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Mech Commander 2 Review & Strategy Guide

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Mech Commander 2 Review & Strategy Guide by Honorabili

One Sentence Review:
“The greatest RTS game ever made for Battletech.”

Overall Score:
7 out of 10

Mechcommander 2 box art cover

Mechcommander 2 box art cover

Overview:

Think of this game as a more modernized version of BattleTech: The Crescent Hawk’s Inception and BattleTech: The Crescent Hawks’ Revenge except without all the RPG aspect. You play the role of a commander for a mercenary outfit that got hired and got put in the middle of a civil war that just started between House Davion and House Steiner. On top of that House Liao is also trying to take over the planet that you’re on, in middle of the ongoing chaos.

Although this game now is pretty old, since it came out in 2001, it still captures all the charm of the Battletech universe. It might not have every Battlemech ever made but it does have some of the original best mechs and it introduces some newer mechs that are from the most recent storyline for the Battletech universe.

Mech Commander 2 Unit Selection Screen

Mech Commander 2 Unit Selection Screen

Controls & Gameplay & Fun Factor:

The controls are pretty archaic as far as an RTS game goes. They by default only use the left mouse button and the only other key that you really need is to press the space bar while giving out move orders to make your mechs run. The game uses the classic convention of being able to group units with CTRL + number convention. Controls get a score of 6 out of 10. They’re really primitive and are actually obsolete.

As far as RTS games go, the gameplay feels really dated. Sure it’s fun to see a lance of Atlas running around blowing the living crap out of everything. I do think that the Mechwarrior games are much better though, although they are a completely different kind of game. Gameplay gets a score of 7 out of 10.

This game was fun for me although it doesn’t have the fast pace of a modern RTS game. A lot of times a mission requires having a lot of patience. The game will make you wait for the enemy to attack. Sure, you can go out and get them but that defeats the point sometimes of fighting inside a fort that has turrets supporting you. Compared to some newer RTS games such as League of Legends, Battleforge, or Dawn of War 2, the game can be pretty boring. Since I grew up playing tabletop Battletech, this game was a blast from the past that an old gamer like me needed! I give fun factor a score of 6 out of 10. I wish they’d make sequel for this but there’s always lawsuits going on for the Battletech franchise. At least Mechwarrior Online is supposed to come out 2012 so we’ll see.

Mech Commander 2 Atlas fighting

Mech Commander 2 Atlas fighting

Difficulty & Difficulty Versatility & Replayability:

This is where I have a problem with the game. If you play it on Veteran, the default 2 out of 4 difficulty then the game will be realistic as far as your weapons go as far as damage and accuracy BUT if you put it on the harder difficulties the game becomes bullshit and nearly impossible to beat. If you put it on 3+ difficulty then you will see shit like a hovercraft owning your mechs like nothing. This is where the game FAILS.

For that overall the Difficulty gets a score of 4 out of 10. Some of the missions even on regular difficulty were really challenging. The last mission was so damn easy though. 🙁

Difficulty Versatility gets a 1 out of 10. Super fail in this. Because of this the game has no replayability for me almost except playing it once every couple of years when you get the urgue to play something Battletech related.

Value:

How you go about getting this game really depends how much of a computer person you are or what format you want it in. If you want the original, you can ebay the CD for it. The cost will be whatever the market will bear. Microsoft released the source code for this game in 2006 and you can download it here. If you can make it run, there you go, enjoy it!

Sound:

The sounds for all the battle sounds were pretty realistic. It made me think of lot of the older Battletech games and that’s always a good thing. The lasers sound like they should, so do the PPCs, Gauss cannons, Auto Cannons, etc. The feedback from the Mechwarrior pilot was also pretty great, along with the digitized video of them getting shot up inside their mechs as well as your field assistant giving you updates on the status of your mission. Great job and we don’t see a lot of games that have this kind of banter anymore. The video acting was great too. A lot better than the ones in the Command & Conquer games, which is outright B movie grade. Sound gets a score of 9 out of 10.

Music:

Although the music is not as good as the music from Mechwarrior 2, the music does make you feel like you are playing a real Battletech game. I still love this soundtrack though.

I give the music a score of 7 out of 10. Click here to listen to more music from the Mech Commander 2 soundtrack.

Stability/Reliability:

On my modern PC running Windows 7 and doing ALT TAB like crazy, the game never ever crashed. I’m usually doing a million things while gaming so this game is rock solid. That’s to be expected by a game good enough to be published by Microsoft. This deserves a score of 10 out of 10.

Graphics & Performance:

The graphics are really dated and haven’t aged well. They are Direct3D for a really old version of DirectX and no matter what parts you have the textures will look ugly by today’s standards. Oh well, at least the mechs look like what they should though. I give the graphics a score of 4 out of 10.

This game runs like a beast even on the worst computer I own. Performance gets a score of 10 out of 10. It would fly even on a non-gaming PC.

Conclusion of Review:

If you are a hardcore Battletech fan and you’ve never played this, go out and play it NOW. If you want to play an RTS game that requires patience, you will like this game too. I don’t think they’ll ever make another game in the Mech Commander series again, which is a real shame. We’ll see though… If MechWarrior Online starts to do well when it does come out, there is hope. It’s nice to see that Battletech is not entirely dead. It has a special place in my heart alongside Warhammer 40k.

Strategy Guide:

Not much to it. Always use as heavy a mech as possible. Save every Atlas you ever salvage. Salvage every single battlemech on the field, even if you have no money left as you can sell them back for more money in the outfit and refit screen. Outfit every Atlas you have with as much armor as possible then load it up with as many Clan ER Medium Lasers as possible. That’s the optimal mech for the entire game.

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