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Mech Commander 2 Print E-mail
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Written by Daniel Westerstal   
Monday, 27 June 2005

The Mechwarrior series has mostly been about steering a heavy robot around trying to shoot other robots. But things were about to change when this game finally was released, for the first time gamers would be able to control whole battalions of Mechs and draw up the strategy in future battles, while having fun doing it.

There was actually a Mech Commander 1, however it wasn’t received that well and the brand had problems convincing gamers. When Mech Commander 2 was released some gamers were sceptical and didn’t even bother to try the game out.

In Mech Commander 2 you are a mercenary performing missions for pay. The part of space you will operate in is a hornet’s nest with three houses at war against each other, on top of that you have bandits running around creating havoc.

In the beginning you will face the bandits in different missions. They aren’t very worthy opponents, at least not on the first missions. They try to defeat you with armoured cars, infantry and some half-ass mechs.

Most of the missions are about attacking bases. Usually the enemy has taken over a base and you have to take it back. Sometimes you have to intercept enemy convoys transporting important material. One might feel that the missions could have been a bit more special and not just ordinary stuff available in any other strategy game.

I really do like the AI of the enemy though; they are not stupid and sometimes even clever. For example you can’t attack one unit without getting a swarm of other units on your tail. The enemy is also smart when it comes to taking advantage of the terrain. Sometimes they retreat so that your forces end up going uphill after them.

A nice part of Mech Commander 2 is the integration of video in the game itself. Sure there are cut scenes between each mission like in any other game but the player also get orders during the missions from a video feed in the top right corner of the screen.

The game is also personal since you select what mechs and pilots you want on the missions. So a pilot can go from a green recruit to a veteran during your command, they also gain special abilities. The pilots also talk to you with video feeds, which is really cool. Since the player get some sort of relation to the pilots you actually feel bad when you loose one in combat.

The graphics in the game are quite nice. I especially like the environments, you will battle in everything from deserts to snow and the modelling of trees and other objects are very nice. You won’t get disappointed when you blow up things either, the explosions are simply great and blowing up a fuel truck is among the most beautiful things you can do, sounds kind of strange but it’s the truth.

I’m a bit disappointed in the music, it often sounds like a funeral and the bpm must be among the lowest ever created. Also I don’t feel like Mech Commander 2 suits with surreal music, it should have been heavy metal instead, a bit like the Command&Conquer soundtrack.

Mech Commander 2 surely surprised me, I thought it would be a bad commercialised product trying to hook on to the wave of RTS games flooding the market. I was terrible wrong, the game is great and fun to play, and you will especially like it if you are a fan of the Command&Conquer series.


Developer: Microsoft
Website for Game: http://www.mechcommander2.com
Related Websites: MechLab 2, BattleCorps
Publisher: Microsoft
O/S: Win 98/ME/2000/XP
Cost of Full Game: N/A

Requirements:
Pentium 266 MHz, 64 MB RAM, 8 MB VRAM
Tested on:
Pentium 4 2.4 GHz, 512 MB RAM, ATI Radeon Graphics Card




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