BattleTech isn’t just about mechs punching one another


BattleTech is the game in which giant mechs punch each other until their limbs fall off and the pilots inside those mechs boil to death. It’s out next month and I’m very excited, having already spent quite a lot of time stomping about in superb turn-based skirmishes. It looks great, it plays great, all is well. Except…what about the dynamic campaign? Will it have enough menus and financial reports to really make my heart sing?

Clashes between clans in control of hulking great war machines are all well and good, but I’m here for the cashflow as well as the combat. I’m very pleased that the latest video to emerge shows lots of menus, as well as random events like pilots getting into punch-ups, bored during the long-haul trips from one planet to the next. It really is a mech management game underneath all that shiny chrome and delicious scrapping. Praise be.

It doesn’t seem fair that 2018 might be home to at least two great mech games when so many years don’t even get a single one to call their own. We’ve already had the wonderful Into the Breach, which makes clever tactical puzzles out of mechs vs monsters planet-saving, and BattleTech is looking better every time I see it. There might even be another decent BattleTech-set game this year if Mechwarriors 5 makes its planned December release and turns out well.

If that happens, 2018 will truly be the year of the mech. And I’m not even considering the possibility that actual armies of mechanised warriors will be deployed in the great war that ends civilization as we know it – that’s due to kick off around September and who knows what surprises the powers that be will pull out of their arsenals.

BattleTech is out next month. No exact date yet, but the merc life starts in April.


  1. shinkshank says:

    It better not be! It should predominantly be, if anything, about ‘mechs shooting each other!

    • kud13 says:

      Nope, that would be “Mech WARRIOR”

      The BattleTech books were my first real intro to epic SFF, and they depicted an entire universe at war with a huge scope. I hope that the player’s merc company gets to interact with the Great Houses and some of the other famous merc companies, like Kell Hounds, or the Eridani Light Horse.

      • Retorrent says:

        I believe odds are good that there will be some interaction with the Great houses, from what I have read this game takes place before the Clans return to the Inner sphere.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Don Reba says:

    Not to mention all the new mech styles emerging in pro Starcraft this year. Banshees and Ghosts!

  3. NetharSpinos says:

    I am all the keen for this.

  4. trollomat says:

    An XCOM-like metagame is all good and well, but given their record with Shadowrun, i was kinda hoping we’d get fully fleshed out story with great characters of Dragonfall level.

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      alison says:

      This. My only exposure to Battletech is Crescent Hawk’s Inception, which is a game I loved as a kid. I really want to visit that world again and explore the stories there. For me the fighting is just something to punctuate the story. Hopefully there will be a way to set the AI to auto resolve the battle too.

    • Dogshevik says:

      While I understand the sentiment (and very much enjoyed SR), this game might not be the right platform for that kind of storytelling.
      The different scale of the game (in terms of people, time and space) demands another way to tell its story and present the setting in which it takes place. Naturally it will be more abstract and detached and might preclude the level of detail and incremental revelation that makes a (good) RPG like reading a novel.
      That doesn´t mean the story can´t be great, though.

  5. c-Row says:

    If that happens, 2018 will truly be the year of the mech.

    Return of the mech?

  6. zagibu says:

    I know you probably didn’t mean “clans” as in the Battletech factions coming back from a self-chosen exile to wreck havoc in the inner sphere around 3049. I’m just here to warn you that it means that specific group of people in the Battletech universe.

    This game plays long before that time, though, so “the clans” are not really going to be involved at all (at least not in the core game).

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Yeah, still holding out hope that they’ll do a Shadowrun and follow this up, I’d love to get some Clan wars era stuff down the line. Especially early on, when they were these unspeakable monsters that nobody knew how to fight. Hey, that Timber Wolf looks KINDA like a Catapult right? I’ll just rush it, that’s bound to work. Heh.

      Not to say I’m disappointed that the Clans AREN’T in, though. The toys we have already are great and I could definitely put a lance together from ’em. And I believe both the Highlander and Awesome are in, which are two of my favourites anyway, so I’m set.

  7. zauberkraut says:

    Pre-odered, because BIG STOMPY ROBOTS. Really loved the pre-clans Battletech tabletop back in the day. This being published by Paradox, there are bound to be quite a few DLC’s with new mechs and campaigns down the line.

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