Archangel: Hellfire, a multiplayer mech combat expansion to the original Archangel (2017) game, today launched out of open beta. In addition, the studio also released a free version of the multiplayer game, dubbed Archangel: Hellfire ‘Enlist Free’, that gives you basic access to much of multiplayer mech combat.

Skydance Interactive first announced Archangel: Hellfire back in April, a free multiplayer expansion to the Archangel single-player game that lets Rift and Vive players compete in off-rails combat with a number of building-sized mechs.

While we weren’t too impressed with the original game’s on-rails locomotion mechanic, the multiplayer expansion has certainly delivered on the promise of free-roaming mech combat, replete with six classes of mechs with more than 13 unique weapons and abilities. Players can jump and maneuver around one of two multiplayer maps currently, the snowy ‘Collins Base’ or the dry desert of the ‘Genesis Facility’. One other map, dubbed ‘Sanctuary’, is said to arrive soon.

Image courtesy Skydance Interactive

The open beta, which allowed owners of Archangel to engage in Team Deathmatch and private battles with up to four players, is now over, signaling the official launch of Archangel: Hellfire. The official release boasts more modes, including the previously greyed-out co-op co-op arena horde mode, which pits you against endless waves of enemies in a PvE, four-person battle.

Image captured by Road to VR

Set ten years after the war that’s central to the Archangel single-player campaign, war against breaks out between the two factions, USFF and HUMNX. Each faction has three different combat mechs: a tank, a quick-and-light mech, and a mech that’s balanced somewhere in between.

The maps are littered with power-ups such as health, battery recharges, and special recharges that give you the juice to activate your mech’s unique abilities. Things like active camouflage, EMPs, overcharged guns, and extremely powerful laser beams let you get a temporary edge over the competition. Temporary shields also let you fend off some of the incoming flak, but these won’t last for long in a head-on assault.

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The game touts full motion controller support, meaning you’ll be able to select special abilities by clicking in-cockpit buttons, and also fire weapons naturally as your mech’s hands mimic your own. Locomotion is exclusively snap-turn only currently.

Image courtesy Skydance Interactive

The complete PvP game mode will also be available as a free download to Rift and Vive users via Archangel: Hellfire ‘Enlist Free’, letting you play against Archangel: Hellfire players. Archangel: Hellfire is available now on Oculus, Steam, Green Man Gaming and the Humble store for between $15 – $20.

Provided the servers are packed with players (which the free mode should do), the game really does nail the feeling of piloting a mech. Having a bridge shot out from under you, activating a shield while you grab that all-important battery power-up, and blasting a well-placed laser at the oncoming foe—all of it combined makes for an experience that mech fans will recognize as something that’s been missing in VR, and is largely delivered in Archangel: Hellfire.

Image courtesy Skydance Interactive

Archangel: Hellfire owners will have access to the original single-player campaign, co-op horde mode, and six custom mech skins.

Starting today, players looking for some real competition can start posting scores on the leaderbpard, which Skydance Interactive and Opera Event say give players a chance to enter a competitive PvP tournament, dubbed Mech Ascent Championship. Participants will have the chance to compete for $500 weekly prizes and a $2,000 Grand Prize, a custom bomber jacket and a Golden Mech.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • David D. Taylor

    will there be an updated review of the game? Or the new modes?