BattleTech mechs its way to release on April 24th

battletechreleasedate

Whirr-stomp. That’s the noise a big stompy mech makes as it patrols the battlefield. It’s entirely dissimilar to the pitter-patter my heart makes when I finally see a release date for BattleTech, the turn-based tactical MechWarrior game from Harebrained Schemes and Paradox. I’ve been waiting for this one for a long time – not just the years it’s actually been in development, but the preceding decades when the world stubbornly refused to give me a BattleTech game that didn’t strap me into the cockpit rather than letting me do what I do best: backseat drive, well out of harm’s way.

BattleTech, with its splendid combat and intriguing merc-management campaign, will be out on April 24th.

The trailer gets across the age of chivalry qualities of the setting quite well. The lady doing the talking is Kamea Arano. Her house has lost control of its space sector following a coup and she needs precisely the kind of mech-merc that you’re playing to help bring her back to her seat of power.

“In BattleTech, you play as the commander of a mercenary company on the edges of civilized space, negotiating and executing a variety of combat contracts while attempting to keep your ‘Mechwarriors happy and your operations prosperous. The game’s story features the player falling in with the deposed ruler of a noble house and, fighting for either coin or cause, becoming a player in her bid to retake her throne.”

Or you could just rush around blowing things up for kicks and profit.

We haven’t seen enough of the campaign in action to give me full confidence that it’ll all work out as hoped, with lots of dynamic elements to keep things interesting, but the combat is brill, and I can’t wait to take my mechs for a proper spin.

24 Comments

  1. BobbyDylan says:

    A little disappointed this is Late April. I was hoping for sooner. But EXCITE!!!!!!!

    • causticnl says:

      dont worry, you can still complain that the game is unfinished after release.

      • abstrarie says:

        #GamingIn2018

      • Someoldguy says:

        That’s strictly for the casuals. The neckbeards will be far more involved in the debates raging about whether HBS have completely ruined the game by choosing the incorrect distribution of hardpoints on Mechs A, B, C and D.

  2. ulix says:

    Yeah… I’m not buying a Paradox published game on release anymore. Made that mistake again with Surviving Mars.

    Maybe wait a year and see if it is good and balanced then.

    • Someoldguy says:

      I think we’ve seen enough in youtube to know that the tactical battle layer looks really solid and seems fun. The strategy layer and plot is the lesser known quantity. I suspect I’m going to get it for the pleasure of the battles anyway.

    • ramshackabooba says:

      To be honest this is good advice regardless of publisher. Every game released nowadays always gets much better after a patch or two.

    • Retorrent says:

      Only reason I preordered it was due to the fact the Hare Brained Schemes is the developer. They are the ones who made the excellent ShadowRun Returns and Dragonfall. Neither of those games had major launch problems. Surviving Mars was developed by the people who made the Tropico games so was not surprised that it had some questionable AI and goofy UI choices.

    • SaintAn says:

      Well these days even if you wait a year or two there’s still a good chance Paradox will still destroy it like the mess they made with Stellaris recently. It’s been a month since Stellaris 2.0 and it’s still not playable because major systems are broke.

    • uniCurse says:

      From watching multiple Let’s Plays and reviews by gamers I trust, for once Paradox are releasing a highly polished game. It’s been in development for a decade and it shows.

      I get that people dig on Paradox but I think you’d be making a mistake to assume this will be like their previous releases. Go check the let’s play videos out.

  3. Solidstate89 says:

    That’s the same day that Frostpunk gets released. You’re making me choose and this isn’t fair.

  4. BathroomCitizen says:

    I feel like 2017-18 is kinda like 1997-1998 again, with all the remasters and games that remind me of 1998 – like Mech Commander.

    Now, if anyone did a decent Starsiege: Tribes, and Heretic 2 remake I’d be in heaven.

    • Retorrent says:

      Ah Starsiege so many hours of my youth was spent on that game. I wish Windows 10 would play nice with it but nope!

  5. TheOx129 says:

    I’ve been neck deep in the DS remake of the original Front Mission, so I’m definitely excited for some more mech action in the near future.

  6. Balaks says:

    I’ve been hoping for this since I was about 13 and playing the table top original. Sweet lord please let it be good.

  7. Calculon says:

    I watched a gameplay video and – call me weird – but it looked tedious to me. There wasn’t a lot to differentiate it from X-Com 2 – just skinned differently – and while I once adored the XCom long war mode – the tedium kinda wore me out (I have to play another tactical battle #342 which is largely impossible to win? *sigh and shut off game*)

    Perhaps I’ve become too cynical tired and old

    • Shadow says:

      That’ll depend a lot on the variety the tactical combat can provide, which is yet to be seen. Maps, enemies, objectives, dispositions, dynamism and the depth of the combat system itself.

      You need a lot of pieces in the toybox, so to speak, to make the combinations appealing dozens or hundreds of missions in.

      I hope they’ve taken that into consideration.

    • Someoldguy says:

      You could be right in the long run if the missions are too similar to one another. The sheer number of different mechs you can acquire and the ways you can configure them, plus the mech pilots skills and running the whole base seems to have greater scope. The enemy seem to have the same scope to refit mech loadouts and use different combinations of commander skills to make each fight a bit different. One way or another, we’ll know soon.

    • merbert says:

      FWIW, I think you’re spot on the money….and I too would be quick to call myself cynical tired and old, but hearing you voice this is like a kindred spirit reminding me that while I may feel like a minority….I am not alone, and I appreciate you, unintentionally, doing that.

      I’ve become so weary of hyped up titles (which have interesting universes / premises) being squandered on badly voiced trailers and clearly lack luster game-play that’s been iterated to hell.

      Back when I played Wing Commander, Ultima Online, Starcraft, Flashback, Command & Conquor, Duke Nukam, Halo & Splinter Cell, I was really “wowed” by what game development did…and all I’d think would be, “can you imagine how good looking and sophisticated games are going to be in 10 or 15 years time?!”….I’m as disappointed by current game development as I am by the fact that I STILL don’t have a Marty McFly Hover Board (although…kudos for Segway’s…they’re brilliant)

    • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

      It plays out very differently than XCOM even if it has some familiar aspects to the game design. This is not a game with cover, it’s not a game where one or two shots will bring down a foe (or one of your own units). The kinds of resources you manage are very different to XCOM; instead of asking, “Am I in cover,” you ask, “If I’m going to get shot here, what do I want my facing to be so that the least important parts of the mech get destroyed?” The whole game is riddled with that sort of thing. It has similarities to XCOM, but it plays a lot more like the 30 year old Battletech board game than XCOM.

      • pookie191 says:

        “plays a lot more like the 30 year old Battletech board game”
        That’s all I needed to hear.. Preorder away!

        • Spinkick says:

          I’m sad that they cut multiplayer largely from the game. Its all about the story now. To play against somebody, its old school connect with a friend and play. no matchmaking lobby or anything. Battletech is about multiplayer..

          • Goldeneye says:

            Battletech has always been about the singleplayer campaign from the beginning though since the Kickstarter went up. Hell, the Kickstarter had PvP multiplayer as the last Stretch Goal, meaning that it’s last in their priorities list.