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Incredible new mech game is like FTL combined with Armored Core 6

The vicious, physical mech combat of Armored Core 6 meets the management and building of FTL in an incredible new mech game available now.

Mech Engineer Steam robot game: A huge mech from new Steam robot game Mech Engineer

A great mech game needs to be brutal. You want heavy machines, weighty, physical combat, and an overarching sense of struggle – you want it to feel nasty. FromSoftware’s Armored Core 6 is appropriately vicious, that terrific sense of labor and struggle as you heave your machine into yet another battle. But a new mech game takes the sensation of power and pain to a new level. Available right now on Steam, it mixes AC6 with the building, management, and high-pressure systems building of FTL: Faster Than Light.

Mech Engineer is a superb, imaginative new take on the robot game genre. You’re not participating in combat per se – you play, as the title suggests, an engineer, responsible for constructing, testing, refining, and manufacturing the perfect war machines to win the battle for a destroyed, dystopian earth. Alien invaders and nightmarish mutants now roam our planet. The aesthetic and tone are reminiscent of the future war sections of Terminator, grubby, tired guerilla fighters sweating it out day by day to earn back scraps of territory.

Step one, you need to build the outer core of your soldiers’ mechs. Boost power with pistons and cores, but make sure to manage the internal temperature with moderators, as overheating during battle can easily lead to death. Step two, implement, test, and refine the weapons systems. From raw power to rate of fire, accuracy, weight, and consumption, everything can be fine-tuned, and you need to alter loadouts between missions, depending on what type of enemies your troops are likely to face.

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It’s all controlled via a simple, highly intuitive drag-and-drop scheme – while the customization and construction in Mech Engineer are gratifyingly complex, it’s easy and fluid to play. Once weapons are in place, you need to balance the weight of each mech, ensuring that the relevant systems and modules don’t compromise mobility.

Finally, there’s a human factor to consider. Each pilot has a different psychological profile and personality, and you need to deploy them accordingly. It doesn’t matter how perfect your machines are, if the people driving them are burned out and traumatized, the likelihood of a mission failure drastically increases.

And then it’s time for combat. Viewed from a top-down perspective, like you’re watching through a grainy, faltering old satellite, you give your mech team attack orders as they clear zones and salvage parts for a shuttle that will let you escape from Earth. It’s lo-fi, stark, and tense. If you want to try Mech Engineer for yourself, you can play a beta version of the game for free, or pick up the new 1.0 version for $11.99 / £9.11. Just go here.

Otherwise, the best building games might be for you, or perhaps the best strategy games ever released on PC.

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