Get ready to initiate enhanced imaging people, because the years of silence has been broken and Piranha Games has finally provided more information on the next MechWarrior game. While not exactly the full-on retail game fans were expecting, MechWarrior Online will not be a watered down game set in the Battletech universe.

The game has also gone PC-exclusive, meaning that any console gamers frothing at the mouth for more MechWarrior will have to, well, get a PC I guess. The free-to-play MechWarrior Online MMO will launch in the latter half of 2012. It will feature micro-transactions but, as usual, the developers have ensured everyone that you will not be able to buy yourself a tactical advantage; if you want the coolest weapons and mechs, then you’ll have to play the game for them.

Clans from the previous games have been hinted at, but you’ll be free to party up with friends to form mercenary groups and band together to create a lance – a group of four mechs. You’ll also have access to a Merc HQ which will allow you to customise the look of your corporation.

Each day that passes in real life will represent a day in the fictional universe as well. Mercenary groups will fight over fringe planets that will all have a persistent online state.

Pre-registration and pilot name reservation has already begun over on the game’s official webpage. If you’re planning on jumping into MechWarrior Online then get your butt over there and sign up. There’s some further information to be found as well as an extensive FAQ.

While some will lament the fact that we’re not getting a multi-platform, premium MechWarrior game, at least we’re getting something. Owing to legal issues, it was impossible to release a new MechWarrior game in any other way.

Source: PC Gamer