MechWarrior 2 is perhaps the single most important game in defining giant robot simulators. The concept has been tried before, most notably with the original MechWarrior. But MechWarrior 2 takes the genre so far above previous efforts that it has become the new high watermark by which all other giant robot simulators will inevitably be judged.
Whereas MechWarrior dealt with a storyline that on the global Battletech scale was relatively minor, MechWarrior 2 gives you a chance to play as either Clan Jade Falcon or Clan Wolf in the Clan Refusal War. The war is one of the most important developments in the Battletech storyline and the game manages to convey that epic feeling somewhat successfully through the before and after mission briefings. The heart of gameplay is in mech combat and, despite some flaws and overlooked details, this is where the game truly shines.
From the beginning, you have the entire range of mechs and parts available to you. While this eliminates the mercenary and resource hoarding part of the original MechWarrior, it also gives you a lot of freedom in customizing your raiding party for each mission. You earn honor points based on your performance in each mission but the number of mechs you bring with you and their total tonnage also affects your honor point total. If you max out your squad on the allowed tonnage and mech number on each mission, you'll get relatively few honor points. But, if you manage to complete a mission meant for three heavy mechs using only one medium mech, the game rewards you heavily with honor points. The Clans are funny that way.
The mechs themselves are completely customizable. You can swap weapons to fit your playing style and even replace engines and scale armor up or down. This gives the linear mission progression quite a bit of replay value, as the experience of going through a mission as a long range missile platform mech is a lot different from the experience of the same mission with a close fighting laser loaded mech.
MechWarrior 2's combat engine manages to turn the sophisticated combat system from Battletech into a thoroughly enjoyable real-time action. Heat is an all-important element -- overheat and your mech will shut down, becoming a sitting duck. The game does allow you to override the shutdown at the risk of blowing apart the mech's engine core and killing you. Mission objectives are quite varied. While you do have to go on destruction rampages most of the time, the game also throws more interesting escort or defensive missions your way as well.
The game's technical aspects don't disappoint either. MechWarrior 2 release precedes the 3D accelerated graphics card revolution, thus, it uses software rendering for graphics. The visuals are quite impressive nonetheless. The terrain looks beautiful up close and you can see quite far into the distance. Individual mechs are detailed quite nicely and are texture mapped to be easily distinguishable. Despite the heavy graphical burden, the game manages to move along at a silky smooth frame rate. During missions you'll be treated to a variety of atmospheric music clips, some done so well you may remember parts of the theme months or years afterward.
MechWarrior 2, like Doom, is the defining game of its genre. Any fan of giant robot simulators should experience the game.
Graphics: The game displays beautiful and detailed graphics while maintaining a very smooth frame rate.
Sound: Some of the game's musical tracks are really great and the sound effects are quite nice too.
Enjoyment: The combat system incorporates a lot of detail like heat, terrain and armor while retaining a fairly simple interface for gamers.
Replay Value: The honor system is like a constant challenge for you to do more with less on each mission.
This limited edition includes:
MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat
MechWarrior 2: Ghost Bear's Legacy
You are the genetically engineered Clan Mechwarrior. The Clans are invading the Inner Sphere. Join either the Wolf Clan or the Jade Falcon Clan as they pursue their own agenda against the Inner Sphere and other Clans. Take your advanced Omnimechs into battle against all comers. Win high warrior ratings (by using less mechs or smaller mechs than needed, completing secondary objectives, etc.) and you'll get chance at a promotion trial where you face superior odds in an arena. If you win, you advance in rank. If you are very successful, you can make it all the way up to Khan, leader of the Clan.
Mechwarrior II was developed in-house by Activision as the successor to their original Mechwarrior. While this time there are no dynamic campaign and mercenary actions, the Clan culture is integrated into the two campaigns. Different clans have different mechs and different rules, even different weapons. You can customize your mechs in order to use less than the "par" force in order to get a higher rating. The game features full 3D environments. The addition of NetMech allowed users to fight each other online.
When 3D cards came along, special versions of the game were created to take advantage of 3D texturing.
People who downloaded MechWarrior 2 (Limited Edition) have also downloaded:
MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries, Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries, MechWarrior 3, MechWarrior 4: Vengeance, Mechwarrior, MechCommander 2, MechCommander Gold, Jane's AH-64D Longbow Gold
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