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BattleTech

BattleTech review

I like everything it does, but not how it does it

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2 months ago

Feature: Bigger than genre

Trans representation in Cyberpunk 2077 matters, but not because it’s cyberpunk

Even before its recent public gameplay unveiling, Cyberpunk 2077 was the target of a very particular piece of criticism. Perhaps sparked by the transphobic joke made by the game's Twitter account, many online have been calling out 2077 for presenting yet another future that, despite its overt themes of transhumanism and body modification, falls strictly into the gender binary. Despite the gender diversity already prevalent…

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3 months ago

BattleTech expands with Flashpoint in November

The first expansion for BattleTech will arrive in November, publishers Paradox announced today, with a new type of story mission chain and new mechs including... wait, this mech carries an axe to chop other mechs to pieces? Hatchetman, I want you. Come meet this robolad and his huge chopper in the trailer below. Oh, and learn about those new missions and mechs and whatnot for…

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4 months ago

Feature: The endless march of time

The bestest and most top PC games of 2018 so far

We're just about halfway through 2018 (which has somehow taken both too long and no time at all). As is tradition, we've shaken our our brains around to see which games from the last six months still make our neurons fizzle with delight. Then we wrote about them here, in this big list feature that you're reading right now this second. And what games they…

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Feature: Harder, faster, birds-eyier, sandboxier

Our 10 favourite BattleTech mods

Turn-based giant mech argy-bargy BattleTech doesn't officially support mods, but it doesn't officially not support mods either. Though we're denied the ease of clicking a 'subscribe' icon in the Steam Workshop, that ol'Nexus is littered with smart and ridiculous remixes of BattleTech's ten-storey war songs. For the time being, most aesthetic overhauls are ruled out - a great shame, as I'd love to see more…

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The 100 best-selling games on Steam in 2018 so far

We've just passed the half-way point of 2018, so Ian Gatekeeper and all his fabulously wealthy chums over at Valve have revealed which hundred games have sold best on Steam over the past six months. It's a list dominated by pre-2018 names, to be frank, a great many of which you'll be expected, but there are a few surprises in there. 2018 releases Jurassic World…

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5 months ago

Feature: Hit Parade

The 50 best strategy games on PC

An entirely objective ranking of the 50 best PC strategy games ever made, now freshened up to include our favourites from 2017 and 2018. From intricate, global-scale wargames to the tight thrills of guerrilla squads, the broad expanse of the genre contains something for everyone, and we've gathered the best of the best. The vast majority are available to buy digitally, a few are free…

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Harder, better, faster, smoother: BattleTech’s big update does almost everything you want

BattleTech might have stomped its way straight onto the turn-based mech combat throne, but while its central torso was strong and mighty, its outer armour sported a few noticeable holes. We'd been promised a patch that would introduce speed-up options for those who crave 'em (hello!), along with tackling its weirdly greedy GPU needs and adding new difficulty toggles for battle-scarred veterans who can blow…

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Paradox buying BattleTech studio Harebrained Schemes

Paradox Interactive have announced they are buying Harebrained Schemes, expanding their power as the heavyweight champ of traditional PC gaming. Y'know, Paradox, the Swedish mob who make games including Crusader Kings II and Stellaris as well as publishing loads more. And y'know, Harebrained Schemes, the American studio behind Shadowrun and BattleTech - and which was co-founded by a fella who helped create those tabletop worlds,…

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Feature: "If players [want] better pacing control, it doesn't matter what our desires were"

BattleTech devs talk slowness, mods and what to expect from the next update

I've been on something of an emotional journey with Harebrained Schemes' turn-based mech combat game, BattleTech. I was turned off by its unusually slow animation speeds and drawn-out wars of attrition during my first dozen-odd hours of play, but a combination of speed-up mods and deepening understanding of rules the game itself did not take the time to explain saw me fall ever-deeper in love…

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6 months ago

Go fully freelance with this BattleTech map unlock mod

Stompy-bot management sim BattleTech may not technically have native mod support, but developers Harebrained Schemes aren't so proud as to keep all their data under lock and key. Realising that folks would want to poke around inside the guts of their latest game, they left much of its file structure open and human-editable. One of the nicer little mods to come from this is Unlock Full…

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Feature: Listen to these dads

Podcast: What do we play with our kids?

