It’s been a while since a decent game featuring mechs has graced our shelves (and digital libraries). There looks to be significantly more than a glimmer of hope in a new game from Thai developer Orbital Speed Studio that consists of five industry veterans from various backgrounds.
Orbital Speed’s debut game is Duel Gear, a mix of tactical action and turn-based combat inspired by JRPGs and everything mech. The player commands their mech from a third-person perspective through a combination of real-time shooting and movement that’s limited to the usual RPG battle criteria. Attack and defence are both based on range and accuracy, relating to the pilot’s status and the weapon equipped. Skills may have an effect on increasing or decreasing accuracy and affect the chance of a critical hit. On your turn, you may move to a defensive position or attack, not both.
You begin the game by creating a pilot and building a mech from one of 30 original designs and over 100 customisable parts. There are 60 weapon types and a character development system for improving skills over time. The story mode will consist of 30 missions that equate to around 30 hours of gameplay. Skirmish, simulation mode and repayable missions should significantly extend the gameplay.
Duel Gear is campaigning via Indiegogo where they are already over their target of $5000. The goal is small because Orbital Speed is already nearing completion. Any money raised from the campaign will go to improving graphics and performance.
Duel Gear is targeting an early 2017 release for Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Contributing $15 to the campaign will get you a digital copy of the game for the platform of your choice with added DLC. My favourite is the $60 tier which gets you a physical copy. There is currently no word whether this will be the only way to get your hands on a physical copy.
If you’re still not convinced, a pre-alpha demo is available on Steam for you to try it out. From the early footage, Duel Gear looks incredibly promising. You can check out the Indiegogo campaign right here.
Michael Vane is a freelance journalist and co-editor of PN2. He’s on Twitter @DrVane