I love Mechwarrior. I love Battletech.
I pretty much love any excuse to climb inside the cockpit of a virtual 100 ton mech and blast my enemies into smoking rubble.
The name Centurion is one I took for myself well over a decade ago. While I used to enjoy the old Mechwarrior games, my true passion revolved around climbing inside a full size Battletech pod at the old VirtualWorld centers and later at Dave & Busters in Cincinnati. These pods gave pilots a competitive experience that just couldn’t be rivaled anywhere else. My old website dedicated to the hobby is still up and running on Angelfire, a time capsule back to the year 1998.
It was a glorious age, when pilots like me used to run in weekly leagues and participate in annual world wide invitationals – drawing people from all over the United States and from as far away as Japan. If you were a mech pilot, you were part of a thriving community who enjoyed an incredible hobby. If you were a Master, then you belonged to an exclusive Brotherhood to which all other pilots aspired.
The basic game was good enough for the casuals. But for the elite players, the game went far deeper. You could reroute power on the fly, flush coolant loops to deal with ever-building heat, deal with the constant threat of ammo bay fires which could destroy your mech, rebind your weapons to your triggers to provide powerful Alpha Strikes or more tactical weapon groupings. You could torso twist so your upper body turned separately from your lower body, allowing for 360 degrees of fire. Every button on the impressive instrument panel had a purpose. Each of the seven screens contained vital information you needed to process and respond to in an instant.
Death and Glory came equally as swift, and a single shot could be the difference between the two.
Unfortunately, all good things come to an end.
The Battletech pods still exist, and there is a new version of the game called Firestorm that you can still play if you’re lucky enough to find a center, but the old days are gone. Thanks to the internet, you can still find remnants of that bygone age, including the old training video over on YouTube. I can still recite the entire thing from memory. This was cutting edge entertainment! Even the simple sound of the pod powering up that can be heard at the start of the video is enough to get me fired up!
Fast forward to 2012…
Mechwarrior Online has been announced and is looking amazing!
This is the game I’ve been waiting over a decade for!
The difference in what was possible in the late ’90s and what is possible now is absolutely staggering!
To make the experience even better, Razer has announced the Artemis controller that will work with the game and bring it once step closer to the experience I remember! I highly suggest checking out the image gallery on Engadget if you want a closer look!
I cannot wait for this game to release! It will be free-to-play, and is scheduled to launch some time this year!
To learn more and to pre-register your pilot callsign, head over to the official website.