Game Overview and Features
Fast forward to today. Finally we have a playable demo of Mechwarrior 3. What does it feature? What is it about? Mechwarrior details the saga of hundreds of years of interstellar combat between two major factions: the Clans and the Inner Sphere. When the clans aren't busy fighting each other, they're banding together to fight the Inner Sphere. Entire books have been written about the deep, rich Battletech universe, and the politics between the clans and the Inner Sphere. Thankfully, you don't need to know all of it to enjoy the game.
Mechwarrior 3 puts you in the cockpit of giant, armed robots, called Mechs. Think of them as giant walking tanks, but with more widely varying weaponry. You pilot your mechs into combat, with guns, lasers, missiles, autocannons and more, blazing away at your enemies. On some missions, you'll have the opportunity to lead a small group of mechs (collectively called a "lance") into battle. In the demo, there's only one instant action mission (sorry, no multiplayer), but you can take up to three AI mechs with you and command them in battle.
The Loadout Screen
Before you head in, you can go to the load out screen, where you can outfit your mech with a wide variety of weapons. Think you need more mobility? Slap in a bigger engine. Worried about running out of ammo? Switch out those rocket launchers and their bulky ammo for some more lasers or other energy weapons. Don't forget heat sinks though - those lasers get hot! Need more short range punch? Get an autocannon, but stock up on ammo; you'll use it up fast. Want short flight capability or speed bursts? Pop some jump jets into your mech.
HUD displays get fuzzy as you get damaged.
Good thing I nailed this guy first.
You have to balance many different considerations (heat consumption of energy weapons, ammo depletion with auto cannons and rockets) if you want to customize your mech. Luckily the full game will come with a variety of variant loadouts for each mech, so if you're lazy, you can pick one and go. For the demo, many weapons are not available, but there's still a good variety to choose from. Personally, I get half the fun from customizing my mech. One thing that's new is that MW3 will allow you to put different textures on your mech for recognizability. Now I'm gonna be spending even more time in the loadout screen.