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Mechwarrior 2 Review

By:

06/05/04
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE  
PLAYERS 1- 1 
PUBLISHER Activision 
DEVELOPER  
RELEASE DATE  

"Targets Identified."

Star Commander Darian Malthus punched up the coordinates of his primary target on his on board computer. Just as he expected, Wolf Mechs were swarming all over the small congregation of buildings that was Nav Epsilon. With his Starmate missing his left arm due to a lucky blast from a particle cannon, Darian debated his options quickly in his mind and slammed the throttle to full, sending his Summoner into a bounding gait over the rocky terrain of Colmar. A Kit Fox crested the hill in front of him, its distinctive outline presenting itself to Darian. 3... 2... The streak system registered a lock on the small, swift Omnimech... 1... Darian depressed the trigger and sent a barrage of twelve short range missiles into the light mech's right leg, crippling it. Bringing his arm-mounted weapons to bear, Darian followed up with his hexagonal laser cluster, watching both the heat spikes on his heads up display and the fireball of his opponent's fusion engine released. That'll teach that Warden for interfering with the mandate of Kerensky.

Grab your neurohelmet and strap yourself into a multiton metal behemoth as Activision's hot-selling Mechwarrior 2 makes its way to the Macintosh. With all the explosive action of the PC version, Mechwarrior 2 for Macintosh chronicles the career of a young Clan mechwarrior as he (or she) defends their honor and rises through the ranks of the dominant Clan Wolf or the crusading Clan Jade Falcon. They jockey for position in the 30 lightyears of known space, all the while trying to capture the most glorious prize of all, Earth itself. Stunning graphics, mesmerizing video sequences, thundering sound-effects, and an impressive musical score package a game with an outstanding plot and unbelievably smooth engine.

Based on FASA's Battletech tabletop miniature game, Mechwarrior takes place in the late 3050's, after a thrust from a merciless outsider threatens civilization as humankind knows it by using unsurpassed technology and superior military tactics. Though momentarily halted in their quest for Terra, the invading Clans have begun waging war among themselves for territorial holdings throughout the Inner Sphere. It is an age of war, and you are caught in the midst of it.

As a novice Clan mechwarrior, you are called to do your duty to your clan as you progress through dozens of missions, taking out key strategic targets and enemy mechwarriors with a variety of weapons at your disposal. Each mission is customizable, as you can select the mech you feel most comfortable with and configure its weapons, engine, and armor to however you want. Sometimes another warrior accompanies your forays into hostile territory, augmenting your firepower somewhat, though the friendly AI suffers in comparison to that of the opposing forces.

Graphicswise, everything during a mission is done in polygons. Though the fact that they're untextured may seem a liability, it actually makes the scenery very uncluttered when a dozen enemy mechs dash across your monitor, each with their own distinctive markings, firing lasers and missiles as you scamper through the gauntlet on your way to the next nav point. An intricate heads up display governs the functions of your battlemech, showing attitude, armor status, heat buildup, jump jet readiness, weapon status, and enemy mech profile. For even more clarity, you can switch to low-light amplification or an enhanced imaging targeting system, which shows only the outlines of structures and opponents, including recorded damage. Be warned, though, because if you're right next to a building with enhanced imaging on, you may keep running into it without even knowing it's there.

With a soundtrack that puts the player right into the thick of things and sound effects that cause you to wince every time a missile flight embeds itself into your mech, the sound on Mechwarrior 2 clearly screams out for a good set of speakers; nothing less would do it any justice. Add that to a superb game engine and a highly challenging, fluid plot, and Activision's Mechwarrior 2 has all the trappings of a classic.
A- Revolution report card
  • A totally engulfing game. Say good-bye to daylight.
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