About This Game
From original BATTLETECH/MechWarrior creator Jordan Weisman and the developers of the award-winning Shadowrun Returns series comes the next-generation of turn-based tactical ‘Mech combat.
The year is 3025 and the galaxy is trapped in a cycle of perpetual war, fought by noble houses with enormous, mechanized combat vehicles called BattleMechs. Take command of your own mercenary outfit of ‘Mechs and the MechWarriors that pilot them, struggling to stay afloat as you find yourself drawn into a brutal interstellar civil war. Upgrade your starfaring base of operations, negotiate mercenary contracts with feudal lords, repair and maintain your stable of aging BattleMechs, and execute devastating combat tactics to defeat your enemies on the battlefield.
COMMAND A SQUAD OF ‘MECHS IN TURN-BASED COMBATDeploy over 30 BattleMechs in a wide variety of combinations. Use terrain, positioning, weapon selection and special abilities to outmaneuver and outplay your opponents.
MANAGE YOUR MERCENARY COMPANYRecruit, customize, and develop unique MechWarriors. Improve and customize your dropship. As a Mercenary, travel a wide stretch of space, taking missions and managing your reputation with a variety of noble houses and local factions.
TAKE PART IN A DESPERATE CIVIL WARImmerse yourself in the story of a violently deposed ruler, waging a brutal war to take back her throne with the support of your ragtag mercenary company.
CUSTOMIZE YOUR ‘MECHSUse your MechLab to maintain and upgrade your units, replacing damaged weapon systems with battlefield salvage taken from fallen foes.
PVP MULTIPLAYER & SKIRMISH MODECustomize a Lance of ‘Mechs and MechWarriors to go head-to-head with your friends, compete against opponents online, or jump into single-player skirmish mode to test your strategies against the AI.
- Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
- OS: 64-bit Windows 7 or Higher
- Processor: Intel® Core™ i3-2105 or AMD® Phenom™ II X3 720
- Memory: 8 GB RAM
- Graphics: Nvidia® GeForce™ GTX 560 Ti or AMD® ATI Radeon™ HD 5870 (1 GB VRAM)
- DirectX: Version 11
- Network: Broadband Internet connection
- Storage: 35 GB available space
- Sound Card: DirectX 9 sound device
- Additional Notes: Multiplayer is compatible between Windows, Mac and Linux versions.
 BattleTech.v1.2.1.Torrent [1fichier.com]
***added stuff below after more playing time***
It’s not for everybody. That’s for sure. It’s turn based, so you really have to consider that. Personally, I am enjoying turn based games more these days. You can play at your own pace. Real time strategy games really died for me mostly because they are more about spectacle than an actual thought process.
I played the Battletech board game years ago, and painted miniatures along with making terrain. This game does have changes compared to the original game, so it took me a bit of time to accept some of these changes. Initially, I felt a bit disappointed. After puting some time in, I am actually satisfied and am having fun. There are some quirks, but to be honest, the original game was far from perfect. So far I haven’t seen the old trick of ramming Mechs legs off with a cheap hover tank. That alone is refreshing.
The graphics aren’t bad, but I would have liked it to a bit better. The Mechs seem a bit "over-dry-brushed", but they aren’t horrible. More shiney sides would have made the Mechs a bit more discernible from one another. Maybe I’m a bit picky since I used to paint them, but you do get used to how they look. The terrain could have used a bit more color as well. The UI is passable, but could have been a bit better.
The sound is good, but not great. Some sound are top notch like the missile weapons. The autocannons on the other hand are sort of lame in compassion. Explosions are average as well. On the plus, the walking and running sounds of the Mechs are very good. The music is pretty good, too.
The game mechanics are pretty solid. Be able to modify your mechs is nice and interesting. Mech customization is better and makes more sense than the Mechwarrior 2 titles. The constraints are logical, and make for some good logic puzzles. It’s almost a game in itself. The change from "hexes" to "dots" is also pretty well implemented, even when I was skeptical at first. If I have any real complaints, the LRMs seem a bit too powerful. I would like to see their accuracy a bit reduced so they aren’t so devastating. The SRMs are fine on the other hand, and seem balanced enough.
I have a pretty decent PC, and the game has ran well. I haven’t had a crash in 20 hours, so that’s a good sign. I have read reports on the message boards about video cards running hot, but I doubt that’s because of the game. My fan on my video card hasn’t even kicked on yet on max detail.
