Mecha Break is Gundam meets Overwatch and it's great

I died 30 million times in Mecha Break's closed beta and I can't wait to die again
Amazing Seasun

Mecha Break is a chaotic mess. That might sound like a bad thing, but sometimes the best games are chaotic messes. And sometimes the worst games are chaotic messes, too. Mecha Break leans more towards brilliant than terrible, but in its somewhat early state, there’s still a lot of refinement to go. 

I went into Mecha Break knowing very little about the game. I assumed, wrongly, that it was a single-player mech-building and fighting game, along the lines of Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon. I don’t know why I thought this, but I was honestly delighted to be wrong when I discovered it’s instead a team-based shooter, more like Overwatch than Armored Core. 

I’m not entirely sure what the story of Mecha Break is about. I know that it has a story, and I know that the character I picked and then customized (she was very cool, but I can’t show her to you) plays a part in that story, but beyond that, I’ve got nothing. I had a very limited time to check out the game, and sticking around for the story just wasn’t on the cards — when the game is released in the future, I promise not to skip the cutscenes. 

A mech shedding its outer armor in Mecha Break
Mecha Break's mechs shed their heavy armor when shields are depleted, adding a layer of strategy / Amazing Seasun

After that, I was thrown into a tutorial, where I learned the complex, sometimes frustrating control scheme. Piloting a mech is difficult, trying to maintain altitude and positioning and pressing the right buttons on my keyboard and mouse to make my big old mech smash stuff correctly feels almost impossible. 

At first, diving into a match with other players, where me and five fellow pilots were tasked with capturing a series of points, I was buzzing around like a drunk bumblebee. After spectacularly failing my first mission, letting down my teammates, and dying roughly 30 million times, I stopped for a moment to reconsider my life choices. Should I stop playing and writing about games? Would developer Amazing Seasun be upset if I just stopped playing and pretended I’d never heard of it? Would a controller help? 

The answer to all three is: “probably.” But only the last one was something I could immediately address, so I plugged in a controller and… it didn’t work. I tried a number of different controllers, with different settings and configurations, but the closest I got was the game recognising I had a controller connected, but not accepting input from it. To be clear, this is a beta, and not everything is going to work, but my little aside trying to get the controller working did give me the time and space to breathe, refocus, and try jumping back in. 

And you know what? It was a little better. I was starting to get the hang of things. I still died a lot, but not quite as much as the first time, and I even managed to get an assisted kill against the enemy team. At the end of the match, we won, and it was absolutely thrilling. 

A mech swinging an ax or a lance at an enemy in Mecha Break
A range of different mechs offer different opportunities in combat / Amazing Seasun

I tried picking up another mech — I’d started with something that was quite versatile, equally at home firing off missiles from a distance and slashing with a sword up-close, but I wanted to branch out. I picked a mech that was bulkier, with more shield, a few defensive abilities, and a big, powerful ax. 

In my first match with the big bulky lad, I struggled to get a handle on it, but much like with the previous mech, subsequent rounds saw me rapidly improving. A game mode had the team flitting from tower to tower in a bid to dismantle them before the enemy could, and I was able to throw up an area shield to help me and my allies stay safe as we did so. It was absolutely thrilling, because in just a few short games, I had gone from a chaotic mess myself to a refined, productive member of an elite squad of mechs. 

That said, despite my newly gained proficiency, there were areas where Mecha Break let me down, somewhat. The UI is often unclear, and I found myself getting shot at and even killed before I even knew where the shots were coming from. The feedback you get from shooting other enemies could be a little clearer too, as I was never really sure if I was actually hitting someone, I just knew that I was firing at them and sometimes, their health bars were going down. 

The game also screams at you constantly, with a robotic voice cycling through various conditions like your ammo count, reloads, shield status, weapon and skill availability, and battle objectives. This robotic voice is pleasant, but I truly wish that they would have shut up sometimes, even if just for a moment. There’s plenty of visual feedback about when my abilities are available, and I really didn’t need that shouting. 

I also found it quite difficult to distinguish between ally and enemy mechs, and I’m not sure if it was because I’m colorblind or just because the game itself was less clear than it could have been. Either way, improvements could be made to make it clearer for every player, not just for those with color vision issues, because nobody wants to spend their time accidentally firing rockets at their teammates. 

A turret-like mech with a shield fires at an enemy mech
With so many different objectives and mechs, situational awareness is important / Amazing Seasun

This is the first game that’s made me excited for competitive online play since Splatoon 2, a game which I played semi-professionally for a number of years. Am I going to go pro in Mecha Break? Probably not. But am I going to blast through a weekend shooting down mechs alongside my friends and random allies online? You betcha. 

Mecha Break may be a chaotic mess, but it's a mostly well-polished, fast-paced, and exciting new take on the hero shooter genre. It’s the kind of chaotic mess where you spend half your time wondering what the heck you’re doing and the other half feeling like a god as you sail through the skies raining hellfire on your enemies. That’s a tough balancing act, but somehow Mecha Break succeeds. 

Mecha Break has no set release date, but is planned to be released on PC via Steam first with consoles coming "at a later date." For more Mecha Break coverage, check out our alpha preview (including statements from the developers) where we said that the game may be the Gundam game fans are waiting for.

Oliver Brandt


Oliver Brandt is a writer based in Tasmania, Australia. A marketing and journalism graduate, they have a love for puzzle games, JRPGs, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and any platformer with a double jump.