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Mechs & Mercs – Black Talons Preview
Mechs and Mercs Black Talons is an RTS scheduled to be released early next year on Steam (9th January 2015). In Mechs and Mercs you are the commander of the Black Talons company who are currently stationed in the Oberon system. After an eventful campaign, the military Tzanar Union has overrun the planet of Genai and blocked all departure from the system: leaving you and the Black Talons stranded. The only means of escape is to help the Genai forces repel the invading army and recapture the planet.
Mechs and Mercs takes the standard RTS formula and adds a whole more to it. The game is a lot more strategic than standard RTS games; getting access to more units can be difficult, time consuming and limited numbers are available. You will start each mission with a few units such as engineers(not for combat but they can hack,sabotage and build), assault squads, heavy squads, and Mechs. To get additional forces you will need access to a landing zone, these will be found throughout levels and gaining control of these is essential as enemies can use the landing zones also to get reinforcements. You will also need command points which you can get by gaining control of resource deposits. When you have both of these you can get reinforcements after set amounts of time when the drop ship is ready. The landing zone can also be used to replenish men from squads if you get them to the landing zone, this costs cp(command points) but it is better than just ordering a new squad as the number of each new squad is limited.
In addition to limited units there are many factors in the environment that can help or hinder you depending on where you stand, cover is a key feature like it is in xcom if your units are in cover they are more protected and less likely to be hit but often to take a landing zone you will need to push in an unprotected area against units in cover, if you can cycling units is a good way to do this. However losing a few might be worth it to take a location and if you retreat to heal the enemy might get reinforcements. These are all key decisions you have to make and are some reasons why Mechs and Mercs is looking like an excellent RTS.
Those are just some of the features in Mechs and Mercs, there are many other such as
- Pause option in missions to plan out your strategy when you are in a tight spot
- Extensive campaign mode where the actions of the player have a direct impact on the local system’s balance of power
- Persistent and fully customizable squads
- Various unit classes with specialized roles and their own distinctive set of weapons, abilities and skill trees
- 5 worlds with differing environments and weather conditions that directly affect battle
- Powerful mechs can enter the battlefield and turn the tide of combat
- Customize and upgrade your base with weapons and infrastructure that will boost squad numbers, teleport soldiers or even bombard the battlefield
- Faction relations influence a player’s progress throughout the game: either by giving access to unique units or interfering with missions
The game graphics look like XCOM and Wasteland 2 had a baby so not an ultra 4k experience but not quite pixel art either. The game’s missions can take some time and shouldn’t be rushed to completion as this can ruin the entertainment.
With all of the interesting additions to a standard RTS this game is sure to give RTS fans a breathe of fresh air, look forward to seeing this game on Steam January 9th 2015