Long read: Who is qualified to make a world?

In search of the magic of maps.

If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Capcom talks Steel Battalion packaging

It still needs that controller, but what if you don't have one?

Capcom's Xbox Live enabled follow-up to hardcore mech shooter Steel Battalion is due out in Europe on February 27th, and this week the publisher has moved to reassure gamers that they will be able to get their hands on it this time, either bundled with the massive, headline-winning 40-button controller and the original game, or simply on its own.

When the original Steel Battalion was released in March 2003, not only was its launch limited to UK retail, but almost the entire allocation for the country was swept up by greedy backroom staff at retailers and distributors, who bought them at staff rates and then thrust them onto eBay - where many of them can still be found today.

For those who did manage to get hold of the game and its iconic controller, the good news is that a simple retail box copy of Steel Battalion - Line of Contact will be made available, presumably at £30-40, while those who missed out can expect to pay something close to the original £129.99 asking price for both Line of Contact and the original Steel Battalion in a controller bundle pack.

Upon its release last year, SB certainly met with mixed reviews. While some (largely the single format Xbox publications) went crazy for the ridiculously vast peripheral and the hardcore, die-and-lose-your-save-games harshness of the accompanying game, many folks (including us) felt that it simply wasn't good value at the price.

Certainly an Xbox Live enabled sequel (which still requires the controller to play, it's worth noting) addresses the issue somewhat. Online we can expect Line of Contact to be a team-based, five-versus-five game in which players work together to bring territory under the rival banners of two warring factions, with plenty of new Vertical Tanks to command besides. Handled correctly, it could be one of the Live experiences of the year.