I think it is worth the asking price. It could use a bit more polish, but just the fact that it’s cool to have a turn based title with this much complexity should satisfy most. I hope they add more stuff. I know people freak out about DLC and it’s pricing, but I will be ready to purchase to support this title. This game has a good foundation to support more neat-o stuff that comes.
If you take the time to read this, please rate. Thanks=)
After playing Battletech for many more hours, I thought it would be fair to share more about this game.
First, the game really grew on me. There are major differences between the table top rules and this version, but they are rather inventive and refreshing. Some of my biases towards it from the get go had to do with how faithful it was to the original game. Honestly, there were flaws in the original game. Once you play this enough, you should appreciate the developers vision on these improvements.
I used to think the LRMs were OPed. They actually work fine. I started to figure out that each pack of LRMs only crit or damage you mechwarrior once on a head hit. I didn’t realize this initially. The LRMs actually work fine even though each missile is tracked for the hits. Fear them, still, but in game terms, they work without balance issues. Beware LRM carriers, though. They got multiple LRM20s, and can ruin your day.
The campaign is very much a sandbox. You can take your time, and never worry about rushing. It never really forces you to do things. Sometimes the campaign will throw you a curveball, and give you a mission that had faulty intelligence. These missions can be brutal. I got jumped by 4 Jagermechs in a milk run mission, got trashed pretty badly, but squeaked out a win. I suppose i could have reloaded an earlier save, but I chose to live with the consequences and repair bills.
I personally enjoy the grind in this game. Trashing mechs just doesn’t get old for me. Stomping on a heavy tank, and watching it pop, doesn’t get old either. I’m in my 4th year of the campaign, and am still enjoying it. If you were worried that finishing the game would happen too fast, and the campaign would be over, drop that thought. You can mech mash to your hearts content.
The melee system is quite fun. It’s quite useful, especially when you got a mech cooking itself. Say hello to that locust that is annoying you, and bop it in the nose. Then step on it. Since Roger Goodell is taking all the fun out of the NFL, this is the next best thing.
The graphics were a complaint of mine at first, but they are pretty decent for what they are. You can engage the cinematic camera in the options as much as you want, and change settings. The explosions are better when you use the cut camera, and enjoy you big hits. One thing that I really thought was cool, is that your mech’s appearances will change when you customize them. I didn’t notice this at first, and it’s a real nice touch. When you add a PPC to your Shadowhawk, you will see your flashy new PPC. Pretty cool beans I think.
Last thing before I stop yapping is mention the story. Well, it’s fine. One thing I am sick of in games is being force fed a story. In this, I sort of create my own. I have enough time, since this is turn based (thank goodness), to imagine my own silly stories. My mechwarriors are always playing pranks on each other, like shave creaming each others cockpits and shoving potatoes in someones heat sinks.
The advantages of turn based games makes for good fun, and you won’t spill your beer.
While I do enjoy this game, I keep having flashbacks of Shadowrun: Returns. HBS has consistently shown it can make a mediocre tin can from a dazzling gold brick. If HBS keeps with the pattern then BT2 will be AMAZING where BT1 was OK. Look at Shadowrun: Returns (first weak attempt but OK) vs Shadowrun: Dragonfall (AMAZING).
If you are a Battletech fan, you will be annoyed that all of the damage and armor numbers have been inflated for no reason and that you have special "support" hardpoints which make some mech layouts pointless.
If you’re a TBS fan, you will like the combat but be annoyed by the waiting and waiting between combat. Waiting to travel. Waiting for repairs or healing.
Some minor issues:
=You can have 18 mechs ready (which means you are paying monthly for them) but you can only field *4* at a time. Yes, you have the freedom to pay for 14 mechs to gather dust in your mechbay because that makes sense. While we are on the topic, your 4 mechs will frequently face 8-12 other mechs / vehicles. So when you go to refit, the "max armor" button will be your friend.
=You can have 24 pilots sitting on your ship getting paid but only field 4 at a time. Again, where is the logic?
=Most of your ship upgrades feel like a money sink ripoff and not all that useful. At all. You can waste money upgrading the ship so you can waste more money monthly on mechs and pilots you can’t use. GREAT!!!
=As the campaign continues, your missions and lances get heavier and heavier. If you like the light/medium game, don’t rush the campaign. I was hoping the mix of difficulties would be back once the campaign is complete but it is not. It is possible to tweak the .json files to give you more missions or more difficulty variety but it feels silly that you have to do that to see some lighter missions again.
