions, and improving the combat mechanics (such as turning off clipping and adding more physics effects) but I cant see that happening any time soon.
The best thing that can be said about the game is that while playing I kept on wishing I was playing a true mechwarrior sequel done in the engine with a proper campaign, true dedicated servers for multiplayer and nice varied mission design. Now that I think of it thats not really a good thing to say about the game at all...
I have a nifty blue line!