The dadification of games continues. So we’re going full Dad this week on the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, as we’ve been asked to talk about the games we play with our children. Alec’s daughter is excited by the unlockable characters in Rayman Legends (and she’s also strangely fascinated by Battletech). John’s son is a bit younger and likes to watch his dad diving…

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Feature: The hit parade

Steam Charts: surviving the Frostpunk bots of Britannia

Hullo! John is preoccupied with wizards right now, so I'm taking over for the rundown of last week's top ten on Steam. It was an interesting week, bringing back some welcome old games and slamming in some shiny new ones. Largely, it's all about robots and survival.

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Feature: Kill the meat, save the metal

The true meaning of BattleTech is interstellar giant robot amputation Pokemon

Some might say that BattleTech's meta-game is the strategy layer - all that base-building, mech-fixing'n'fitting, pilot management and parts-shopping required to ultimately create an unstoppable army of heavy metal death. Those people are dead wrong. The overarching goal of BattleTech, the true purpose of its turn-based fights and base management alike, is that you gotta catch 'em all. By which I mean, you gotta kneecap…

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BattleTech update 1 will bring speed-up options, more customisation and UI improvement

Bad news for people who love it when I bang on about BattleTech's speed/delay problems every single time I post about it: the devs are planning to offer "accelerated combat options" in a month or two. More unit customisation, difficulty settings and UI improvements are also due in the first major update, though ahead of that, they'll be breaking out their welding torches and fixing…

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Feature: Faster mechs and no more weird pauses

These easy, player-made speed fixes are BattleTech’s redemption

Two things stand between BattleTech and true greatness. User guides and videos solve the bonkers decision to not so much as hint at absolute combat necessities that make the difference between grim slugfest and satisfying tactical supremacy, but the other one's trickier. The surfeit of frustrating pauses and pretty but time-wasting animations surely require an official patch, right? Nope - turns out that all you…

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7 months ago

Feature: NEW ENTRIES OMGAF

Steam Charts: Actual Hope Edition

As I drag my groggy-faced body to the monitor at 6.30 each Monday morning, I click the bookmark for my Steam Charts RSS and scrunch up my face so my forehead and nose curl over my eyes. How bad will it be? How familiar will the list of five-year-old games be? How will I think of... BUT WHAT IS THIS?!!?! FOUR new entries! Far Cry…

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Feature: Third time's the charm

Learning to love BattleTech: an evolving opinion

A couple of days ago, I started BattleTech's campaign over from the start. For uninteresting technical reasons I'd had to use a different Steam account when playing it for our BattleTech review, but the savegames wouldn't then load on my usual account. I'd been fairly frustrated by the turn-based mech combat game's treacly pace and janky interface, and so didn't intend on this do-over lasting…

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Feature: Listen now, meatbags

Podcast: Who’s your favourite robot?

Perhaps ~~you’re~~ the robot? Did you ever think of that, huh? No, it’s fine, you’re a human, a human who likes the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show. This week, we're chatting about our favourite mechanoids, cyberfolk and rust-buckets. Alec likes the robo-ostrich from World of Warcraft, a bird capable of great speed (and good for showing off). Brendan is fond of the abandoned bots…

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Feature: None-more-mechy warfare, if you can bear the painful slowness

A tactical pearl lies beneath BattleTech’s sea of treacle

In my BattleTech review yesterday, I focused on the ways in which Harebrained Schemes' long-awaited boardgame adaptation sadly wasn't the big 'bots at war experience I'd hoped for, but I want to go into more detail about why, as I put it, "I don’t think that redemption is impossible." The tactical core of BattleTech's fights is fascinating, compelling and uniquely mech-y, even if the glacial…

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Feature: I like everything it does, but not how it does it

BattleTech review

Update: though the below complaints stand, my feelings about Battletech's tactical core have become significantly more positive as a result of continuing to play it following publication of this review. I was perplexed to discover that my partner, also a home-worker, was wearing earplugs as she sat at her computer. There was, for once, none of the thunderous din of new kitchens or loft extensions…

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