MechAssault Live! multi

OK, I just got done with about an hour session of MechAssault multiplayer on Xbox Live.

I don’t see much/any lag, and the framerate stays reasonably constant except in the hairiest of furballs. The voice comm works as advertised, and it is definitely more enjoyable to hear people getting into the gameplay with catcalls and hooting, rather than a bunch of static text on the screen or, worse, nothing at all. There were plenty of games available, and most I had no problem joining. So technically, it’s competent.

But as a multiplayer game, MechAssault is seriously lacking.

I guess the biggest problem I have with the game is that it lacks the depth of even moldy old Street Fighter II. There’s no blocking! So we’re left with evasion. And that’s nearly impossible thanks to the ultra-generous auto-aim for every… single… weapon. Even stuff like the autocannon, which is truly comical. Self guiding shells that curve to hit their target! It is possible to run behind buildings and walls for a brief respite, but it’s so frustrating to juke like a madman, use your jumpjets to fly over people, and still get consistently pummelled.

And where the heck are the teamplay modes? Destruction, Team Destruction, Last Man Standing, team LMS, and “Not It.” This is seriously weak teamplay; all of these modes degenerate into blowing-shit-up-fests, which is fun for a little while, but completely vapid. Where’s my capture the flag, at the very LEAST? It’s like we’re stuck in a multiplayer time warp circa 1996! Some counter-strike style objective based maps would have been great, too.

Even something like Team Last Man Standing could have a tiny bit of teamplay potential, except that… there’s no team weight restriction on the mechs! Great. Every person can pick an Atlas. So any concept of team balance goes right out the friggin’ window. This, combined with the lack of effective blocking and the annoying auto-aim, means you absolutely don’t want to get stuck in some of the smaller mechs for the inevitable slugfest that combat degenerates into.

In a word: disappointing. These are newbie mistakes. Maybe console developers don’t “get” multiplayer yet.

Well while we’re talking newbie mistakes, play for a while.

First, with regards to “blocking”, one man’s frustration is another man’s skill. Evasion is possible, but if you’re hung up on the Atlas I can see why you’re frustrated. It’s job is to blow the other guy up and blow him up fast so he doesn’t need to evade.

Not all the weapons are guided, and many weapons feature counter measures for those that are. Chaff to ditch missles, and ECM to block targeting. Jump jets can be effective evasion tools with the right mech; I find the best tactic is to get in close and jump over and behind someone, not jump away from them (which seems to be what you do, don’t know why it’s not working well for you).

As for the team modes, I’d like some new ones too but I’m enjoying what they’ve got. For now I can cling to the vague hope of some new mission types as well, though the only things “confirmed” are new mechs and maps.

My personal frustration lies in the fact that there’s no recognition for anything other than the kill shot. You can spend most of the game playing phenomenally but still have a weak score at the end on the whim of who fires that last missle to destroy whatever you’ve been shooting at. Or, you could be the bastard who plays vulture the whole time and gets all the kills for someone else’s work. It’s a bit disheartening, but it’s not enough to make me dislike the game. My response is to just stick to team games where individual credit doesn’t matter as much as the team score.

Just to add my two cents – there is a LOT more strategy in MechAssault than it initially seems. Skillful use of cover, elevation, special abilities (jump jets, ECM, etc.), and powerups makes all the difference.

I agree that there needs to be more game modes, and we can hope that there will be some available as downloadable goodies, but I really think you’re selling the game short.

ooooh all you xbox people playing multiplayer… gimme a break. its like you guys never played multi before… or heard avoice! gah… where were you when DC had multi for a console… like with PSO and NFL 2k2?!? You bastards are all buttbuddies with Bill Gates. Makes me sick!!!

:P

etc

I was busy playing PSO, oddly enough.

Just to add my two cents – there is a LOT more strategy in MechAssault than it initially seems. Skillful use of cover, elevation, special abilities (jump jets, ECM, etc.), and powerups makes all the difference.

I certainly wasn’t seeing much of that in the hour I played. Although whenever I’d use my jump jets, some of the other players would delightedly exclaim “Duck hunt!” over the voice comm.

I’ll try again later, but I think any strategy you’re seeing is more wishful thinking than actual reality. I will say this, though: having per-team weight restrictions would help the game immensely.

No, it’s not wishful thinking, it’s what gets me to the top of the scoreboard in 85% of the destruction games I’ve played. (and yes, I know, inflated ego, etc. etc. but I’m trying to make a point.) I take advantage of every edge I can get (hiding behind ridges or buildings, using ECM at the right times, grabbing powerups all the time, flying over people, kill stealing, etc.) and it really does make a difference. It’s deceptive because the mechs move so slowly, but MechAssault really is a twitch game – and you pretty much have to be thinking fast all the time in order to succeed.

Another thing that might make it seem like there’s no strategy/skill is that it’s rare to see someone go on a killing spree like you would in a FPS. (my best has been something like 6-7 without dying) But there is a lot of strategy there.

Man I wish they would port Sacrifice to Xbox Live. Best. Idea. Evah.

It’s deceptive because the mechs move so slowly, but MechAssault really is a twitch game – and you pretty much have to be thinking fast all the time in order to succeed.

It’s too bad that MechAssault on Live! does degenerate into Quake circa 1996. I’d really have to force myself to keep playing, with so many other sophisticated shooters out there. I was really hoping this game would have some configurable loadouts, weight restrictions, and team objectives that would keep it fresh, somewhat strategic, and interesting. Instead, as you point out, it’s a straight-up twitchfest.

I suppose it’s an online novelty to the uninitiated console masses. It’s just so… rudimentary.

