Mechs & Mercs – Black Talons (Camel 101)
With games such as Mechs & Mercs: Black Talons from Camel 101 looming on the horizon it would seem that 2015 is going to be another bumper year for gaming. I certainly can’t think of a much better way to kick things off than a real-time strategy game featuring mercenaries and giant mechs. Set to release early in January, Mechs & Mercs aims to offer an extensive campaign mode where players get to take control of the Black Talons mercenary company.
As commander of this private mercenary army your job was to assist the citizens of planet Genai against the aggression of the Tzanar Union. Unfortunately, your forces arrive too late and find the planet overrun already. As the entire Oberon system is under lockdown you have no choice but to assist the Genai forces as they seek to recapture their own planet.
We had an opportunity to check out a press build of the game and what is on offer is already very impressive. The game is set in the Oberon system which consists of five different planets where missions can take place. There are seven different factions active in the system, so the missions you undertake will influence your standing with them. Your starship serves as your base of operations and from the command center you can check out the system map to see what missions are available. The ship also has a barracks for equipping your units, mech bay for customizing your mechs, engineering room for purchasing upgrades and black market area for getting your hands on new units.
After selecting a mission and loading up your dropship it is off to the chosen planet to earn your money. You might be required to secure locations, take down targets or even rescue civilians depending on your contract. Capturing “resource pump” structures along the way will generate command points which can then be used to call down reinforcements via the landing zones you capture. The first mission that we tried out involved destroying enemy AA guns, which required using engineers to hack bridge terminals in order to clear a route before moving in to sabotage the cannons. Engineers can also build bunkers, mines and turrets to lend support to other units. Action takes place in real-time, but you can also pause to take a breather and issue new orders. You’ll want to keep your squads alive as survivors’ level up and can access new skills from a skill tree.
Visually the game looks very good with different environments and detailed units. You can zoom in close to the action or view everything from afar while rotating the camera to where it needs to be. According to the developers, visual effects such as the weather won’t just be for eye candy either and can directly affect battles.
There is a lot more to say, but we will leave an in-depth look of the game for a review of the full version. Suffice to say we were very impressed by what the press build had to show and strategy fans are definitely in for a treat in January. Our advice would be that fans of the genre set aside some of that holiday cash for Mechs & Mercs as it definitely looks like a title to keep an eye on.