Posts Tagged ‘Harebrained Schemes’

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

battletech-speed

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.
Read the rest of this entry »

Go fully freelance with this BattleTech map unlock mod

Battletech

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

The true meaning of BattleTech is interstellar giant robot amputation Pokemon

battletech-salvage

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.
Read the rest of this entry »

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.
Read the rest of this entry »

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

battletech-speed-fix

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 »

Learning to love BattleTech: an evolving opinion

bt

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?
Read the rest of this entry »

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

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.

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 »

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 »

Necropolis Adds New Playable Class In Brutal Update

Our John did not dig Necropolis [official site], the roguelikelike action-RPG released in July by Shadowrun Returns devs Harebrained Schemes, and its general reception was quite lukewarm. In response, Harebrained laid out plans for a series of patches overhauling and expanding Necropolis to add more variety and challenge, culminating in a big update launched last night. A new playable character class, new enemies, new weapons, a new environment, and plenty more arrived in Update 1.1, along with a new subtitle. It’s now called Necropolis: Brutal Edition – a name I think could do with a few more umlauts and macrons.

Read the rest of this entry »

Rational Schemes: New Enemies, Hero For Necropolis

Harebrained Schemes, the gang best known for Shadowrun Returns, this month launched their all-new third-person action roguelikelike Necropolis [official site] to a bit of a mixed reception. “It’s a clumsy, dull, shallow, lacklustre trudge through cold soup,” is Wot John Thinks. “And fails at the most important aspect of any game in the genre: making me want to have another go.” Okay, John’s reaction wasn’t so mixed.

After listening to initial feedback, Harebrained have detailed future plans for the game. These include adding another character, improving enemy behaviour and making them more varied, and boshing in a new environment with new enemies.

Read the rest of this entry »

Shadowrun Devs Release Roguelikelike Necropolis

Oooh!

Shadowrun Returns gang Harebrained Schemes have jacked out and dug down into a deathtrap dungeon for their new game, Necropolis [official site], which launched today. It’s a hack ‘n’ slash roguelikelike with support for four-player co-op. Bad news: it’s nothing to do with Judge Dredd. Good news: it is something to do with a glowpyramid.

Read the rest of this entry »