The rate the Battletech series of games is growing, it was only a matter of time before an enterprising company like Infocom brought out the computer game.
Subtitled 'The Crescent Hawk's Inception', you play the 18 year old Jason Young-blood. Fresh out of school and wet behind the ears, you have to prove yourself at the Mech Training Academy. A 'Mech' is, and I quote from the back of the box, "20 lethal tons of massive fighting power primed for battle". As a lowly grout, you're only allowed to polish the chrome and refill the air freshener in the cockpit. The aim of the game is to become a Mech warrior and defend your state in the eternal war which covers your planet.
The game is split into two distinct components. The first is pure RPG. You wander around the city, visiting your barracks, the lounge, Mech repair shops, armouries and, best of all, the Comstar building. Here you can trade your measly allowance into stocks, which, if you're lucky will grow into a big enough nest egg so you can afford some decent weapons and battle training.
When you step into a Mech for a training exercise, Battletech becomes a strategy game. Combat rounds are divided into three movement and firing sections, but all you have to do is to indicate where you want to move and who you want to fire at. The computer does the rest.
A nice cosy little routine of alternating between the city and the academy builds up in the early stages of the game, but all this is abruptly shattered. To say anymore would be to spoil the scenario, but suffice to say that everything changes very radically. You're likely to find yourself using the save facility almost immediately, because one of Battletech's strongest features is the way you can easily get drawn deep into the game.
This is as accessible as most shoot 'em ups and avoids most of the pitfalls this sort of game falls into. Don't expect blinding graphics or aural excitement, but you'll probably spend more time on this than most games.
Battletech is one of the very few adventure games taking place in a Sci-fi world that has succeeded in my opinion. The game has a lot of it's own unique features and overall the story is very good - especially the beginning of the game. You play as Jason Youngblood that is at the final stages of his education as a pilot for mechs. Your are training because you want to find your long lost father which you believe has been captured and held hostage by an unknown group of people. One day your home base is attacked and you have to escape from the intruders. You are now on your own persuading your father and the people that hold him as hostage.
The game offers some quite unique features such as a skill system including things such as repairing mechs, controlling them, melee combat and many more. You can also recruit new people to your group (a max of 4 at a time) but beware - just because some of them are nice doesn't mean they will actually help you forever and may actually be one of the contacts of the people that captured your father. The offers several different mechs you can control and of course each of them have their advantages and disadvantages. Several hand weapons are also available when you are walking around like in larger cities where you can have your mechs and also small areas with buildings. Remember not to walk around on the ground outside cities, as you will encounter several people when you walk around and it isn't nice to meet 3 mechs when you are on feet, as you can't always escape them. The actual combat system is turn based an each person/mech get an amount of points that can be used for moving and shooting. When you do critical hits, destroy a mech or any larger event during combat a small animation will run which is a nice addition to the game.
Westwood has managed to develop a game with a great story and while you are playing the game you can really feel the atmosphere in the game and the game only gets better when you start getting more people with you but it's also interesting to just develop your character as the game map is huge and a bit hard to find your way around at first but of course their is a great map feature included as well. You can also interact with all characters you see as well as do arena fighting with your mechs and win money. Battletech is a great adventure game with a few roleplay aspects as well and you won't go wrong if you get this game.
A role playing game
Great RPG, one of the best ever. You start as Jason, a young battlemech cadet in a training camp. After a while, a citadel gets destroyed while You escape and start Your quest. The game itself is pretty big. It includes mech fights, character interaction, money earning... The game became a cult after some time. Many games were made after this one and many of them were great, but neither had such a success as Battletech. This one may not have a great graphics but it's story line and interesting game play make it one of the best games ever created.
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