=There are usually 2 available missions on the planet you’re on. Once those are gone, it’s time to travel for a couple weeks / month to another planet to find more work. This is the worst. If there was tons of work or some mission chain on a planet, then suddenly all of these extra mech and pilots slots are USEFUL! Who tests this stuff?
=AMS and ECM are where? Why does sensor lock both reaveal you and lower 2 evasion (one or the other, please!).
=Almost dead 1hp pilots are just as effective as totally healthy 6hp pilots.
=Morale skills seem unnecessary and OP.
Wow, that was a longer rant than intended. If you made it this far, thanks for reading!
Here’s the deal. For more than half the game, it’s great. The combat is good, the missions are interesting, and the mech selection is a joy. I applaud them for the between mission micromanagement of the ship and the mechwarriors. It promises so much.
Then you hit the wall. The missions become repetitive, and the difficulty…. The difficulty. So instead of a more challenging AI in the same number of mechs, or more creative mission types, you get repeatedly bombarded by more and more enemies in the same missions. You are restricted to a 4 member lance (a HUGE error IMO), which requires you to go heavier and heavier in drop tonnage to keep up with the number of enemies. On top of that, the hours you have spent pouring into your mechwarriors to make them the best they can be? The 10+ enemies you face (all heavier than you were told they would be) will require you to sack them to meet Kamea’s ridiculous storyline mission requirements because of repeatedly poor intel.
The fix? Allow us to drop more lances. That’s a start. I can use the mechs I’ve been hoarding instead of the same 4. I have a real reason to dump hours and hours into training mechwarriors, instead of 4 being maxed out while the others are rookies. Give me more ways to give those rookies experience, that way when one dies I don’t feel a gut punch and spend the next 5 hours grinding to bring one up to snuff. All of that would allow us to drop different lance types, with different pilot types, instead of trying to squeeze scout, missile boat, brawler etc into a 4 mech lance that all has to be heavy or assault to survive. (I do know that there are people running light mech campaigns, but dear god, one bad roll and it’s a restart).
Alternatively, fix the AI. That target for the assassinate mission? Make him a god. Now there’s a reason for 4 vs. 1.
Now the hard part, do I recommend. No, but it’s close. It’s so close. Am I happy I spent the money? Yes. Will I return to this 3 months from now after I forget how frustrated I was, and decide I gave it too little credit? Probably. Will I be frustrated again? Almost certainly.
This game is GOOD.
In fact, this game is SO good, that the first time I played it, I ended up binging it for 12 hours straight and forgot to collect the dailies on a several of my other steam games 😛
RIP, GOP Ultra Spin token ;(
I’m something of a hardcore tactics nut and the gameplay did NOT disappoint!
If you want an idea of my turn-based tactics resume, I’ve played XCOM and XCOM 2 with all of the expansions, every single Fire Emblem released in the US sans the SD and SoV remakes, FF Tactics Advanced, Valkyria Chronicles, UFO: Aftershock, Valkyerie Profile, two Front Mission games, three Disgaea games, a bunch of crappy tactics games that aren’t worth mentioning, and recently I’ve started playing Into the Breach & Chroma Squad – and yeah, from what I’ve seen so far, BattleTech stands with the best of them.
As for gameplay specifics, I’ve seen a lot of reviews call BattleTech "XCOM with Mechs" (which is kind of a weird statement, considering XCOM already HAS Mechs lol)
Yes, like XCOM, BattleTech uses a 2-stage action system where you can move + act, spend both stages on a sprint, attack without moving (which like XCOM ends your unit’s turn), and has it’s own version of Hunkering Down (in Battletech it’s called Bracing, and applies a 50% ranged damage mitigation bonus and stabilizes your mech so you’re harder to knock down) – BUT that’s pretty much where the comparison ends.
At it’s core, XCOM is all about staying behind cover and setting up overwatch killzones, and turns are split between a player phase and an enemy phase.
BattleTech combat, at it’s core, is about three things – movement, heat management, and facing.
> Moving generates stacks of evasion on a unit – the farther you move during your turn, the more stacks you generate, and the harder you are to hit until your next turn. This is your primary means of damage mitigation, since at 4-5 stacks a Mech is basically untouchable by ranged attacks.
However, being attacked removes 1 stack, being hit by a Sensor Lock removes 2 stacks, and your stacks reset the next time your Mech takes a turn, so it’s important to KEEP MOVING, and avoid putting yourself in a position where multiple opponents can focus-fire you down.
