AirMech Arena is a free to play game on xbox live. It is a cross between a twin stick shooter and a rts game.
At first, when CrazyTater tried to get me to download it, I was skeptical. But after playing an hour or two of the game, I am most certainly convinced that this game is one of the top ten downloaded games Ive recieved on the marketplace.
The gameplay is next to flawless. Once you spend a bit of time understanding how each troop behaves and how your pilot acts, the game becomes all the more fun. Solo play is what I have been sticking to primarily. After I won 3-4 matches I jumped on an unranked match over xbox live and defeated my opponent within 5 minutes.
Note: This is all explained in the tutorial that is presented when you start up the game. Honestly, its overexplained and a bit confusing, though.
The Two Modes:
You play as a AirMecha. By pressing the left trigger you can switch between airplane mode and mech mode. Airplane mode gives you faster movement speed and the ability to pick up (by pressing A) and assign units tasks (by either pressing A or pressing a directional key on the keypad) , as well as regen health and energy when floating over a fortress or outpost. Airplane mode consumes energy while moving. If you run out of energy then you slow down a bit, deal less damage, and are unable to pick up troops.
Mech mode gives you a wider range of abilities, which depend on the pilot you chose. If you are in mech mode then you can also deal damage to troops on the ground (which you cannot do while in airplane mode).
Units and Abilities:
By holding the right bumper you can open the unit store menu. From that menu, you may purchase up to 5 units which will be "built" in your qeue. When finished, the units can be picked up at any fortress or outpost. By holding the right bumper you can spend money to upgrade your abilities. When NOT holding a troop, you may press up on the DPad to quickly purchase a unit or skill upgrade. You may also tab between units/skills by navigating with the Left and Right buttons on the DPad.
Fortresses and Ouposts:
Each player begins the game with a single fortress. The goal of the game is to destroy the enemy's fortress.
Outposts are also located across the world. Outposts are controlled by neutral non-player-enemies until captured by a player. Ouposts can be captured by being destroyed, then by being taken over by 4 soldier units. Soldier units can either be purchased, or players can wait for them to spawn naturally.
Capturing an oupost allows for players to obtain and place units further out on the battlefield rather than having to return all the way across the map to one's fortress. Capturing an outpost is essential to victory!
Everything can be customized and purchased outside of the game. Players can buy different units, mechs, aesthetics, items, and players.
There is a Runescape style in-game marketplace where players post up different items that they can choose to sell for a certain number of gems. Sometimes the deals are much better than the items in the general store, and sometimes the deals are much worse.
Yes, there are microtransactions in AirMech Arena. But it isnt nearly as bad as a lot of other games out there. Most items in the game can be purchased without ever having to spend a cent on the game. However, I recommend purchasing the $5 silver vip pass. It greatly increases the amount of gems you can gain through quests, gives you 900 gems right off the bat, AND gives you a single random rare item (I got unlocky and got a santa aesthetic piece.. but you can get something much more worthwhile if you get lucky). Gems are, however, a secondary currency. The primary currency, called Kudos, gets you through most if not all of the unit and character purchases.