|Composer(s)||Front Line Assembly|
|Release date(s)||PlayStation 4
May 5, 2015
May 12, 2015
|Genre(s)||Multiplayer online battle arena|
AirMech (abbreviated as AM) is a free-to-play futuristic multiplayer online battle arena video game developed and published by Carbon Games for Microsoft Windows, and Google Chrome's Native Client with an Android version in the works. The game is currently in open beta on Windows, and additionally released a version on the Xbox 360, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 under the name AirMech Arena.
Inspired by Technosoft's popular Herzog Zwei for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, AirMech puts the player in similar perspective of a giant transforming robot that can fly above the battle as well as land on the ground to aid units. The game revolves around the player controlling their AirMech directly and then building units to assist in achieving whichever the goal of the game mode is. The player can build units and pick them up and can place them down on the battlefield to take part in the battle. The main objective of the game is to destroy the other team's fortress and/or keep the player's fortress running. The fortress spawns creeps which are infantry units that can capture outposts. Outposts are buildings that can heal AirMechs and units if they are picked up.
Players can unlock units, pilots and AirMechs with ingame currency called Kudos, which are earned after each match is completed. Players also gain Persistent XP on completion of matches. The player can unlock various units as their level increases. Alternatively, players can purchase Diamonds which can unlock units and cosmetics. Any pilot/unit/item/airmech/part that affects gameplay can be bought with Kudos.
Players have one resource to manage, which is known as Credits. Credits are generated by the fortress and every outpost the player owns. Different units require a certain amount of credits to be built. Players can also build special units called money makers to generate more credits. The player has a unit cap of around 30 units, although some units take up more of these slots than others. This number can be increased by capturing outposts as well as by building units known as generators.
A Player can choose between nine different AirMechs and various pilots, items, and parts. Each AirMech has different abilities and stats. Pilots provide large stat boosts to AirMechs and Units at the cost of significant downsides. Some Pilots also affect credit generation and the unit cap. Items provide tiny stat boosts that do not affect gameplay significantly. Parts are equipped on airmechs and provide minor stat boosts with a downside, with more parts being able to be equipped the more the player has used the airmech.
In Solo mode, the player plays against the AI. In 2v2 solo or 3v3 solo, they get teamed up with the AI. Solo mode also consists of 1v2 or 1v3 where the player plays against 2 or 3 AI Opponents. It has the same rules as PvP except that the player plays against the AI. This is the most recommended game mode for beginners who are just getting the hang of the game and its control mechanics.
In Co-op mode, the player plays against the AI but with an online human player on their team. Co-op games can be 2v2 or 3v3. It has the same rules as PvP except that the player plays against the AI. This is best recommended after playing Solo and getting accustomed to the control mechanics of the game.
Player versus player
The main mode of play in AirMech is Player versus Player or PvP, which pits one side against another (there are always only two sides or teams). Players may elect to play 1v1, 2v2, or 3v3 on sundry maps of varying shapes and sizes. The main objective of players in this mode is to destroy the enemy fortress while keeping their fortress intact. Players may capture initially neutral outposts in order to help accomplish this goal, or they can initiate direct attacks on the enemy fortress. The game ends when one fortress is destroyed. If neither fortress is destroyed after 25 minutes of play, the game proceeds into Overtime and each fortress incurs damage over time based on the total number of outposts the enemy controls.
Capture the Flag
CTF is a game mode in which the main objective of the player is to capture the orb (flag) of the other team and bring it back to their fortress, doing so deals a large amount of damage (1/3rd of full health) to the opponent's fortress. To return the core home, a player should intercept the enemy carrier and wait for them to drop it on the ground, then, pick it up and drop into any nearby friendly socket alternatively they can shoot the enemy down so the core returns to the fortress.
CTF was disabled in version 28323 on August 22, 2014 following changes to the matchmaking system. It was returned in a later build.
Survival is a unique mode, played on either the "Survival" map, or the "Spiral" map. In this game mode, one to four players have to survive against nine waves of enemy units, that run into the center of the map, where the players' fortress is located. On both of the survival maps, there are four outposts which can also be captured by the player providing additional income and pads.
There is also an endless survival mode which can be played on the map "Last Stand". It is the same as normal survival, except it's endless and the enemies come out of every nook and cranny.
Challenge Maps offer an assortment of timed challenges to the player, such as destroy units, capture outposts, and win stacked games vs CPUs. Theoretically there is no time limit on completing them but the timings are recorded for the sake of competitiveness and players will be given 1, 2, or 3 stars depending on how long it took them to complete them. These are mainly an additional way for new players to get familiar with the game mechanics.
The campaign mode for AirMech was announced during the game's beta. Unlike other game modes, this mode is exclusively for AirMech Prime ("full version") owners. The announcement hints towards a faction option of either joining or opposing pirate bands in a fight to survive. Work on the campaign will begin following release of the game on PC.
Development and release
AirMech was first announced on August 26, 2011 during Pax Prime 2011, and was intended to be a modern remake of the popular Herzog Zwei. The game has expanded substantially in terms of content and gameplay, and was set to follow the free-to-play model.
On February 15, 2012, the Google Chrome Native Client version of the game was released.
On August 15, 2012, AirMech was released under the open beta label.
On April 7, 2014, it was announced that Carbon Games had partnered with Ubisoft to launch a version of AirMech on Xbox 360 under the name AirMech Arena. The game was released on the Xbox Live Arcade on July 30, 2014.
Every week or two a patch is released containing bug fixes and new features.
Carbon Games has also announced plans to release AirMech on OUYA, iOS and Android in the future.
AirMech has received mostly favorable reviews. Reviewers thought the game was clearly inspired by and a successor to the 1989 video game Herzog Zwei. GameSpy described AirMech as "It [AirMech] takes the same formula from one of the earliest RTS titles ever, adapting it to work as smoothly as a twin-stick arcade shooter, but with all the excitement that the original had with its mix of frenetic action and tactical gameplay."
Destructoid's Fraser Brown also compared it to Herzog Zwei, which it cites it as "one of the world's first MOBAs," and AirMech as "very much the child of Herzog Zwei." He concludes that AirMech "succeeds in building on the solid foundation laid by Herzog Zwei over 20 years ago, while simultaneously feeling modern and fresh."
- Futter, Mike (May 12, 2015). "Free-To-Play Transformers-Style MOBA Airmech Arena Available Now On Xbox One". Game Informer. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
- "AirMech - PC". IGN. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
- Green, James (May 21, 2012). "AirMech Landing on Steam". Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- "AirMech on Steam".
- Green, James (January 22, 2013). "AirMech Release Date?". Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- Michael McWhertor (2015-03-12). "Action strategy game AirMech Arena coming to PS4, Xbox One this spring". Polygon. Retrieved 2015-03-12.
- Sharkey, Scott (November 22, 2012). "AirMech Review". GameSpy. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
- Brown, Fraser (January 15, 2013). "Like Macross without the drama". Retrieved January 19, 2013.
- Comba, Mattia (January 14, 2013). "Recensione di Air Mech". Retrieved January 19, 2013.