Now that the game has been released and I have had a chance to play it, I'd like to report that this is one very thoroughly developed game. Each player controls his or her own mecha, periodically upgrading to a more powerful mecha type. If you have been waiting for a mecha MMO to play, this could very well be it. Perpetuum delivers well on several different fronts, but has one or two aspects that I'm not entirely comfortable with yet. Read on for my more in depth breakdown...
First of all, it's is a "sandbox" environement, meaning that there are dozens of different ways to interact with the game but the motivation to do so is entirely player driven, much like Eve Online. If you are used to games that take you by the hand and walk you through where you need to go, this will be an abrupt change.
The skills system will remind players a lot of Eve Online, including variations on the same skill categories. Skill points are also acrued in realtime, at a steady rate, but you get to spend them after they are acrued, so you won't lose any from being logged off over a long period, like in Eve. Equipment slots for each mecha correspond to the different systems that can be made use of, each with it's associated skill set: mining lasers or guns or missiles, armor and repair, electronic warfare and sensors. Larger mecha get more slots, and I am sure there are more interesting items available later in the game, at higher levels and with bigger mecha.
The game runs on my 5yo laptop at minimum graphics settings, so more recent systems should be able to watch the game in all it's Cybertron glory without impacting FPS.
My only real issue with the game is that it also follows the standard MMO conceit of only being able to damage what you are actively targeting. There is no real straffing or dogfights, per se, just the impact of movement on hit probability (which is only an assumption at this point which justifies moving around in a fight instead of going toe-to-toe).
They hit the subscription pricepoint well, too, coming in at $10/month.