13 February, 2010

Keepalive: MechWarrior: Living Legends

written by Blain Newport on Saturday, February 13, 2010

MechWarrior: Living Legends is a mod for Crysis and my favorite use of that engine so far. I haven't played many mech games, but as a kid who grew up with Robotech, they've always seemed like a good idea on paper. MWLL has been very much worth the time to get to know.

If you think you'd like to get to know it yourself, get a copy of Crysis (I recommend Maximum Edition as they will probably port the mod from the stock Crysis engine to Warhead or Crysis Wars at some point.), hit up their website, and follow the installation notes on the download page.

If you're still reading, I'll assume you don't mind some mild gameplay spoilers.

(Sorry about the big Fraps frame rate numbers in the bottom left. I wasn't really getting 1 frame per second. I just took these images from inside Windows Movie Maker as I was considering doing an introductory video instead of a blog post.)

Rounds generally start out with light mechs doing the dance of death. On this particular map, a hovercraft is often a good choice, but they can't carry much, so I usually stick with a mech.

Here we see some action already in progress. It pays to keep an eye on your radar as enemies like to cluster up behind hills and wait on this map. Radar is an interesting trade off. If you leave it passive, you can't see very far. But if you're running active, enemies can see you from farther away. I generally only run dark if I'm using a short range unit or trying to sneak into position. Also, you need radar on to get missile lock, so missile units aren't generally so stealthy.

If you can't make it back to base for repairs, you either have to jump out in your power armor or go down with your mech. Here I am flying around in a power armor, trying not to get roasted by a tank with a flame thrower. There are some grenades and power armor weapons you can buy, but it often feels like you're fighting with a slingshot. Occasionally, I try buying a tagger and painting some targets for friendly long range missiles. Most teams aren't very coordinated, though, so it often doesn't accomplish much. But when it does, and the missiles start raining down, it's very gratifying.

Here I am doing a little jump jet sniping. If you have a tagger on your mech, you can even snipe with long range missiles this way. But popping up for everyone to see like this can make you a pretty attractive target.

It's important to remember that the legs are the most vulnerable part of a mech. Watching an enemy with superior firepower topple over helplessly is always a joy,

often followed by the joy of blowing them up.

Those are just a couple tiny photos from a short round of play. I didn't take any pictures of the trouble I caused as a shotgun tank or full missile discharge monster mech. And this map doesn't even have flying units on it. And if that weren't enough to explore, they plan to add a mech builder so you can trick out your ride just how you like it. :)

If this sounds like an advertisement, it kind of is. The mod is fun and has lots to see and do. It's a free download. It was mod of the year on ModDB (Mod DataBase). And there are still only two servers in the US with enough people in them to get a decent game going. :(

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