MechAssault 2 due out by the end of 2004

The Lone Wolf should be with our yankee brethren this year - and sounds like an ideal target for Christmas money and fuel for a Happy New Year.

Microsoft and Day 1 Studios are now aiming to ship the Xbox Live exclusive MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf in the US by the end of 2004, it emerged late last week. The very end. Although it may take a little longer to arrive in PAL territories, importers should be able to hook you up with the much-improved online mech sequel from December 28th onwards.

And Day 1, one of the first companies to admit working on next-generation consoles earlier this year, is confident that MechAssault 2 will satisfy fans. Speaking in an interview with our sister site GamesIndustry.biz recently, director of business development Jon Kimmich played up the game's graphical improvements and the variety of units in particular.

"I think the first things people will notice are the graphical improvements and the ability to get out of the 'mech. The team's put a ton of work into a pretty total overhaul of the game's graphics engine, and boy does it show. When you fire off a PPC in MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf for the first time, it will rock your world. And the building destruction is way beyond anything in the first game," he told gi.biz.

"Each vehicle has its own abilities, strengths and weaknesses associated with it, which results in very different tactics when you are in battle armor vs. being in a 'mech. One may look like a miniature version of the other, but they play VERY differently. The tactics that our play testers have come up with have been surprising, to say the least."

"The team has invested a ton of time and effort wrapping a compelling story and BattleTech universe characters around the meaty nougat of a tactically rich MechAssault 2 experience," he concluded.

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