Posts Tagged ‘BattleTech’

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, Jordan Weisman. Paradox published BattleTech and evidently they got on so well they want to tie the knot. It sounds like the plan is for Harebrained to continue as before, including making more BattleTech, only now with more security. Read the rest of this entry »

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

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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 with it. Many people, especially fans of its tabletop source material, adored BattleTech from the get-go, but others expressed similar concerns to me about its pacing – and soon enough the developers announced that their forthcoming first major update would offer new, official speed-tweaking options.

So, I bounced a few questions off BattleTech game director Mike McCain and ended up with some candid answers about exactly what we can expect from those options, the original design intentions behind the game’s languid pace, how the team feel about it being altered by mods and why they’d “love to improve on” how BattleTech currently explains how to best take down a giant killing machine.
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Go fully freelance with this BattleTech map unlock mod

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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 Map After Obtaining The Argo, which is a very boring name but does just what it says on the tin. Ideal for the mercenary captain that would rather leave the main story behind and go freelance for a while.

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Podcast: What do we play with our kids?

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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 in Abzu and Subnautica (but also manages to sneak glimpses of God of War’s quiet moments on the TV – naughty!). Brendan doesn’t have children, only a cat. She can’t stand games and thinks they are a waste of time. Read the rest of this entry »

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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The true meaning of BattleTech is interstellar giant robot amputation Pokemon

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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 ’em all.
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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 up this thing’s slightly unstable legs.
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These easy, player-made speed fixes are BattleTech’s redemption

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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 need to haul BattleTech out of the quicksand is a spot of ini file editing. The difference is… well, I don’t want to let my prose get too purple here, but it’s so much closer to the turn-based mech combat game I’d long dreamed of. Read the rest of this entry »

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 5 taking up only one slot! No Witcher 3! No Skyrim! It’s like Christmas, where Christmas is a day you just about get through without things being as bad as they were last year. Read the rest of this entry »

Learning to love BattleTech: an evolving opinion

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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 long. As it happened, I played until I reached where I’d left off in my previous campaign.

It took half the time it had done before, and my blood rarely reached the tempestuous boil that had characterised my broadly unimpressed pre-release experience. And then I kept on playing. I have no current intention of stopping. I am enjoying myself immensely, mostly. BattleTech’s failings very much remain failings, but they’re not the obstacle to happy bot-blasting that they once were. So what changed?
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Podcast: Who’s your favourite robot?

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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 of Hackmud, and their tragicomic existence on a humanless earth. Meanwhile, John loves little BUD of Grow Home and his wobbly walking animations.

Speaking of large, bi-pedal machines, we’ve also been playing strategy mech-em-up Battletech. Well, Alec has. He’s been stomping around, slowly firing missiles. But is it any good? Read the rest of this entry »

A tactical pearl lies beneath BattleTech’s sea of treacle

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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 pacing and drab presentation drove me spare.

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Wot I Think: BattleTech

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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 being built in one of the adjacent terraced houses, and nor was my own PC’s volume set high as I threw stompy tankbots at each other in XCOM-meets-Mechwarrior turn-based strategy game/boardgame adaptation BattleTech. Stony-faced, she informed me that listening to me sporadically bellow “Oh god, it’s so boring” every few minutes is not terribly conducive to work. I didn’t even know I was doing it.

I don’t like calling things boring. It’s an aggressively dismissive criticism, and often says as much about the accuser as the accused. I’ve returned to BattleTech repeatedly, in different moods and with absolute determination to find the fun in a game made from components I usually thrill to, but I keep winding up in the same place: bored. And then hating myself for feeling that way.

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Podcast: Being a critic makes games better (and worse)

This is how Adam will leave us next week. In a truck

Oh no. Somebody sound the “journalists discussing journalism” klaxon. Rattle it as loudly and furiously as possible, because the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, is talking about how being a critic changes the way we play. Don’t blame us, blame listener Aleksei, who sent in the theme as a suggestion. But please also forgive Adam, because it’s his last showing on the podcast (he’s leaving RPS next week) so he deserves a bit of self-indulgence. Read the rest of this entry »

MechWarrior 5 would like to show you how much you get to smash

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The summer of Mech, they’ll call this in years to come, when they’ve stopped caring about strict definitions of when a season is. Later this month we get Harebrained Schemes’ healthily-Kickstarted XCOM-meets-Mechwarrior affair Battletech, and then towards the end of 2018 we return to a first-person, real-time view of that big, stompy world, with MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries.

It’s a bit of an unknown quantity right now, given devs Piranha Games’ last crack of the ambulatory tanks whip was 2012’s unlovely (but still live) MechWarrior Online. MW5 will return the series to its singleplayer roots, and its latest attempt to win back the hearts of jaded MW fans is to show us how much stuff we get to smash, stomp, crush, bash, decimate and so forth.
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BattleTech mechs its way to release on April 24th

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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.

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BattleTech isn’t just about mechs punching one another

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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.

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BattleTech stomping onto PC in April

The turn-based tactical MechWarrior-o-rama BattleTech will launch in April, publishers Paradox announced today. When in April? That’d be telling. But at some point. Our Adam called it “the mech game I’ve always wanted” when he played a preview version almost a year ago, so it’s nice we’ll soon get to see what the robofuss is about. We’ll have to mech up for lost time. Mech. MECH. MAKE. On the subject of explaining things, a new video series has started with some Harebrained Schemes fellas (including BattleTech co-creator Jordan Weisman) explaining a bit about how the game works: Read the rest of this entry »

The most exciting games of 2018

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As we lay 2017 to rest, let us remember all of the wonderful games that flickered across our screens and occupied our hearts and minds. But now we must promise never to think of them again because times have changed. This is 2018 and if we’ve learned one thing from the few hours we’ve spent in it it’s that there are games everywhere. Every firework that exploded in the many midnights of New Year’s celebrations was stuffed with games and they were still raining down across the world this morning. We cannot stop them, we cannot contain them, but we can attempt to understand them.

Hundreds of them will be worth our time and attention, but we’ve selected a few of the ones that excite us most as we prepare for another year of splendid PC gaming. There’s something for everyone, from Aunt Maude, the military genius, to merry Ian Rogue, the man who hates permadeath and procedural generation with a passion.

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Podcast: Our most anticipated games of 2018

"YOU SHALL MAKE A NICE PURSE, DRAGON!"

What do you mean there’s a whole month of 2017 left? Well, the disembodied mouths of the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, are tired of waiting. This week the team look at some of the most exciting upcoming games of 2018. Adam is looking forward to smashing big robots with other, bigger robots in Battletech. Matt wants to make trousers from dinosaur skin in Monster Hunter World. And Brendan forgot all about how much he’s excited by surreal isometric detective game No Truce With The Furies.

We’ve also got some chat about Viking strategy game Northgard and yet more love for FTL follow-up Into The Breach. Plus, our Patch Adam quiz is back!

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