Review – World of Mechs

Mech Assault

Overview

Developer Studio 369 inc
Publisher Studio 369 inc
Genre First-Person Shooter, Competitive Multiplayer
Platforms Meta Quest 2
Release Date June 2nd, 2022

Ever want to get in the cockpit of your own mechanized robot? Many video games have strived to achieve that fantasy in the past. Mech Warrior and Mech Assault are the two franchises that have successfully done so in the past, while others like Steel Batallion may have gone a step too far. Then others like Hawken fell short of making a mark. Most recently, World of Mechs stomped its way onto the Quest 2. They could have easily chosen to build the game for PC-based hardware but have first brought it to the most accessible option for almost any player to enjoy. Studio 369 tackles what I feel is a brilliant idea of piloting a mech in Virtual Reality.

Content Guide

According to the Oculus digital store, this game is rated E 10+ for mild language and fantasy violence.

Violence: In Mech Arena, players take control of giant robots with guns and other tools to battle against one another. When you shoot opponent mechs, they start smoking and explode. There is no blood or gore to be found in this game.

Language: Characters use mild language such as “d*mn” and “hell.”

Review

World of Mechs aims to be the most immersive experience regarding mech-based combat. While it contains a single-player campaign, they made the game with competitive multiplayer in mind. The game also helps advance the platform by implementing mechanics beyond the standards that have become a staple in many VR games. Playing such a game on my Quest 2 feels quite nostalgic by being the closest thing to those Virtual World/Battletech pods that we will ever get to in 2022. Since its launch, the developers have been open about the game’s status and flaws but have been working on updating the game until it reaches its full potential.

The game’s primary focus is multiplayer, so we’ll start there. At the moment, we have five maps and four game modes. That isn’t much by usual video game standards, but I appreciate that players will get time to learn and strategize with what we have now. Deathmatch, Domination, Assault, and VIP are the match types that give players the opportunity for some intense action. I’m not the biggest fan of Domination and Assault, which feature capture points, but I was engrossed in Deathmatch and VIP, which had me getting a feel for combat. Though the game is by no means the best looking on the platform, the maps were also a highlight for me, leading to my thoughts on the game’s presentation as a whole.

The default map does no favors with its blocky city buildings, but the other maps stand out, especially in design. The graphics look like they belong in the PS2/Xbox era, but the maps help bring an exceptional level of immersion with their lighting. The white of the tundra closes the distance, the underground base creates shadow, and the canyon and port hold a great atmosphere. The maps also have a sense of verticality since the mechs can boost to higher points. The sound effects of the mechs moving around and the gunfire successfully add to the immersion as I’d look for the enemy firing at me. World of Mechs is one of the many examples of games on the Meta Quest that don’t need to have ultra-realistic graphics to achieve what it’s going for.

Gameplay is where the game shines, as you can choose from eight classes and thirty-two variants. You’ll earn money by completing matches and campaign missions to unlock those mechs and various upgrades to strengthen and determine your playstyle. Each mech has a gun on each arm, an extra ability, and one more sort of “ultimate” with a cooldown. Since we pilot giant death machines and can’t use our full range of head movement to aim as we would in a typical VR shooter, the reticle follows the direction we are gazing in to get better accuracy on our target. It may seem obvious, but the game is best played sitting in a chair. I usually play most VR games while standing, but in World of Mechs, you are playing as a pilot controlling this giant vehicle rather than the mech. I first played standing up, and it felt awkward; Then, I realized that sitting was the only option when looking at the description in the online store.

Mechs come in all shapes and sizes.

The campaign does not give a solid first impression as it seems like it will take place with the multiplayer maps, but the fully voiced dialogue was welcome to help with the immersion and providing direction. The player starts by substituting an all-star pilot in the first mission, who gets jealous after your performance and sends goons after you in the second. I didn’t think it was a good idea to go right into an escort objective for the second mission and got very frustrated with it until I realized that upgrading my mech made it much more manageable. Admittedly, the campaign is where I spent the least of my time with the game and seems more like a series of glorified challenge missions. I can feel them becoming repetitive, as further missions will likely re-use locations. However, I would be happy to be wrong and look forward to spending more time in that part of the game.

World of Mechs is a VR game that may feel lacking in certain areas but succeeds in places that truly matter. They have successfully captured the feeling of what it would be like to pilot your mech and battle against and alongside others. The campaign falls short of being worthwhile, but you should come to this for the competitive multiplayer skirmishes. So many classes, playstyles, and excellent map design offer a playground of destruction that demands strategy. You may find an intimidating learning curve there, but you will appreciate the experience once you find your footing. The modest price of $19.99 is also not demanding for those interested in jumping into the action for themselves.

Review copy kindly provided by HomeRun PR.

The Bottom Line

 

Despite lacking in some aspects, World of Mechs packs a punch in all the places that matter.

 

7.0

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L.J. Lowery

Born in southern California, but currently residing in Lafayette, Louisiana. Loves Hip Hop music, comics, and video games. Events/Media Coordinator, Podcast Producer, and Public Relations.

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