Heavy Gear Assault is one of the pillars that defined the Mech genre in games. For years players on the table top had been fighting these battles with miniatures. Then as early as video games can be remembered Heavy Gear had always been around. However, the game had been quiet since the 1990s until now when it is getting a breath of new life after an informative and tough development cycle.
We spoke with Vince McMullin and John Nguyen about their journey to bring Heavy Gear Assault back to the game market over the past few years. There were a lot of lessons learned in the crowd funding campaigns and development which has finally led to the game soon coming to Steam in early access. Vince and John credit the true fans of the game for backing them and keeping the project going through tricky times (a sight all too common in game development these days). The team has finally reached a point where they can launch the game (this December) and have been working in-depth with the community on making sure it is what the players want when running their advanced mechs through the battlefields.
Vince and John credit the lore of Heavy Gear as being a great canvas to work with. They wanted to keep a lot of the lore in the game and bring about so much that made each mech special to the players. They point out the Gear bay as playing such a critical role in the experience. Some players just spend time on their mechs and decking them out with weapons and designs. Building your mech as a sniper or brawler is all about taking it to the field. They wanted to make sure players have plenty of options to create suits which fit their play style. You can generalize your mech to fill both roles or go even more streamlined to become a scout.
The lore in the new game has players fighting on a planet cut off from Earth for many years. This was important to establish the separate local economies and factions in the game. Once these pieces were established the team added them into the core game model. The core model has stayed with the game since they began development in 2013. First person movement and having the turret twist independently from the walking mech were both ingrained in the game’s DNA. HGA hosts a tutorial as well to make sure players who are new to the genre know how to run their mechs. They also wanted to support controller based play to meet all types of players’ needs.
PvP is something else that is always at the core of Heavy Gear Assault. It defines the game and so Vince and John wanted to make sure players got the full value when fighting each other. PvP can have a lot of different styles and tactics to it, whether it is a salvage style game or full speed combat. These battles are closely watched by the team to make sure balancing is kept in check. A player’s threat value can be determined right away when looking at the mech and some of the weaponry or customizations they have earned. Heavy Gear has always been about quick faster mechs, not these giant slow moving robots. The team thinks of these warriors more like infantry than tanks.
Overall, Heavy Gear Assault has stayed true to its roots. With its fast paced anime style of mechs and rapid PvP system the game will appeal to both fans old and new. John and Vince have put their hearts into a solid game which is desperately needed to bring back the old memories of the past great mech era. With loads of custom options and high speed game play, we cannot wait to get this on early access and hit the battlefield.