Strap yourself in and hold on to something!! Review

MechWarrior II Info


  • N/A


  • 1 - 2


  • Activision


  • N/A

Release Date

  • 11/30/1999
  • Out Now


  • PC


Strap yourself in and hold on to something!!

This game is neither for the armchair strategist nor for the valium-taking MYST junkie. Mechwarrior II shows exactly how close a PC can get to a pure gaming machine. It will strap you into a giant, beast-like robot and force you to play a three-dimensional style brand of dogfighting on the ground with other mechanical monstrosities. Sparks will fly, realistic computer voices will warn you of impending disaster, and explosions jettison giant churning chunks of metal as your lazers find their mark.


scene is the future, the 31st century to be exact (as the title states), and

you have the opportunity to fight for one of two warring Mechwarrior clans.

These graphics are largely bit-mapped polygons. Battles take place on landscapes

of desert or snow, in the shadows of mountains, crags of bare rock, or man-made

structures. The player can choose to engage in instant action duels to the death

or take part in a longer campaign for glory. There are opportunities to rise

in rank and command squadrons of “mechs” so as to control the destiny of the

clan. A superb tutorial with a mini-storyline is provided for the player to

become acquainted with the game before he or she goes on to the full experience.

Types of missions include working to destroy enemy installations, patrols to

destroy other mechs, or prestigious battles of honor.

Mechwarrior II can be played with a keyboard, but it screams for a

joystick. If one owns a joystick, this game becomes a transcendent experience,

especially if it has a throttle control. Control of the “Mech”

is very smooth and one even notices the regular stagger of the unit as it moves

across the terrain. The sound parallels the movement of the unit almost exactly

and one soon becomes completely immersed within the illusion created by the

virtual environment. Of course, it helps to have a Pentium 90 like this reviewer

does, but it should work fine on a DX4 or even a DX2 with some of the graphics

features disabled.

Another of the more favorable aspects of Mechwarrior II is the realism.

There is quite an artificial intelligence at work here to oppose the player. The

enemy mech will hide behind buildings or rocks, only to fly out when the player

is right on top of him. This creates a sort of Doom style of gameplay that

builds up a certain amount of suspense that is released in a sudden adrenalin

surge. Another aspect of this game is the non-stop chatter one hears either over

the radio inside the mech or from the onboard “computer”. Even during training,

the instructor appears to be a real person as he is continuously shouting instructions

and insults in a loud, barking voice.

One of the best features of this game is the fact that there are not too many

controls. How many times have companies released games whose documentation look

more like F-16 Manuals than instruction booklets? There are no multi-function

keys and no crazy keyboard overlays, simply what is necessary for play and that

is all. In a nutshell, this game was designed well. It does what it was set out

to do, and it does it well. That is all that the general public or the writers

at this magazine can hope for. This game should serve as a textbook example for

all game designers and programmers of how to make a game right.


- An excellent game, just about as good as it gets
- Lots of action, easy to control
- Some might dislike graphics
- Look for expansion packs and the sequel "Mech II Mercenaries"