|Platforms||PC, Mac, Linux|
Battletech offers a fascinating tactical challenge set in a living, breathing universe of political intrigue and robo-mercenaries. Too bad it’s so buggy.
90s gamers will certainly be familiar with the name Mechwarrior. Those lumbering, mechanical walking tanks return in this turn-based tactical experience. Battletech shares many similarities with the original Front Mission series, that classic tactical turn-based series which also featured mechs heavily. Of course, this was before Konami ran the series into the ground by trying to spin the game into an action shooter.
In the main menu of Battletech you are given the option to select between the Campaign or Skirmish modes. Campaign mode takes you through story missions. This campaign follows a general template, hitting the same major points with each playthrough, but there’s enough customization and freedom of choice that you can carve a place for yourself in the lore. Skirmish mode is another term for the game’s multiplayer. The campaign missions in Battletech tell the story of a group of mercenaries eking out a living by throwing themselves into a galaxy-spanning political war, eventually siding with the Lade Kamae Arano who is on a mission to steal back the throne that was taken from her in a violent revolution.
Those lumbering, mechanical walking tanks return in this turn-based tactical experience. The actual game itself, while perhaps intimidating at first glance, isn’t actually that difficult to learn. The simple interface and well-designed tutorial at the start of the game help make this admittedly complex game easy enough to pick up and learn. The real complexity lies in the multitude of ways you can complete missions. Fans of the aforementioned Front Mission might be overcome with nostalgia as Battletech offers core mechanics that are quite familiar.
Just like in Front Mission, Battletech allows you to modify your various mechs to fit the needs of a mission. You’ll find yourself losing hours in this aspect alone as you try to strike a balance between heat generation, armor quality, weapon strength, and maneuverability. For example, laser weapons have infinite ammo, but they draw so much power from your mech that they can cause it to overheat. Overheating causes the mech to take damage and skip its next turn and it’s a key consideration in everything you do in the game. Too much armor or weapons and your mech will become overburdened by the weight, slowing its movement.
The missions themselves are diverse both with regards to win conditions and duration. Some longer missions might require you to bring a variety of different weapons as you may run out of ammunition late into the quest. You can deactivate your weapons when firing on an enemy, reducing the heat that your attacks generate. This tactic is useful from the mid- to late-game.
In the campaign, you lead a team of mercenaries stationed on a ship in space. Not only do you have to maintain your mechs and select missions appropriate for the skills and equipment you have, but money management and the interpersonal conflicts between crew members are also your responsibilities. At the end of each month, you must pay for everything from maintenance costs to the salaries of your crew. You can also upgrade your spaceship, allowing it to carry more mechs or enhance other features. Similar to the concept of X com, but at Battletech we need money, so changing the place too often without completing the mission will make money worse.
The mission in Battletech is actually not too many variations. which varies is the planet that will be the place to do the mission, because of the varied environment also the level of difficulty and selection of mech will be crucial. for example on planets that are hot and not much water will make mech movement easier but the heat generated from firing weapons will increase, conversely doing missions with planets dominated by a lot of water will make the movements become very slow but the heat generated when in the water it will be drastically reduced. The level of difficulty for each mission will be different and there is information before taking the mission.
After winning a mission in the Battletech game we can take part in the mech that has been defeated. Weapons and body parts can be taken according to the initial agreement after carrying out the mission contract. We can sell these parts, and we can also buy certain parts, and of course, there is also a black market where we can get unique items.
In terms of graphics the Battletech game is not too flashy, it even seems very heavy for tactical turn base type games. In contrast to XCOM, we are quite impressed with the character design and broad environment even very friendly with PCs. Loading in Battletech when going to run a mission or after running a mission is quite boring and feels long. Since its release the first time this game does have a lot of problems with its engine. FPS drops when playing games for a long time until it is stuck and others. Some patches have indeed come out to improve this Battletech game and loading which used to be finished at some time is now somewhat reduced.