I've always found something deliciously epic about giant robots blasting and smashing the hell out of one another. Hunks of scrap metal flying everywhere and the sound of thunderous gunfire go together like peanut butter and jelly in my book. While it's certainly based on the venerable mech battling franchise, MechWarrior: Tactical Command doesn't quite capture the thrill of battling inside the cockpit of a huge death machine. But it does offer a mostly serviceable real-time strategy romp through miniaturized killer robot territory.
Used together in the same sentence, terms like "free-to-play" and "browser-based" generate images of the kinds of fluffy, gameplay-light play experiences that often result in rolled eyes and shoulder shrugs. Curiously, MechWarrior Tactics -- coming later this year to browsers on Mac and other platforms via the Unity engine -- hits both of those points and yet still remained on the lips of many writers covering the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco last week. What's different here?