>Keep an eye on your heat levels! Using weapons and using jump jets to move will build up heat on your mech.
What happens if your Mech overheats? Best-case scenario, you won’t be able to use your weapons until it cools down.
Worst case scenario? Your ammo stores cook off and entire sections of your Mech explode on you 😀
> Facing is the main factor in determining what part of a Mech gets hit – you’ll generally want to orient your Mech so your thickest armor is always facing the enemy.
Your enemy’s facing is also your primary means of determining location damage – if you want to take out that dangerous particle cannon on that Panther’s right arm, you’ll want to flank the enemy on their right side. (your secondary means is the "Called Shots" morale ability that lets you target a specific Mech part, but even then, you can’t target a part that’s on the side of the Mech facing away from you)
Environment also plays a big factor in the overall combat performance of your mechs – and I’m not just talking about stuff like terrain effects or elevation bonuses either (and BattleTech has plenty of both) – planets in this game have a variety of actual biomes, where weather, temperature, and even atmosphere density have an impact on gameplay.
For instance, high temperature planets or moons with minimal atmosphere make it harder for Mechs to sink heat, which means having to fall back to cool down more often – and planets with bad weather can mess with the trajectory of long-range missiles in addition to messing with visibility and sensor range.
Turns are also divided into 5 separate "initiative stages" instead of distinct player and enemy phases – Mechs and pilots with higher initiative have the opportunity to move first, but can also reserve their turn for a later initiative phase – this is useful if you want all of your Mechs to attack simultaniously after the enemy has expended all of their moves, or for tanking extra attacks if your pilot still has a lot of evasion stacks left over (remember, they get reset when your mech takes their next action)
In hindsight, the fact that a lot of the negative reviewers have 90+ hours of game time logged despite it being only 3 months old should have been a tip off that this game definitely gives you its money’s worth in content regardless of suggestive opinions.
As for the contents of those negative reviews – during my 12-hour session I found that most of the complaints levvied at this game have either been addressed in the last update (mostly QoL issues), or were never even an issue in the first place.
– i.e for SOME reason, a lot of negative reviewers seem to be bothered by the lack of tree destructibility and the +1/-1 hit modifiers mixing with % hit readout, even though:
1. Forests are a terrain type that provide a cover bonus, and making trees indestructable was a deliberate design decision since AFAIK you can’t alter the terrain to remove terrain bonuses in the tabletop game,
2. the +1/-1 system gives you an easy-to-digest overview of how much different modifiers affect your hit chance relative to each other, and at a glance you can tell what factors are having the biggest negative impact on your shots and adjust your positioning accordingly
HOWEVER, there are still TWO very real issues that still exist.
Issue #1: You know how most games use save slots to manage save data? Uh yeah, this game doesn’t do that.
Instead, the game creates a new save file every SINGLE time you save your game and adds it to your directory. If you’re curious as to why this game recommends 30 gigs of free disk space but only requires a 9 gig download, it’s because that this game will ENDLESSLY create save files until you either delete them manually (which takes a stupidly long time to do in-game), or run out of hard disk space.
Oh, and it constantly tries to sync these endless save files with your Steam Cloud – needless to say, this starts to create incredible amounts of lag once you build up a lot of saves.
>>> Thankfully, this problem has an easy 2 step fix, and I’m gonna tell you exactly what to do right here in this review:
STEP 1: Disable Steam Cloud saves for BattleTech.
If you don’t know how to do this, go to the Library tab in your Steam Client and right-click BattleTech, then select Properties > Updates and un-check the box at the very bottom where it says "Enable Steam Cloud synchronization for BattleTech.
STEP 2: Create a desktop shortcut to your save folder so you can delete excess save files on the fly.
The location on your computer ought to be C: / Program Files (86x) / Steam / userdata / <userID#> / 637090 / remote / C0 / SGS1
I noticed the game slowing down significantly about 10 hours into my session, but once I fixed the save issue it sped back up again 🙂
Issue #2: Yeah, those complaints about the game hanging when loading shop inventories?
