Pilot an AirMech and wreak havoc against your enemies in this free-to-play action RTS. With smooth controls and a refreshing take on MOBA gameplay, AirMech offers players the opportunity to fight as Transformer-like robots.
|Publisher: Carbon Games
Type: Action RTS
Release Date: November 8, 2012
Pros: +Real time strategy. +Various customization options for both the mech and army. +Smooth controls.
Cons: -Can get repetitive. -Still in beta testing (+2/3 years).
AirMech is an Action RTS with MOBA features and gameplay. Inspired by Sega's Herzog Zwei, AirMech takes on the familiar transforming aircraft-robot approach and challenges players to dominate the game with swift decisions and mechanics. Face off in either 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, or 4v4 and push to capture the home base of the enemy. Customize your airmech and army through the Shop to match your tastes and playstyle. Experiment with various loadouts and play competitive ranked games to achieve a spot on the leader boards.
AirMech Key Features:
- Real Real-Time Strategy – strategically navigate the battlefield to gain the upper hand.
- Build-A-Mech – customize your mech through various stat-based and aesthetic-based options.
- Engaging Gameplay – transform from an aircraft to a robot in real-time.
- Balanced Cash Shop – while most items are obtainable for free-to-play players, there are some premium items that requires cash currency but gameplay is balanced to avoid pay-to-win.
- Fluid Customization System – experience a very well-designed customization system where you can edit loadouts, copy and paste, and drag-and-drop!
AirMech Featured Video
By Chanel Hwang
AirMech is an Action RTS where players control a Transformer-like mech to capture the enemy home base. The game is developed and published by Carbon Games, and also has a version released for the Xbox and Playstation platforms ("AirMech Arena").
The game starts off with an optional tutorial. Players are given fifteen challenges to complete. I would recommend going through the tutorial, as it is pretty solid. The challenges teach you about basic strategy, controls, and game objectives to help you become accustomed to the frantic arena of AirMech. Completion of the challenges also results in a ton of experience and Kudos (in-game currency), which you will need to purchase new mechs from the shop. Currently, there are nine mechs to choose from. Players can also pick from a variety of pilots (with different in-game bonuses), and the units with which they wish to enter the field.
The gameplay is similar to MOBAs, where there are minion-like soldiers that march out from your home base to capture the nearest neutral or opposing base. These minion troops will just die against enemy bases, unless supported by army units. Players choose nine army units prior to the battle, ranging from tanks to mechanized infantry. These units are like your arsenal of weapons. If you have fifty units, you will still only be able to bring in nine for the match. Depending on your playstyle and what you wish to achieve, the nine units you bring will differ from match to match. During the game, players will have to micromanage their bases to spend Credits (accrued during the match only) to build units, transport them, and issue commands. From patrolling a base to defending, you must strategize how to gain control of the map to crush your opponent. Each base gives you income, so you want to capture as many as possible. However, if you're losing, it's probably best to build up a strong defense and amass a sizable army before slowly marching forward. All the while, mechs are the only air-borne units in the game and are thus powerful. You can choose to fly from base to base to transport units as an aircraft, or join the frontlines and transform into a menacing robot to wreak havoc.
Master of Sky and Land
When I was first thrown into a match with an AI, I was overwhelmed. However, the training from the tutorials were actually quite helpful, and in no time I found myself steadily working through the game. There are several things to do. There is constantly a fight to be had somewhere on the map, an objective to be taken. Even though I couldn't fully understand what I was doing in the beginning, it was apparent that AirMech is a skill-based game. I was very much reminded of a simpler version of Starcraft combined with a MOBA. A key component of how well you do is your mastery over your airmech.
Your airmech is an incredible source of waveclear and a transport. It is also like a mobile command center. Players will have to quickly build units, deploy units, give orders, fly around, refuel, waveclear, and give commands constantly. It sounds like a lot (and it is), but what makes AirMech stand out is how smooth the controls are. While the game does offer controller support, I found the mouse and keyboard controls to be just fine. The developers made it very easy to perform all the required tasks to control the airmech—all that's left is for players to master is the mechanics and strategy.
Navigating the Aftermath of the Great War
The main menu/lobby of AirMech is well-designed. Across the top is a list of options, such as Play, Watch, or Shop. It is here in the main menu that players will be able to add friends, join factions, shop for new units or airmechs, or even spectate other matches. It is easy to navigate and find whatever you need. I found the hangar to be neat, as players can customize their loadouts with ease. There is even a copy and paste button, which I thought showed the developers knew how important customization was for their players. Imagine having to use a poorly designed system to change your airmech's weapons or accessories. One minor thing I found slightly confusing was the back button. It was hard to locate at times because it changed positions depending on what page you were in, especially when I was queuing for a match and wanted to cancel. It's always on the top left, though difficult to spot at times.
AirMech has various PvP options, from 1v1 up to 4v4. You can play with your friends against bots, which is always fun, or play ranked for competitive gameplay. Carbon Games did an awesome job of making the competitive scene easy to access. All players can spectate through the Watch tab in the main menu, organizing players by region, and can view the leaderboards from the bottom of the screen.
Playing with randoms can be fun, but it can also be difficult. Players need to communicate with their team to decide which army units each person will take into battle. If you end up having someone who refuses to cooperate, the game can be a bit painful as you'll most likely be slowly choked to death. However, it is always rewarding to team up with others to defeat a common foe, and AirMech PvP does just that. It seriously feels like you've won a crazy battle at the end of a long match.
Let's Go Shopping
The Shop is full of items you can only purchase with real-world cash. However, there are also a decent size of options available for those players who are free-to-play. Various army units, pilots, and airmechs are unlockable with Kudos. Most cosmetic items are available only for paying players, but there are seasonal events where players can win free things. The shop is neatly organized, with information of every item displayed conveniently for the player. One feature I thought was cool was the "Try Me" feature. Players can test out the airmech skins to see what they look like in-game.
Final Verdict - Good
AirMech is a pretty good game all around. Real-time strategy exists, it's not pay-to-win, and the mechanics/gameplay are smooth and fun. The biggest downside is that the game has been in beta testing for nearly three years now, and the game can get a bit repetitive if you're using the same mech and army units. If you love games that reward skill, have amazing customization configurations, and are well-balanced, I would recommend you give AirMech a try.
AirMech System Requirements
Operating System: Windows Vista
CPU: Intel i3 or better
RAM: 2 GB RAM
Video Card: 8800 GT or better
Hard Disk Space: 1 GB
Operating System: Windows 7/8/10
CPU: Intel i5 or better
RAM: 4 GB RAM
Video Card: Radeon HD7970 or better
Hard Disk Space: 2 GB
AirMech Music & Soundtrack
AirMech Additional Information
Developer(s): Carbon Games
Publisher(s): Carbon Games
Director(s): James Green
Composer(s): Front Line Assembly
Game Engine: Heat
Other Platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: October 05, 2012
Steam Release Date: November 08, 2012
Development History / Background:
AirMech is developed by Carbon Games and released on October 05, 2012. The studio announced AirMech at Pax Prime in the summer of 2011, and was met with an excited response from a small group of gamers. AirMech was inspired by Sega's Herzog Zwei, and was brought to the table with modern features like MOBA mechanics and revamped gameplay. It was released through Steam on Novemeber 09, 2012. Ubisoft then offered to publish the game for consoles. In May of 2015, AirMech released on the Xbox and PlayStation platforms and has been met with positive response.