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Mech Commander 2 By John "Award" Del Percio,
August 28, 2001
Developer :Microsoft
Publisher :Microsoft
Release Date :July 2001
Demo Available : Yes - Download
Table of Contents

· Introduction
· Closer Look
· Facts
· Final

Mission Successful

Through all its minor flaws and technical problems (which are sure to be patched...eventually) Mech Commander 2 proves that there is still life left in the Battletech games. This is what a tactical combat game should be, and sets the first real foundation for all other TCGs to build upon. Regardless of how new the genre really is, it shows the signs of a proven genre, and shows that it's certainly not a passing fad. If you're into organized games that focus on coordinated tactics rather than free for all rushes, MC2 is definitely the one for you!


Personal Note

Graphics - Sound - Gameplay - Depth - Multiplayer  Reviewed by John Del Percio
95 %

Visually, the graphics are stunning. Unfortunately, the lack of some simple camera features such as a top-down view tends to make the graphics a hindrance at times, but you can easily overlook that. One other tiny flaw to note about the graphics is that at times the scale just seems wrong. Mechs are supposed to be monstrously huge, some over eighty stories high*, yet many of the Mechs in MC2 barely seem to rise above the trees, or are even shorter than the trees.

*[Editors Note: An astute reader kindly informed me that the actual height of Mechs in the Battletech Universe is approximately two stories tall. While I recall reading several years ago that it was eighty, I'm likely less of a Battletech aficionado and believe that two is a more realistic figure.]

94 %

Most of the sound effects used are the same ones from Mech Warrior 4, so at least they are consistent with the universe. Voice-overs and movie talents are great, and the sounds are good for the game. There is nothing exceptional in terms of surround, echo, or depth, however. In terms of music, the music is fairly decent, and a bit less repetitious than the MW4 music was, though I can't say I'm trying to claw my way to a soundtrack.

98 %

In terms of Tactical Combat Games, this is by far, the best I've seen to date. MC2 features highly organized gameplay where the tactics really do matter, and everything is all in the approach and the use of the terrain to your advantage. The AI is rarely frustrating, and player units pretty much always do what they're supposed to.

89 %

In terms of story, the Battletech universe is one of the deepest gaming universes out there. Unfortunately, while the game does feature an encyclopedia built into the main interface (nothing like the holo-imager encyclopedia in the interactive Wolf and Jade Falcon clan halls in MW2), it is mostly just there for continuity, and the Battletech stories don't play much of a role in the game. In terms of gameplay depth, the game is pretty much simply to use and doesn't get too deep.

96 %

Multiplayer in MC2 is truly a unique experience. With several game types including capture-based and destruction-based objectives, multiplayer can be a blast. When playing against a human opponent, the tactics become purely endless, and the psychological aspect of the battle moves to the forefront, whereas it was utterly useless against the AI. On the downside, it's hosted by Zone.

I suppose it's a pretty good indication that you're really into a game when you audibly make some form of grumbling sound when the game crashes to the desktop, then you begin to whine that it takes forever to load again. MC2 really proved to be some good old tactical fun, without all the stats and numbers. After all the RPGs and simulators I've been reviewing lately, it was a very nice change of pace to play a game that I didn't have to have my calculator sitting on my desk just to effectively play the game. Mech Commander 2 is definitely nominated for the 2001 Top Pupil Awards, though it is undecided in which category to enter it. If enough competition shows up, there will likely be a Tactical Combat Game award this year, otherwise it will be in the strategy category. That will be determined closer to the awarding.

Overall Rating


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