The stompy robot on the cover of Heavy Gear 2 lured my child brain into a state of futuristic daydreaming. I could not wait to get home and play this incredible sci-fi action-packed shooter about rollerskating robomen.
It was OK.
Not spectacular. Just OK. I must have played the opening mission dozens of times and died often. I remember liking the customisation of your bigbot, the cool blue digital menus that offered armour and guns. But I’m not sure how much farther I got. Is the snow of mission two recognisable in its blocky valleys even now? Or is that just my brain inserting new memories because surely – surely – I must have beaten the first level?
Whatever the case, the promise on the cover of that fragile jewel CD case is something I don’t think was ever realised. This was Mechwarrior for rollerbladers. But even the Mechwarrior games, when I got to play them, delivered the same sort of basic ideas. Stomp over here, fire at the little man. Stomp over there, fire at the tank. Stomp stomp, oh no, another stompybot. Better deal with that.
As we launch into the maelstrom of E3 2019, let us remember this feeling. The promise of a game’s coverbot is rarely realised. The adventure of your own rampaging futurethoughts is seldom replicated. Keep a level head, lest the robots stomp on your dreams.