Kill or Be Killed…pretty simple.
Straight from the PC, Activision’s Mech Warrior 2 comes crashing to your Playstation in this well-revamped version of the original smash hit. It provides a few new missions for those who have played the original version, but for those who haven’t, there is a total of 48 possible missions! Mech Warrior 2is an intense, action filled game, where you must constantly be on your toes or risk becoming just another pile of burning metal on the field.
The year is 3057. As a member of the Falcon or Wolf Clan, your only concern is obtaining the coveted rank of Clan Khan. There is only one way to obtain this position: kill, kill, kill. Victory is the only thing on your mind. How much blood you spill does not matter just as long as you attain honor and victory for your clan. If you lose, not only do you become a just another corpse, but dishonor and shame is then bestowed on your bloody and defeated head.
After putting in the disc for Mech Warrior 2, you are greeted with some nice FMV. All the graphics in the movie clips and the introduction are the same as the original version. When you select each of the clans, a movie clip about each clan’s background (which resembles a really cool commercial) is shown.
When you proceed to the selection menu for each clan, you will see the original 16-mission Trail of Refusal for each clan. On top of that, Activision has thrown in 8 new missions for each clan designed exclusively for the console systems. For the Wolf Clan, there is the 4-mission Wolf’s Dragoons and the 4-mission Freebirth Trials. The Falcon clan has the Crusader Trials and the Inner Sphere Trails, each with 4 missions. You’ll also notice that you have the option to change your controls, but you won’t find that really necessary because the controls are so simple, allowing the player to concentrate on what’s really important: destroying the enemy.
Each mission provides non stop action for the beginner as well as for those advanced Mechs out there. One thing you’ll notice in particular is the variety in each stage. Your sole objective is not always just going out there and killing as many enemy Mechs as you can. At times you have to inspect a building, escort an important member of your clan, defend a colony, etc. All the while, you’re killing enemy Mechs. You also fight different types of Mechs during each mission. Some use lasers, some can fly, and some can take a crazy load of shots before dying.
When it comes time to fight for promotion in rank, you are forced to use a weaker Mech to fight against a whole horde of other Mechs. On each subsequent call to trial for promotion, you must use a weaker and weaker Mech, making it harder and harder for you to reach the rank of Clan Khan.
To help you on your way, you can pick up a number of goodies like Stealth, Invincibility, Rapid Fire and Life Up. To add to the action, the sound effects are just awesome. Even though there isn’t any music while you’re playing, the numerous explosions, blast effects, and ambient sounds are more than enough to keep you from falling asleep.
Mech Warrior 2 employs excellent 3-D graphics which make the experience more realistic. After you blow off a part of an enemy Mech, you often see that part flying at you, or sometimes you even see that part still lying on the battle field after you’ve destroyed the enemy. There is also a very cool computer voice which tells you what is going on. The effects look cool even when you die. Not only is there that computerized voice which tells you ,”Mission Failed,” but the view pans away as if you’re looking down on your smoldering Mech. This gives the not-so-faint impression that you are dead, and flying off to heaven as you look down on your burning corpse.
Old fans who have played the PC version will probably miss the option to use the third person point of view during play which allows the player to scope out the situation. In addition to this shortcoming, there are a couple of other things that keep this game from being perfect. Although there is an option to use different Mechs, they really aren’t that different. In fact, they just go in order from weakest to strongest. Even though the weak ones are faster, it makes little difference when it only takes one shot to kill you and you are being bombarded with lasers and missiles. The different Mechs serve more as a handicap than something for variety. Compared to games like Virtual On, Mech Warrior’s robots are not that different, and the compensation between speed and strength is far from equal.
The replay value of the game is not that high, as each level is played basically the same. After you play a mission once, you’ll pretty much have gotten everything out of it. Each enemy is located in the same spot and once again, it doesn’t really matter which robot you are using.
Despite some of the drawbacks, I still had the hardest time drawing myself away from the TV and the Playstation when I first played this game. The excitement is definitely there, and combined with the awesome sound effects and graphics, Mech Warrior 2 provides hours of in-your-face, heads-up action. For newcomers, it is definitely a must play. For those who have already played the PC version, I would still recommend it for the 16 new missions, and for that unbeatable feeling of turning your opponent into nothing more than vapor and scraps.