Okay admit it. Not only is Aliens one of the greatest movies of all time, but it instilled in you a secret lust to engage Alien queens in battle with a giant, futuristic cargo stacking mech. Okay, perhaps we are overstating this just a touch, but we were still totally excited to see Japanese engineers demonstrate a fully functional Dual-Arm Power Amplification Robot, particularly one that gives users superhuman strength, and was quite obviously inspired by the cult sci-fi classic.
The robot, which is being designed with a commercial future in mind, is capable of lifting more than 100kg, but itself weighs slightly over 230kg. Given these specs, obvious safety concerns are raised by wearing a suit that is heavy enough to crush its wearer, however, Chief engineer Go Shirogauchi claims the robot is quite safe. “The most important challenge is not to injure the operator with the amplified power” he said. “For that challenge, a delicate control and a mechanics design which does not put too much force onto a human in the worst situation is required”.
The robot is primarily being designed for the construction industry, but Shirogauchi claims they plan to have plenty of interchangeable parts to make it viable in many more situations. “Our intention is not to develop a small power shovel, but to create a common platform which can be applied to many areas other than the construction sites” said Shirogauchi.
The arms are expected to cost about $357,000 when they eventually come to market, hopefully sometime in 2015.
And now, we present an inside look at the creation of the possibly upcoming MechWarrior movie:
Movie Exec A: “Hey [Movie Exec B], you know what people seem to be able to relate to right now, in this time of economic hardship? Giant robots.”
Movie Exec B: “Yeah! And you know what goes great with giant robots, don’t you? That’s right: vague nostalgic ties into this generation’s childhood, ala Transformers 2.”
Movie Exec A: “Hey, aren’t the MechWarrior people getting sued for that whole ‘stealing from a nostalgic property’ business right now? Let’s make a movie out of that!”
Movie Exec B: “Brilliant! Get Shia LaBeouf on the phone, stat!”
And that’s how we like to imagine the rumored MechWarrior movie began its development. But it probably isn’t. Joystiq’s claiming that Michael Eisner’s The Tornante Company is helming the project, as Eisner owns the rights to the franchise at the moment. Apparently, Michael Gordon, the man behind such cinematic greats as Godzilla and G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra is directing. Other than that, nothing else is known. We’ll let you know when – or if – we hear more.
“Most of my time is invested in [Smith & Tinker], but in the wee hours of the night, I spend time thinking about the older properties. I think Crimson Skies is something we’d love to get some energy around, and we have some devious plans - we’ll see if those materialize,” he told GameSpot.
“Devious plans,” eh? Sounds… well, really vague. Still though, if they involve giving Crimson Skies a MechWarrior-style reboot, we don’t think we’ll have too much trouble stomaching them.
The universe is a just place. MechWarrior is real. There will now be a short intermission in this news article, during which you are free to jump up and down, kiss random passersby, or thank/make a blood sacrifice to your deity of choice.
Done? Cool. So, as basically confirmed earlier, the game’s being developed by Piranha Games and former FASA boss Jordan Weisman’s new company, Smith and Tinker. Instead of joining the ranks of series like Final Fantasy, Call of Duty, and Mega Man with a five-quel, MechWarrior (notice the lack of a five on the end) will be a series revamp.
It’s set on planet Deshler in the year 3015 and sees you piloting a lackadaisical nobleman named Adrian Kohl, who will in turn (presumably) pilot mechs. When House Kurita decides to stake a claim on Deshler using the universal signal for “We’re going to kill you with robots,” however, Kohl’s family is murdered, replacing his party-packed lifestyle with one a tad more vengeance-centric.
Gameplay-wise, the developers are hoping to make every mech class useful, as opposed to simply allowing the biggest, heaviest mechs to rule the battlefield. You’re also encouraged to commit to a single mech, as doing so grants you experience points, which assist your accuracy and damage-dealing prowess. Apparently, the game will change based on whichever mech class you choose, though how it will change is anyone’s guess at this point.
So far, the Jenner (light class), Warhammer (heavy), Rifleman (heavy), and an Atlas Prime (assault) are confirmed to be lending their prodigious destructive talents to the game, with many, many more to come.
The only bad news here? No release date yet. We imagine the fog will clear a little once MechWarrior finds a publisher, but until then, we can only lick our chops and wait. To ease the immeasurable pain of longing a bit, IGN has a new trailer and some screenshots. Go look at them. We don’t mind. It’s for a good cause.
It’s been a while, MechWarrior. Doing well? Still raining death upon your foes and causing millions of dollars worth of collateral damage? Good! Man, after you took your gigantic, metallic show on the road to Xbox territory, we never thought we’d see you ‘round these parts again. Now, though, PC-focused IGN sister site Voodoo Extreme is dropping hints right and left that you’re back to stay. And who are we to disbelieve teaser trailers, announcement dates, and even developer info?
Who’s this “Piranha” developer, though? Your old handler, FASA, may have gone under in 2007, but we could’ve sworn former FASA owner Jordan Weisman acquired rights to anything involving your virtual visage. Guess we’ll get to the bottom of this caper on Thursday, July 9 at 12:01 AM PDT. Or at least, that’s what IGN says. (And IGN? Seriously? Guess all the long nights we spent together mean nothing, then?)
In the meantime, we’ll be clicking the first link that we somehow placed in this unspecified letter format (Snail mail? Email? Smoke Signal? We don’t even know!) to watch those teaser films that are so thoroughly soaked in IGN’s pungent, musky perfume… Where did we go wrong, MechWarrior? Tell us! We promise we’ll fix it!