It should NOT take 10-15 seconds to load a basic inventory page, but here we are 😛
Unfortunately there’s no easy fix for this one, so hopefully the devs manage to hammer it out in the next update – apparently the last update fixed a similar issue with the MechBay tabs lagging, so it’s not really an un-founded hope either 🙂
(And just so you know, my motherboard is a 11-year-old smoldering hunk of crap with only 8 gigs of RAM and a 2.93 ghz Dual Core processor that doesn’t even have hyper-threading – in otherwords, I’m running this on a computer BELOW the minimum recommended specs, so these two issues are probably worse for me than they’re going to be for most of you reading this review)
BattleTech is a turn-based strategy game with mechs developed by the company Harebrained Schemes (HBS), who are also responsible for the creation of the Shadowrun game series.
Pro & contra:
++ Gameplay. Turn-based combat with random dice-rolls at its finest. Tactical depth is increased by the sophisticated game mechanics in form of evasion, initiative, rotation, stability and weapon range modifiers. Each part on an enemy mech can be destroyed, weakening the combat effectiveness of the opponent.
+ Customization. Broad spectrum of mechs (36+), weapon systems and utility items allow for unique configurations and various tactics.
+ Atmosphere. Believable science-fiction world based on the board game BattleTech (1984). Great attention to detail regarding mech design. Mercenary contract system provides sufficient variety, in order to keep up the motivation.
o Story. Solid narrative with well-done presentation. Usage of light rpg elements during the creation of your protagonist and throughout the campaign support the immersion. However, the characterisation of the npcs remains too weak.
– Late game. Not enough incentives to continue once the campaign has been finished.
– Difficulty. Challenging encounters are the exception. I would welcome an ironman mode with one save file, increased numbers of opponents and improved AI behaviour. Yeah, I prefer my steak while it’s still moving.
BattleTech represents a smart and distinctive mech combat game with a satisfying balance between customization and tactical depth. To my enjoyment I would put it on the same footing with MechCommander 2 (2001).
Recommended for board game nerds and enthusiasts of bipedal death machines.
At this point I would like to thank Eck, a developer from HBS, who was kind enough to agree to a multiplayer duel.
Estimated time for 100 % completion: +150 hours
Offline achievements: 99
Online achievements: 10
While the game has its issues, it’s definitely a good game which provides very unique experience. Worth a buy.
tl; dr Summary
You will find that I have a lot of positive things to say, so it might seem odd that I am not recommending this game. It boils down to this – if you are a BattleTech nerd, or a hard-core strategy nerd, you will probably like this game. If you are a casual strategy player, you will probably get bored early on, get distracted by something shiny, and find yourself doing something else. Keep an eye on this developer though, they did a lot of great things here and if they correct the shortcomings their future projects could be great.
I am a gamer nerd of the 90s. I played every BattleTech product I could get my hands on (tabletop and video game). We haven’t had a great BattleTech video game since the Mechwarrior series (2, 3, & 4) and MechCommander 2, almost 20 years ago. This game really FELT like BattleTech. The story was solid and felt like it came right out of the old FASA lore. The music was well done and really added to the game experience (I’d put it second to Mechwarrior 2 for the franchise soundtracks). The visuals were solid. Overall, I felt like I got a great BattleTech experience.
I was also impressed by HBS in developing the BattleTech world and story. They told a story that is early in the classic FASA setting. They give you a taste of some of the more advanced stuff, but its rare and you really treasure it. You find yourself sleeping with your Gauss Rifle, petting it unconsciously, and calling it "Precious." For all these reasons, I am excited for HBS to tell the story about the return of the Clans. Maybe in a future game, or even better, future series of games.
Given my history with BattleTech your probably expecting me to start griping about some nuance like "medium lasers generate too much heat" or "the autocannon damage doesn’t scale right." On the contrary, I thought the vision by HBS and their translation of BattleTech from table to game was quite solid. A different format for a game means some aspects of balance need to be revisited, and I thought the trades made were well done.
So, if you are a BattleTech nerd, or a big strategy nerd, I think you will like this game
The biggest problem with this game is that when you are not playing the campaign missions, 80% of the maps are quite restrictive. You look at your drop and say, maybe I can flank/scout over there before…oh the edge of the map won’t let me go there. You end up getting funneled into a specific set of circumstances immediately after dropping and you have no ability to use strategy to your advantage. After that it feels like your choices have a limited impact on the outcome of the fight, and it’s just about focus firing to victory. That’s ok every once in a while, but when it’s a vast majority of your missions, it gets dull. (Campaign maps are much better, it’s obvious the dev team spent a lot of time on them). It honestly feels a bit like farming…and if I wanted to farm I’d play WoW.
