Recently I spoke with John Nguyen, Marketing Director for the pending Heavy Gear: Assault. John was kind enough to go over the game with us and shared a trailer for the work in progress version of the game.
What is the storyline for the game?
Since we have revised our stretch goals to now include a single player episode mode, we will be releasing single player episodes detailing the most important battles in the war-torn lore of Heavy Gear, along with the already exciting arena-based professional e-sports duelist circuits we originally planned.
The first single episode will be focused on the War of the Alliance. The two major factions of the Heavy Gear lore, the Confederated Northern City-states and the Allied Southern Territories were on the verge of a global war. This is when Earth reappeared after more than 400 years of absence, with its technologically advanced Colonial Expeditionary Force to retake the wayward colony of Terra Nova. The North and the South must now put aside their differences to maintain their independence.
What can you tell us about the music and voice talent in the game?
We are very fortunate to have Jeehun Hwang composing our music. He was the man behind the original MechWarrior 2 and Heavy Gear tracks. He also worked with James Cameron on Expedition Bismarck and many other Hollywood titles. You can be assured that Heavy Gear Assault will have music that will bring an epic atmosphere to enhance any giant robot combat experience.
What are some of the weapons players will be able to use?
Players will be able to use everything from Gear sized autocannons, swarm rockets, guided missiles, mortars, grenades (the size of a large beer keg), swords, axes, maces and shields. Heavy Gear Assault will give tons of choices when it comes to weapons. There’s going to be something for everyone, when it comes to dealing damage, whether you like long range firepower or being up close and personal.
Do you see DLC like this planned for the game?
Heavy Gear Assault will be continuously developed. We plan to add content to the game in the forms of new Gears, weapons, components, arenas, as well as new single player episodes. We even have a map editor available to our premium subscribers that will allow them to design maps in Unreal 4 and share it with the community.
What can you tell us about the A.I. in the game?
We lucked out and were able to get Clancy Imislund on our team. He was the original AI programmer on Heavy Gear 2 and knows exactly how to apply AI to Gears. Players can expect a challenging experience.
What are some of the locales gamers will see in the game?
Players will be challenged in very different and varied arenas, each one with their own set of hazards and strategies. Players will have to apply their strengths against the weaknesses of their foes to achieve victory.
What enemies will players face and will there be vehicles that players can use?
Players will pilot their Gear. They can move around the environment on foot and board their giant robots, known as Gears. Once inside the cockpit, players will pilot their Gears in arenas to fight for glory and fame. In single player mode, they will pilot their Gears in a military setting against tanks and infantry, as well as enemy Gears.
What type of multiplayer will the game offer?
Heavy Gear Assault will offer both one off casual matches as well as organized league play with players of the same skill caliber and sensibly similar load outs of equipment. These will function similarly to sports seasons with live statistical tracking. You will also be able to play in different match types and game modes that can either be scored or not. In addition to these, there will also be a vibrant tournament scene that will feed into each other for top prestige and fame.
At higher stretch goals, we want to create the capability to play cooperatively in our single player episodes, as well as generate your own mission to play with your friends.
Blending action with a detailed plot can always be tricky. How have you attempted to create this element, and will scripted events be a part of the game?
In our Single Player Episodes, we will focus on a 3 to 4 hour single player experience spotlighting the many battles throughout the war torn history of the Heavy Gear lore. The detailed plot has pretty much been laid out for us in the lore and the vast amount of supplement books that Dream Pod 9 put out. The trick will be to put the players there and let them experience what the belligerents went through. We hope that players walk away with a nice rush of adrenaline.
What are some of the biggest obstacles you see in creating the game, and what are your biggest goals for the game?
We are excited to be working with Unreal Engine 4. This allows us to quickly build the game to a level never before seen and allow us the freedom to implement tons of features that haven’t been even attempted in other mecha games, such as destructibility on the scale that we want as well as melee. This is next generation technology that we want to push to the limit.
What makes this game different and fresh from others in the genre and series?
One of the main differences will be the ability to play as the pilot. You will be able to move freely in and out of Gears. We want this to be happening in real time. Certain arenas will have objects that only pilots can interact with, such as gun turrets. Do you chance getting out and leaving your Gear?
You can also leave your Gear if it is incapacitated (legs blown off or something), run across the arena, and get your spare Gear.
On the other hand, you may have taken a heavy hit and your sensors are down. You can no longer see outside, so blow the hatch and drive your Gear from your pilot’s point of view.
Another key feature that will set us apart from the others in the genre is the level of destructibility we want to implement in the game. You will be able to blow individual limbs off and damage specific components which will have real in-game consequences. Likewise, the environments will be destructible too. Why aim for the Gear, when you can bring the bridge its standing on down?