According to the Mayans, the beginning of the end of the world started a couple of days ago... which means you only have a few days left to enjoy video games. I'd recommend checking out Hawken, which just went into open beta. It may prep you on piloting a huge mech, in the event that not all of humanity is wiped out, and the remnants create and battle amongst the ruins with giant walking tanks.
It could happen.
Hawken is juuuuust about almost everything I want in a mech game. I can of course think of more features that I'd like to see, but it hits the big ones. Detailed in-cockpit view with my pertinent information displayed on actual guages. Fully customizeable mechs, including a leveling system for "bonding" with one particular mech over time. Great graphics. Arms.
Yeah, arms on a mech are a bit of requirement for me. It's just the flavor of mech I like the best, I guess. I can't stand those mechs that are basically guns on legs, like the some in the Mechwarrior line. I know that practically, there is absolutely zero need for a mech to have arms, but I prefer the anthropomorphic aesthetic.
Chromehounds on the 360 came close to hitting all of my mech-game highlights at the time, and I played some shit out of that game. It particularly excelled in the mech-building area, and Hawken falls just a bit short. In Chromehounds each mech piece had attachment points, so how you put it together and kept it within the weight/power limits for the chassis was entirely up to you. Hawken does it a little more straightforward, just letting you swap out arms, guns, pods, legs, feet, etc.
On the bright side, Hawken excels in the accessibility department. It is, after all, free to play, and on the PC. That alone opens it up to a larger pool of player than Chromehounds. It seems to run mostly smooth, too. I played a little bit of it earlier on in the closed beta, but it was hit or miss whether or not matchmaking could find me any games. There were always server connection issues. So I gave up on it for a little while.
Now, though, things to be running pretty well. I haven't played enough to unlock any of the mechs aside from the rookie mech they give you, but like League of Legends free champion rotation, it looks as if the developers intent to let you take a couple of different mechs for a test ride each week or two. A try before you buy situation, so that's nice.
I'll be streaming some Hawken later this evening on my Twitch channel, if you'd like to tune in and watch the game in action.