Trapped in a brutal cyberpunk town out of the world, players will have to fight tooth and nail in this unique RPG to escape the world of Mechajammer.
When it comes to creating a filthy, inhabited world, gamers should look to the developers at Whalenought Studios and its upcoming RPG. Mechanic. Recently announced with a trailer premiering at the PC Gaming Show at E3 2021, Mechanic is a dirty and grimy cyberpunk RPG that combines an 80s action movie feel with a unique turn-based combat system and visual aesthetics.
Originally announced in 2017 as Copper dreams, Mechajammer started as a successful Kickstarter campaign. However, as the original Spring 2017 release date came and went, the game somewhat wandered off until it resurfaced in mid-2020 with its name changed to the current title. Thanks to his triumphant debut at the PC Gaming Show in June, Mechanic Simultaneously reintroduced itself to longtime fans and established its identity as an interesting top-down GPRC set in a visually striking dystopian world.
Mechanic takes place in a dystopian cyberpunk future, where players are stuck in an out-of-the-world jungle colony with little hope of escaping. Surrounded by hostile wilderness and plagued by an underworld full of occult syndicates, those who wish to leave this dark mill of grimy streets and crime-ravaged lanes must fight or die to get what they want. The players in Mechanic will have to assemble a team of cutthroat, gang members and thieves to explore the city, battling anyone who stands in the way for a chance to get out alive and intact.
Mechanic fully leans into its cyberpunk aesthetic, but its story is rooted in popular action movies of the 80s. Mechanic has no world to save, no global narrative concerned with straightening out this corrupt world. The main objective of the player is to escape the desperate setting and perhaps find a better life in the brutal environments of the alien planet. Mechanic is inspired by movies like Escape from New York and RoboCop, where the protagonists weren’t trying to save the world but were simply preoccupied with survival and navigating their own personal stories. Drawing inspiration from these low-stakes films, Mechanic offers a more grounded narrative for players to navigate.
With its unique inspiration, Mechanic also offers a unique visual style. The dirty streets of the cyberpunk city are displayed in all their glory, with citizens sneaking around, dressed in drab clothes to match the equally drab and desperate environments. Outside the city lies the menacing sprawl of an alien jungle, so dense and hostile that no one dares try to brave its dark landscapes.
Mechanic is played from a top-down perspective and uses sprite-based 2D character models that can fully move around its open-world 3D environments. MechanicPerspectives mashup, combined with its gorgeous pixel-art aesthetic and decidedly low-tech world, makes the visuals match its desperate narrative, creating an effective framework for its cyberpunk action to play.
Other Mechanic stands out for its combat system and the way it manages its mechanics. Instead of using the proven CRPG fighting style where players and enemies take turns attacking and moving, Mechanic attempts to combine turn-based combat with a more real-time feel. In the game, players and enemies take turns simultaneously moving, taking cover and attacking all together in dynamic ways.
This allows players to strategize and react on the fly as they pace the battlefield and its fluid battles. For example, if the player notices that an enemy is coming out of cover but does not fire, the enemy will switch from a movement turn to a aiming turn. From this position the player can choose to hide for cover, or perhaps rush the enemy, or even fire a shot which may be faster to attack.
MechanicCombat systems allow for unique encounters, such as being able to dodge a knife thrown at the player while avoiding, as the knife takes multiple turns to get to the character’s position on the battle map. Each action takes one turn, from moving and reloading to taking cover, and Mechanic allows players to strategize movements while reacting to enemies’ choices in real time. These ideas make combat systems fresh and unique.
Absolutely, Mechanic is a game that combines excellent visual style, low stakes, personal storytelling, and a dynamic combat system full of satisfying strategy and mechanics. For those looking for more cyberpunk dystopias and unique versions of combat systems, Mechanic is finally set to release later this year on Steam and is now available as a demo.
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