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OverviewThe MechAssault series is based in the same universe as MechWarrior and Battletech. These games were developed by Day 1 Studios for the Xbox console. Both titles in the franchise are backwards compatible.
DifferencesOne of the core changes in MechAssault from MechWarrior is the arcade-style play that it inherited by being a console-based franchise. There are also other gameplay tweaks that have been implemented that further remove it from its brethren.
SalvageIn addition to the weapons that come equipped to each 'Mech chassis, additional weapons can be salvaged after destroying other 'Mechs. The drops are divided into the same three categories the weapons are (plus armor): ballistics, energy, and missile. Once you acquire an item salvage, it "levels up" the current weapon you have. There is a maximum of three upgrades, starting with 1 being the stock weapon. There are also armor drops that restores the "health" or armor level of the 'Mech slightly. Most of the criticism of the series stems from these changes, as they are not as realistic as MechWarrior.
NeurohackingThis practice is also commonly referred to as 'Mech-jacking. In MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf, players can don powered armor and catch rides on friendly 'Mechs as they pass by. However, latching onto an enemy 'Mech results in a follow-the-button-presses dialog displayed on screen. If successful, the 'Mech will eject its pilot and the player in the powered armor can effectively steal the enemy 'Mech. Failure, however, results in being thrown off the back of the machine and usually results in sudden termination (read: death). This is another depature from MechWarrior, as powered armor was never a large part of the battlefield for that series.