Early on, the game wants you to feel like you are on the ragged edge of making it. Money vs. damaged Mechs vs. buying better gear vs. wounded Mechwarrirors…they got the feel right. Unfortunately, than means early on you have to play a lot of random missions to stay afloat and advance the quality of Mechs in your company. So, the farming is frontloaded before you are really into the game, and it gets easy to find something else shinier to do.
The game also doesn’t translate the balance of the boardgame into the video game well. In the board game, you balance a fight by the tonnage of your drop, not the number of Mechs. In a game like this, where you always drop 4 Mechs, there is literally no reason to ever drop anything but your heaviest. Sure, the game makes comments about dropping a lighter Mech for speed and such…but piloting those lighter Mechs into a tougher drop often feels like running a minion into Luke Cage, where a quick swat results in your Mech going down and your pilot dead. For a short campaign game this is ok, but you lose a lot of the pre-mission strategy of BattleTech when you don’t have to make those trades.
So, for a casual strategy gamer or a causal BattleTech fan, I predict that you won’t make it past the early stages of the game, and I can’t really blame you.
If you made it all the way down here and are still reading, my one piece of advice is: if you play this game, focus on the story missions as much as possible. Do the randos that you have to in order to keep your game afloat, but move on to story missions as soon as you are comfortable. You’ll enjoy the story missions much more.
This game can become very challenging very quickly if you rush through the story line.
Do the first two story line missions, then start farming for a good team of mediums and/or heavy mech chassis.
Very cool game.
I absolutely hated it at the beginning because it was a steep learning curve but, just slow down, google some good load outs, learn to shoot L&R torso, then legs or knockdowns, this is how you salvage complete mechs for your team.
Good game with a cool storyline and feel of the old school book/board games.
I actually was scared when i came across my first heavy mech enemy, OMG it just wrecked me, but you learn from it.
Farm the low level random missions first, do not be in a rush to complete story line.
Save your mechs from heavy damage saves you money
Look in shops for + rated weapons and gear.
Tactics and gunnery skills max them out.
4-5 points in guts ( character attribute ) to begin with
Read up on building a long range missile boat or two, makes starter missions( 1 skull rated ) easy.
I played this game for hours, it is very addictive.
Side missions are cool, lots of variation, its never the same fight twice.
Watch how you smile when a mission loads in and you have cover !!!! OMG cover !!!! = win
Frustration then happiness, this game will have your emotions running like a roller coaster on acid……
Take the time to learn the game mechanics and its very rewarding.
Over the years I have played just about every BattleTech game out there (including Crescent Hawks, Amiga MechForce, MechWarrior, MechCommander and MegaMek) and I grew up with the TT game for the past 30+ years in all of its incarnations (yes, even Clicky-Tech) and I can honestly say that this game really feels like BattleTech to me. It is a wonderful adaptation (not a direct port) of the TT game with some changes that feel like improvements on the original blend (such as the modified initiative system). Will it be everyone’s cup of tea? No, people that want a direct 1 for 1 port may need to wait a bit for the modders to get to work on making some changes.
Let me breakdown my thoughts on a few categories (I am avoiding spoilers other than the mention of the Argo):
Storyline – Hands down fantastic, with compelling characters. People had reasons for doing what they did and many wrestled with tough decisions and grew with the story. I enjoyed talking to the crew as well as the nobles and there were many times when the game hooked me so thoroughly, I just had to push on to see what happened next. Loved the political intrigue and family squabbling. I so want to see BattleTech as a serialized show. It also had many elements I have come to expect of BattleTech novels that were wonderfully executed within the framework of the game. I don’t want to spoil anything, so no specific examples.
One of the other things that the HBS team did, was to add in events that occur at random times during transit or even as you sit in orbit around a world. These aren’t the Storyline missions, these are just little extra bits of flavor and this is what really made it feel like a living universe, rather than a railroaded storyline. Having to settle arguments amongst the crew (and I swear I sometimes got different results even though I performed the same action in various play throughs), making decisions on supplies (which could then impact your Medical or Tech pool or Morale) and even deciding whether or not to help others in need. All of these little touches helped to break up the battles, and also made me feel more a part of the game universe.
