Posts Tagged ‘BattleTech’

A tactical pearl lies beneath BattleTech’s sea of treacle

battletech-combat

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: BattleTech

battletech-game

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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

mechwarrior-5-trailer

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.
Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

BattleTech isn’t just about mechs punching one another

battletechmanagement

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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

2018gamesheader

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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!

Read the rest of this entry »

Battletech’s campaign mode is a robot Dark Ages

mission06

It’s odd to think of Mickey Mouse while ordering a giant robot to rip another robot’s arms off, but in the words of its creator Jordan Weisman, Battletech is kind of like Walt Disney’s Tomorrowland. Opened in 1955, the park was an homage to the march of science that inevitably struggled to keep up. Its present-day incarnations are a bizarre mishmash of the vintage, the cutting edge and the merely obsolete, Flash Gordon-brand retro colliding with touchscreens and VR. Similarly, Battletech is a vision of human history up to the 31st century that began life as a table-top strategy game in 1984, made up of once-outlandish concepts such as artificial muscles that now seem positively quaint.

The series wears its age more gracefully than Tomorrowland, however, because its campaign is as much about obsolescence and forgetfulness as the far future – a re-imagining of the fall of the Roman Empire and ensuing “dark age” that rebuts the concept of history as a steady, linear advance. It’s a solid footing for a strategy sim in the vein of Total War, comparable to Warhammer 40K’s Imperium but less, well, preposterous, though I still think the turn-based battle system Adam sampled in June is Battletech’s strongest asset.

Read the rest of this entry »

BattleTech delayed into 2018

The turn-based tactical BattleTech [official site] “is the mech game I’ve always wanted”, our Adam declared after playing a bit. “It’s likely to be one of my favourite games of 2017,” he said. Well then. Let’s blame him for flipping well jinxing it, as BattleTech is now delayed. It was due later this year but is instead now pushed into some time in “early 2018”. Why the delay? The people making BattleTech — Shadowrun Returns devs Harebrained Schemes — say it’s to make the game good, yeah? Read the rest of this entry »

BattleTech is the mech game I’ve always wanted

BattleTech [official site] finally brings mechs and mercs back to their turn-based tactical roots, and if the combat is backed by a worthy campaign mode, it’s likely to be one of my favourite games of 2017. I’ve only played the skirmish mode, against AI opponents, so I can’t assess the quality of the campaign. But the actual mech clashes are absolutely glorious, and as spectacular as any turn-based battles I’ve ever seen.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mech it so: Paradox are publishing BattleTech

At the Paradox Convention 2017, the strategy game developer/publisher announced that they would be working with Harebrained Schemes as publisher of Battletech, the turn-based squad level tactical mech game that was an instant Kickstarter success in 2015. We’ve already spoken to the developers in-depth but this weekend will be our first chance to play, and I’ll be speaking to BattleTech creator Jordan Weisman about the collaboration with Paradox and the game itself.

Read the rest of this entry »

How BattleTech Hopes To Do Giant Mechs Justice

There is no shortage of classic MechWarrior games for PC. MechWarrior 2 was one of the defining 3D action games of the 90s, and MechCommander remains a beloved tactical game among the people who remember it. But you could argue that there’s never been a real BattleTech game, one that faithfully recreated both the tabletop tactical games and the kind of warfare portrayed in in the sourcebooks. The PC games set in the MechWarrior universe all had to make drastic departures.

Now, over thirty years after he created BattleTech, Jordan Weisman is finally getting around to making a PC wargame that does it justice. After successfully reviving the Shadowrun franchise on PC, his company has brought BattleTech to Kickstarter. It’s a descended from the boardgame in ways that the other PC MechWarrior games never could be. I spoke to Weisman about why things would be different this time.

Read the rest of this entry »

Shadowrun Returns Devs Bring Back BattleTech, Is Successfully Kickstarted Almost Immediately

Edit: now at over $800k after less than a day. Lawks!

BattleTech is/was the setting for the beloved MechWarrior series, but began life as a 1984 tabletop wargame, long before it was a mech combat sim. Though MechWarrior pops up again now and then (usually involving some tortured development process), the BattleTech name itself didn’t get a whole lot of use when it came to videogames – although Command & Conquer creators Westwood had a go at one. But now it’s getting its first non-spun-off time in the PC gaming sun since 1994, as a new turn-based mech tactics game being developed by Harebrained Schemes, of Shadowrun Returns fame.

BattleTech reached its $250,000 Kickstarter goal within around an hour of announcement. Blimey. However, the game won’t have a singleplayer campaign unless it reaches one million dollars. Wait, what?
Read the rest of this entry »

BattleTech Returns: Shadowrun Studio Preparing Mech Combat Kickstarter

Shadowrun has enjoyed a triumphant return and after the superb Dragonfall, I’m as excited about the the upcoming trip to Hong Kong as I am about almost any other game coming up in the second half of the year. Harebrained Schemes love a good return though and now they’re preparing to help another series step back into the limelight.

BattleTech is back. Or at least it will be if an upcoming Kickstarter is successful. Details below.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mechin’ Good: Mechwarrior Details Approach

LASER LASER!
Blue has noticed that there have been some rumblings from Pirhana Games about their new Mechwarrior game. An announcement announcement! There’s already a bit of information on their site, including this: “Gamers will pilot a deadly BattleMech and use information warfare to dominate a dynamic-destructive urban battlefield. The game features include classic and new mechs from the BattleTech universe with persistent character development and plans for a single player campaign, as well as, co-op, and multiplayer gameplay.” You apparently play “a wayward nobleman” who ends up with a motive for revenge when his family are killed during a planetary invasion.

Worringly the site also runs with the headline “Not Your Father’s MechWarrior” which makes me sad because I am my own father. That said, the CG teaser which we first posted a couple of years ago (below) does look promising, and seems to get the plodding weapon-blastiness that is Mechwarrior.
Read the rest of this entry »