I suppose it’s an online novelty to the uninitiated console masses. It’s just so… rudimentary.

I love it when you sound all sophisticated wumpy, gives me goosybumps!!! :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops:

I’d have to somewhat agree with wumpus.

The multiplay lacks some strategies the PC version had.

The biggest dissapointment is no custom loadouts, weight restrictions, and no first-person view.

It plays like quake with leg weights. Worst is the 3rd-person view.

I guess I should have read more about the game before purchase. :roll:

I actually skipped over MW4: Mercenaries for mechassault.

Yeah, make no mistake, this game was never a MechWarrior game. I have a feeling that’s got a lot to do with people’s reactions; misplaced expectations.

No, I knew it was an action game. I don’t really have a problem with that aspect of the game. It’s a lot of fun in SP. But they still dropped the ball in MP. I mean, come on. No team weight restrictions? No capture the flag? Basically what we’re left with is pure, mindless deathmatch.

The MP part of the game feels rushed. Maybe they’ll patch it in subsequent Live! updates… there was a rumor of a CTF mode to be added…

What’s your reasoning for wanting weight restrictions?

  • about 50% done with single player
  • 6 hrs online

just a little background on my “mech” playing experience:

  • mechwarrior 2
  • mechwarrior 3 and all expansions
  • heavy gear series
  • iron soldier series
  • metal head (go 32x!!!)
  • armored core series
  • starsiege (NOT tribes)
    I’ve only tried mechwarrior 4 briefly.

Some thoughts on Mech Assault:

pc -> console

  • This game is positioned as a fast paced arcade action style game. DO NOT expect anything close to a simulation experience.
  • Having said that I think this is a great cross over game made for fps players who have shied away from mech games due to the sim aspects.
  • You lose all the sim aspects which I enjoyed on the pc. no building your own mechs, no worry about weight vs weapons placement vs jump jets vs heat sinks type decisions, no worry about placing ammo strategically to minimize secondary explosions during battle.
  • You can’t shoot out a leg of a mech to disable it and watch it topple over.
  • Heat management has always been a major part in MW games. It’s present in Mech Assault too but in a simplified form. You still have a heat meter and it affects firing of weapons but you won’t blow up due to heat. I remember always having one finger on that emergency shutdown button during a heavy fight to shut down the reactor right before going critical.
  • Standing in water does help you cool down faster
  • there are only 3 weapon slots. No grouping or chaining weapons but then again with a max of 3 weapons it’s not really needed.
  • on some mechs you have defensive toys like chaff, null signature, target block, etc which does add some strategy/depth.
  • levels don’t seem as tall as on the pc. I remember some pretty big mountain ranges you could climb on the pc.

Having said all that I think Mech Assault is just a great game overall

  • the controls are just great. I think it’s as good as a sidewinder FF on the pc. There is very little learning curve yet no aspect of control is sacrificed.
  • For the target audience that I think MA is shooting for I think they made some very good design decisions. They made a very fast action game, still keeping that mech feel, and left enough complexity/depth to keep me interested.
  • The graphics are fantastic. BEST explosions ever! You can also blow up every building. fun fun fun!
  • you can step on infantry. even more fun
  • mission design has been very good in the single player campaign so far.
  • vertical split screen is very cool with very little hit to framerate. Also, for some strange reason the reduced field of view really didn’t affect gameplay that much. Also, you can do split screen on xbox live with both players sharing your live account. This works very well and still no lag.
  • xbox live (team destruction)
    Ok at it’s most basic rules yes it’s just team deathmatch but I think there is quite a bit of strategy and depth to it (especially in a 4v4 match). You have to take into account of a good a mix of mechs. You want a few mad cats or an atlus to draw fire. Put in a few mobile mechs like the catapult to which can evade fire pretty well, are quite moble, and dish out good damage from any range. Coordinating your attacks on a single target makes a pretty big difference. Also controlling the salvage health and weapons upgrades after a mech is destroyed makes a pretty big difference. You have weapon recharge, defense weapon recharge, and health gauges to manage. You need to learn the recharge time of certain weapons (like missles) and how to best manually “chain” your weapons together for dealing the most damage in the shortest amount of time. You can also use the terrain to your advantage, drop buildings and bridges on mechs, etc.
  • Here is what I hate: horrible lobby system, everytime you you finish a game you get dumped back into the server browser. There isn’t an easy way to play with the same group of guys over and over. I hope this can be patched. There is no indicator if you are in global or team chat mode. There is no way for the host to kick somebody. Could use a few more maps/mechs but I hear more are coming in free downloadable content in a few weeks. You can create private slots when hosting which are reserved for people on your friends list. No ping indicator? Hasn’t been too bad since almost all games are lag free with no warping.

Could it have more depth? Sure but I think the developers succeeded in their design goals. This isn’t a port of the pc game. This is just a great mech game. If you are a fps player then this is a great mech game to get you started in this genre. If you are a seasoned mech player I still think MA has a lot to offer if you know what to expect.

disclaimer: I really like Mech Assault oh and Metroid Prime too. (actually I still need to go buy metroid).

I’m told you hold down black button to talk to teammates. I’m not sure if that actually works or not though.

I hear it was a toggle. You start in global chat. I can’t remember what the manual says. Can anyone confirm if it’s a toggle or do you have to hold down the button?

Either way there is no on screeen indication of what chat mode you are in.

Mech 4’s multiplayer is a lot more fun ;)

I’ve been looking forward to Mech Assault since I saw the footage from E3. I finally had a chance to try it at a friend’s house, but could only go one round before boredom set in. Incredibly pedestrian deathmatch.