When a game like MechCommander Gold uses one of the world's most valuable materials in it's name, you hope it will mean good things. Luckily for the people at Hasbro Interactive and Microprose, it does. Here is the reason why...
You are a MechCommander and your job is to think fast and be quick on the guns. Recently, the success of Operation Bulldog has created great relief for your efforts. The Smoke Jaguar clan was forced to scatter and disperse. Although, a Colonel Marcus Kotare did not take so kindly to being driven away and losing the fight. He has taken control of the planet Cermak, but the reason for this is unknown. You are to infiltrate the planet and find out what he is up to.
With these objectives in hand, the game can begin. You will be able to do several things from the main start-up screen. You can go on and play the campaign described above, play the original campaign, participate in solo missions or go against your friends in multi-player action. When you start up a campaign, a hub screen will be displayed, allowing you access to many things. You first view the briefing from Colonel Reese, then you can suit up your Mechs for the battle ahead. You must select a team of MechCommander's from your pilot list and give them Mechs to fight in. From this screen you can also make repairs and add new equipment to your vehicles for ultimate success. Once you've viewed over the mission objectives and drop zone, the mission can commence.
Once in the game, the graphics will definitely jump out at you, because of their resemblance to many other 3D-strategy games from this era. Games such as Command & Conquer 2: Tiberian Sun or Starcraft. The looks and interface booth definitely share a resemblance to the previously listed games. You will see your Mechs moving around on the screen and be able to control their every movement from a side-bar or with shortcut keys. Attacking, guarding, capturing and surveying are some of the basic functions your Mechs can do. Although, when attacking, you can either do it from long, medium or short-range, depending on the task at hand. It also creates quite the light show as well, because of all the missiles and lasers going off. Throughout your missions, you will have many objectives presented to you. These include : silent strikes, take-overs and recon missions. The gameplay is varied quite a bit throughout the campaign. One problem I do think can get annoying during the game is the movement of your units. You can make them go at different speeds, but they seem to just go at their own pace for some parts. I don't think the side-bar is as effective as used in other games, like Command & Conquer or Starcraft when it comes to doing things like movement. Control isn't terrible for this reason, but does suffer a little bit.
Sound in the game is one of it's truly shining qualities. Voice acting is superb and very professional. The story of the game is acted out well through the full-motion video and the voices only bring it to life even more. The music is also used perfectly to match the atmosphere in the game. It even tenses up and changes in certain points of a mission or when you choose to attack, which creates an excellent gaming experience.
You won't have a problem getting value out of this game either, thanks to it's wide array of game modes and options. The 2 campaigns, solo missions and multi-player games are definitely enough to keep you going for a while. The solo missions are just independent games that have a small list of tasks for you to do. They are nothing to do with the actual campaigns. Multi-player support allows you and some friends (or foes) to play against or with one another in TCP/IP, modem and null-modem play. There are 10 new multi-player missions for you to play, plus the original batch.
MechCommander Gold really does deliver when you break down the things that it offers. There aren't many areas where this one falls short and that is quite a feat in it's self. Graphics, sound, gameplay and lasting impression are all things that this game does well and ends up making this worth the price. It is a well made game with lots of playtime to be yoked from within.
People who downloaded MechCommander Gold have also downloaded:
MechCommander 2, MechWarrior 3, Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries, MechWarrior 4: Vengeance, MechWarrior 2 (Limited Edition), MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries, Homeworld: Cataclysm, Homeworld 2
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