Much delayed, but still appreciated. It’s been many moons since we last covered AirMech in any capacity, and since we last saw it, it has been split into three seperate games. AirMech Strike (F2P and competitive), AirMech Command (for VR headsets) and now the long-delayed AirMech Wastelands, a single-player, standalone campaign for the arcade action-RTS.
Developers Carbon Games have held themselves to old promises, and made Wastelands a free upgrade – it’s a retail game with its own price tag – for anyone who bought the Prime upgrade to the original AirMech back before everything split.
AirMech might be based on Herzog Zwei, but its closest modern relative is the humble MOBA. Transforming mechs too twitchy for you? Try one of these.
At its heart, AirMech has barely changed in the past five years, which is good, as it’s a solid mix of retro console-RTS design with some modern MOBA-inspired tweaks. Wastelands has been a promised feature of the game since the early days of development, but only recently have Carbon Games managed to make good on their early design documents, albeit a little messily, what with the three-game split and all.
While still bearing the Early Access tag, there’s a lot of content already available in Wastelands, spanning a pretty huge overworld map. Far off to the east lies a hazy region that you’ll only be able to access via the public test servers, though. The way to get in is to tick a box before logging in – but beware, as here be dragons and/or bugs. The most conspicuous hole in the game for me is the odd lack of anything beyond a basic male character model at present. Even Strike offers male, female, and robotic avatars to pick from.
While you can use diamonds (your premium currency) from AirMech Strike in Wastelands, you won’t be able to buy much beyond dress-up items for your fleet of transforming mecha. The idea is for Wastelands to be a fully self-contained game free of the balance worries of the original, hence the addition of RPG-style loot and levelling mechanics. If you want to go balanced and competitive then Strike is your game.
AirMech Wastelands is out now for £15/$20 on Steam, minus a small launch discount. If you bought the Prime upgrade at some point in AirMech’s past, launch AirMech Strike and look for the Wastleands note in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.