Dark Horizons Mechanized Corps – Heavy Metal Warfare on PC- PAX EAST 2017
It’s impossible not to like 50-ton combat robots. Where else, in the history of mechanized warfare, can you position cannons and machine guns onto a walking machine and deliver great destruction across the field? That is the focus behind Maxgaming Studios and their game, Dark Horizons Mechanized Corps.
Their game was proudly presented in one of the busiest hallways at PaxEast 2017, and for good reason. The game features full-fledged 16 player multiplayer, and tasks you with outfitting and piloting your mech for glorious combat. The game is a passion project for the team, as it had originated in 2005 and is a sequel to Dark Horizons Lore Invasion. Following the completion of the game, and all of its assets, the team went onto other projects, until recently, when they felt the need to come back to the game they started.
Interestingly, they managed to take the existing game and do a full overhaul of the original build, including putting the game on a new engine with new textures, lighting, and other enhancements, In essence, the game is a 2005, rebuilt and reshaped for a computer gaming world in 2017.
I waited my turn, sat behind a PC, and got right to work in an offline bot match.
Visually, the game looks solid, from the cockpit views to the over-the-head camera. I was in a ruined desert, with destroyed fortifications present for cover and navigation. I managed to outfit my mech with a laser, machine guns, and rockets as well. Controls took it getting used to but worked extremely well. The mouse was used for aiming, and clicking fired my weapons, and the WASD walking configuration worked.
As soon as the first enemy units appeared, I was cleared to engage and unleashed my first set of weapons. I began to notice that these are massive, heavily armed mechs we are talking about, and shooting a few cannon shells isn’t going to take them down alone.
I noticed I had a jet pack and could gain some height in short bursts. I did attempt some aerial kills, but the jetpack simply wasn’t powerful enough. Soon, I got up close and personal with the enemy mechs. I noticed that while my firepower could do damage, it would take repeated shootings in order bring a unit down. I notice my weapons overheating, and tried to rely on not using my laser cannon. Eventually, I downed a unit, much to my success and joy. However, there would be other enemy units bearing down on my position.
One thing to watch for was to avoid taking damage in certain areas, as my weapons and capabilities would be disabled. I took a hit and noticed some systems had gone offline. I wasn’t able to use a few weapons, and my hull integrity was critical.
I noticed the enemy had missiles. I was unable to dodge them and eventually bit the dust. On my respawn, I made it my mission to find the guy who took me down. Eventually, I did and used lasers to eviscerate his mech. The other weapons worked well and were quite fun to use. Machine guns were a good, spread gun, while the rockets were hard hitting explosives. Using the terrain, I managed to utilize cover and try and get a ranged bead on my enemies. After about fifteen minutes, the demo ended, and my experience was over.
I played many games at PAX East 2017, but I could really sense a degree of passion here. This was a game built from an entirely different era in PC gaming, and while it is now in an entirely new world, it seeks to find an audience and make a solid impact.
My time with Dark Horizons was a lot of fun. I enjoyed the combat and the gameplay, as well as the intense presentation. When asked about the future of the game, the team will continue to make improvements and additions, especially as the game is currently available on Steam Early Access. The possibility of single player exists, as well as expanding more online multiplayer modes.
Look for Dark Horizons: Mechanized Corps on Steam Early Access now.