Preview: Hands-on With RIGS: Mechanized Combat League


Kyle Durant

Writer and Storywriter


I’ve covered Guerrilla Games’ RIGS: Mechanized Combat League quite a bit here at Pure PlayStation. It’s my most looked forward to PlayStation VR title and I can’t wait to try it in a home setting. Luckily, I was able to try a demo version before its release this coming Thursday. I was only able to play half a standard match against A.I. so the experience ended at halftime. Of course I’m going to need much more time before I provide a detailed review or opinion but my thoughts on RIGS hasn’t changed. For better or worse.
If you know or have followed me you’re aware I’ve participated in the eSports scene a little more than most people. Kind of like a semi-professional if you will. I’ve achieved tournament/event wins, sponsorships, high rankings in a dozen games, and more. It’s now probably quite evident why RIGS: Mechanized Combat league is my most anticipated, virtual reality title. The game has sold itself as a competitive shooter for the new age of gaming. Heck, even the logo looks eerily similar to MLG’s insignia. Being able to physically look around, to the side and behind me, while in a shooter is a near dream come true. I’m not limited to the game’s camera and that literally gives me goosebumps.
As I was strapped up I had to sit through a few menus. Nothing too annoying or in-the-way though, just screens showing me how to play and what the controls were. Pretty basic stuff really. After patiently sitting through the instructions I was in an underground garage that housed the mechs. Kind of like a NASCAR garage where all the drivers and cars hang out before a race. There were a few teammates of mine directly in front of me trying to get the group pumped up. I’d have to say it worked because they were directly in my face nodding their heads and raising their hands. Then circular, floating robots appeared and lifted us up to our RIGS’ cockpit. Not a bad touch.
I was lifted into an arena that looked pretty nice regardless of which way I looked. There were about four raised areas that you could jump up to and the floating ring, or the “goal,” was in the middle of it all. A few tunnels were underneath the raised areas but it wasn’t a definitive feature of the map. Before I knew it the 3v3 match had started and we were free to move. The HUD was cool. Like really, really cool. Toward the bottom right was a display of which ability your RIG had active at the moment. Mine had the power to slowly repair itself and enter an impact mode. Sadly, I kind of forgot what it did as soon as I started playing. What can I say, I was excited. Best of all was the mini-map at the bottom left of the screen. It rotated with you and had a 3D model. Additionally, notifications for match time and score were there in the shape of an elliptical.
Just outside of my display were two giant weapons on each arm. I didn’t get to choose them however, so I only know of these two first hand. The left weapon was your typical rocket launcher. It was assigned to the left trigger and couldn’t be aimed. That was a small deal breaker as I had to actively move the mech to fire it on target, which wasn’t terribly difficult. You jump, strafe, and run so much in a firefight that you’ll see your static weapons line up nicely. Still, it’s annoying that you can’t aim the RPG. The weapon on the right was like Winston’s Tesla Canon from Overwatch. It fires something similar to electricity and will stay on your target as long as they’re in sight. Surprisingly, there was a lot of range for it but minimal damage. It too couldn’t be actively aimed.
In short, the gun fights were awesome but basic. I loved it when my enemies exploded into smoke and flame but I never got to experience the eject feature. I’ve heard when your RIG gets destroyed you eject high into the air. I didn’t die or explode to trigger that reaction. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t say this was so much my skill as the A.I. set to easy difficulty. To score the much needed goals, players must achieve overdrive mode and successfully jump through the floating ring in the middle of the map with your mech. As I mentioned, I was very excitable and either didn’t remember or the game didn’t make it clear how to achieve said mode. I did score one goal but still wasn’t sure if I earned it through killing, acquired it by a level pickup, or pushed the right button. Doubly unsure, there were pickups on the map but I wasn’t sure what they did exactly.
My team eventually won 4-2 but I was the team slayer. I was easily able to navigate the arena, double jump to ledges, run on platforms, and get a feel for how the weapons and firing work. Weirdly enough, I’m hoping that I’ll receive better challenges from actual gamers. This way I’ll actually have to look around in all 360 degrees and push my situational awareness to another level. Still, it felt strange that you couldn’t aim your weapons without moving the mech to line up your shots but that might be the point. We’ll see come the next few weeks. As I mentioned I’m neither more or less excited about RIGS: Mechanized Combat League. My incredibly early and first impressions have pros and cons but you best believe I’ll further explore them on October 13th.

Preview: Hands-on With RIGS: Mechanized Combat League
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