Battletechyness – The game truly ‘feels’ like the BattleTech universe more than any other game I’ve played (even more so than many TableTop pickup games). I was a bit concerned with the new Aurigan Reach region, but this felt totally integrated with the region and the 3025 era. There were many references to the larger BattleTech universe within the various conversation threads and missions. One of the ways they helped to do this was by have built in a Lore system, where certain things would be highlighted and when moussed over, would then provide a pop-up box with details. This allows the story to progress without having to waste in context explanations on what something is. For example, when they are talking about the Star League, if you are already familiar with what that is, you can just keep reading through. However, if you are a newbie to the larger BattleTech universe, you can hover your pointer over the ‘Star League’ words and get a few sentences that explain what they are referring to. Even for BattleTech vets, you will learn new things with these Lore notes, especially about the new Aurigan Reach and Rimward Frontier region.
The ‘Mechs and Vees we encounter in the game all look great (if you like MechWarrior Online, this universe has the same aesthetic feel, mostly because they share the ‘Mech models). There are some holes in the roster of some of the more popular ‘Mechs and I’m happy to wait until the waters settle and hopefully get them later. I saw 35 different ‘Mechs (in multiple variants) and over a dozen vehicle types. The way things are configured, it will be easy for HBS to drop in more variants or new models in the future and until then we will have the inevitable mods:) I was surprised to see static turret defenses – which even had nice overlapping fields of fire in some missions. Though they suffer from going in the last initiative phase, so you could potentially take them out prior to them getting a shot off.
Gameplay – Very intuitive for me, I jumped right in without reading any of the rules and was able to figure out most things. The game UI is simple enough that I was not frustrated when trying to do what I wanted to do – with the only exception of wanting the ‘Mech Bay to be a bit more informative about the ‘Mechs that I was working on. There were a few combat learning moments that occurred but most of those had to do with poor tactical choices on my part.
The contract and reputation systems were a lot of fun. You choose in advance if you want more pay or more salvage – what was really cool, if that you could choose to short yourself on both Salvage and Pay, which would earn you bonus reputation points with your employer.
The AI was overall pretty good, they held back and used LRMs/ranged weapons and I didn’t see a lot of exploitable moments. There a handful of derps when I was a bit perplexed by what the AI was doing, especially when they would run their spotters in too close to my Heavy ‘Mechs.
Combat was enjoyable, and had a nice blend of ranged and melee capabilities (including Death From above!). I liked how it gave you the percentages up front, so you could make your decisions rather than being locked into choices once clicked. The system felt very much like the old TT game, but even better, as they missiles peppered the entire ‘Mech instead of clustering in on locations.
Environmental Impacts – this is probably one of the coolest features of the game, where you really need to think about what you are fielding in the different environments. There are times that I tailored my ‘Mech choices based on the world we were visiting, such as avoiding taking down a pure Energy weapon based ‘Mech (that generates a lot of heat) on a desert world.
I see myself playing this game quite a lot. However, there were some things that I’d love to see added, which would be pure icing:
Multi-Stage missions – get a break between, but no time to repair your ‘Mechs.
Hovers – I’d love to see the more classic game hover crafts,
City Fights – Would really like to see some city oriented maps, with larger buildings that block LoS and make fire corridors.
ComStar – there were some brief hints, but it was missing some of that behind the scenes manipulation (or maybe it was so subtle, I didn’t notice it). Maybe the occasional ‘Anonymous’ employer.
Some classic Mechs were missing, it didn’t distract from the game, but their absence was felt. I totally get why these aren’t there with the legal wrangling and don’t begrudge anyone.
Ability to call in support. Things like: Artillery strikes, AeroFighter strafing (or spotting), Sub-Contract and get Vehicle Support (AI controlled), Coolant truck (not sure how to pull this one off, but it would be cool – pun intended)
Wrap Up : Overall, I really enjoyed playing the campaign, and tooling around the galaxy post campaign as a Merc living day to day. I have no doubt that HBS will be expanding on missions and events (if past experiences with Shadow Run are anything to go by). The world felt alive and I was a part of it. I can’t wait to explore the rest of the region and see what is out there.. Hoping there are some other surprises out there for us post campaign (maybe some nods to the DFA Twitch show).
The game is quite enjoyable, and I am confident in saying that if you enjoyed the MechCommander or Crescent Hawks series, you will enjoy this as well.
Hopefully HBS will be able to release expansions, continuations or maybe a game that takes place just in Clan space (so you don’t have the unbalancing of the IS v. Clans), this would be something new to me. Playing the trials that lead up to the Invasion (is that a spoiler?).
Good luck out there MechWarriors!