Even with my bad case of battle royale fatigue, this upcoming mecha game's 60-person battle royale/extraction shooter hybrid mode sounds pretty sick

Mech in dry dock with person standing on catwalk underneath
(Image credit: Amazing Seasun)

We weren't quite sure what to make of Mecha Break when it was unveiled at last year's Game Awards⁠—is this a story-heavy challenger to Armored Core's throne, or something else entirely? After a gameplay reveal earlier this year and a conversation through a translator with developer Amazing Seasun's CEO, Kris Kwok, I got the skinny on a much weirder game, one that's pairing tight team-based shooter modes with a take on battle royale that, despite my fatigue from the genre, definitely has my interest.

There are also more classic competitive modes, which we've seen in action via an IGN gameplay reveal in January and streams of a closed alpha from last month⁠—Armored Core YouTuber FightinCowboy has a good 30 minute VOD of gameplay to give you an idea of how it plays. While the size and speed of the mechs is front and center, the other main gameplay touchstone is hero shooters like Overwatch. 

While you'll be able to customize your mechs, Kwok made it sound like individual part choice will be less impactful than it is in games like AC6, MechWarrior 5, or Brigador, with a focus on recognizable heroic archetypes⁠—Kwok cited "chivalric knight" and "shinobi" as examples of the flavors of mech on offer. Seasun seems particularly concerned with mech balance, with Kwok saying that testing and balance tweaking usually takes "twice as long" as setting a new mech's art and design.

Kwok described Mecha Break as having "asymmetric" balance. "Our understanding of balance is that it doesn't mean we have to make each mecha as strong as each other," he said."The real balance is that we want to make sure each mech is taking a proper tactical position, and make sure that they create synergy as a whole, and then provide a dynamic balance experience to our players."

That certainly calls to mind Overwatch for me, while Kwok's primary inspiration from the mecha side of things is definitely the Gundam series, with a number of models decorating the Seasun conference room the studio head talked to me from. 

That inspiration reflects in Mecha Break's pace of play: it looks slightly slower than Armored Core 6, and definitely nowhere near 2006's blazingly fast AC4, but Mecha Break is still a much faster game than the more sluggish Armored Core 5 or the tactical chunk of the MechWarrior series. With Gundam hero shooter Evolution having been shuttered shortly after launch, there doesn't seem to be anything quite like Mecha Break on the market.

And speaking of things unique on the market, Mecha Break's PvEvP mode sounded genuinely intriguing to me, even as a skeptic of all things battle royale and most things extraction shooter. Kwok described it as involving up to 60 players in a map comparable in size to that of Player Unknown's Battlegrounds. It'll feature that classic battle royale slowly shrinking play field, but also NPC interactions and boss fights.

The real kicker is its extraction mechanic: you'll be able to leave a match early via set escape points, similar to those in extraction shooters like Escape From Tarkov. Kwok presented this as a lower pressure, less competitive way for players to engage with the mode.

Mecha Break's combination of mechs, hero shooter, and battle royale/extraction makes for a heady combination, and while it does not yet have a release date, there's another opportunity to try it out like last month's alpha coming up. Mecha Break's closed beta will run from April 26 to 29, and you can sign up for a chance to check it out via Amazing Seasun's recruitment survey

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.