BattleTech came out yesterday. And holy fuck is it good. I had completely forgotten about this until Steam reminded me yesterday morning and I bought it straight away. I actually played the tabletop game back in the day, even before I got into Warhammer 40K. MechWarrior 3 is one of my favourite all-time games to this very day. I still remember the goose bumps I got from the intro as if it was yesterday.
There’s something very majestic and awe-inspiring about BattleMechs that I got absolutely fascinated by as a kid and that I had forgotten about since I saw that advertising on Steam. It’s now been almost thirty years since I last played the tabletop game – I never actually owned it myself – and almost twenty years since I last played MechWarrior. But I have to say, my old enthusiasm for this setting is fully back. Which is a great thing as it connects my older self directly with my childhood.
I’ve played the new turn-based strategy game for a few hours last night and I must say: holy fuck, it’s good. The first thing you get in the game is the option to customise the heraldic options for your mech in multiplayer. They had me at heraldic options. Aside from that, the game looks great – surprisingly so for a Unity game – and has all the tactical nuts and bolts (quite literally) you expect from a game set in that universe. You’re a leader of a mercenary company and can add new mechs and weapons by literally shooting them off your opponent’s mechs with lasers. I mean… HOW FUCKING COOL IS THAT?
It has meticulously modelled damage, it has overheating, it has alpha strikes, it has it all. From what I’ve played of the campaign (not a lot at all) it is also very true to the setting of the series, which is obviously very important to me. My first impression is that this is a game that’ll entertain me for years to come. I’m very interested to see how the XCOM-style campaign system works in a long playthrough. The whole mercenary angle seems to be a perfect fit for both the setting and this type of game. In hindsight it is not surprising, that Harebrained Schemes has figured this out. What with them having designed, by all accounts, some great TBS adaptations of Shadowrun. And what with the principal head behind the BattleTech franchise having founded the studio. The only thing that’s surprising is that it took them so long to come out with this. But maybe that’s for the best, it seems like they’ve created a masterpiece.
Oh, have I mentioned that listening to Sabaton works really well while you are playing a mech combat game?