‘Panzerwehr: 1949’ Reimagines Mechs in VR as WWII-era Combat Machines

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In development by indie studio KUKURU3Panzerwehr: 1949 is a mech combat simulator made for VR which imagines an alternate WWII timeline where mechs rule the battlefield as anti-tank hunters in a war that’s dragged on to 1949.

Panzerwehr: 1949 began as a tech demo in June 2016 and began development as a full VR title shortly thereafter, with support planned for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

Photo courtesy Kukuru3

Developer Kukuru3 has shared a new gameplay video (heading this article) showing the current state of development. The studio offers the following synopsis for the vision of the game, including an inciting three-player co-op mode where players collectively control aspects of a single mech:

It is April 1949, and the Third Battle of Stalingrad is about to begin. Infantry has long been made obsolete in the irradiated battlefield pockmarked with atomic bomb craters. In their place, a new breed of quadrupedal war machine roams the ruined streets of Stalingrad: German Jaegers and Soviet Samokhods. Under the aurora of a nuclear winter, elite pilots of both empires try to score a decisive blow. Panzerwehr 1949 is a hardcore World War 2 era mech simulator exclusively for VR headsets, inspired by classics such as Steel Battalion and Mech Warrior. Walkers in this game handle more like tanks than agile robots, and the equipment available matches the era and the weight of the beasts involved. Leaning more towards the simulation than the arcade, the game features a highly accurate ballistic model. The game requires the player to first master the highly detailed controls of their cockpit before they can bring the full potential of their walkers to bear. Planned features for full release are a procedural single-player campaign, a 1v1 multiplayer mode and a 3-player coop mode where three players in VR control separate crew stations of a single walker tank.

The studio says that “development continues at full pace,” and expects to launch into Early Access in Q4 2017.

Despite a couple of exciting in-development VR mech projects seen over the years like—Vox Machinae and Hawken—VR’s first great mech game has yet to surface. Could Panzerwehr: 1949 be that game? Fingers crossed!

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