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1 Player

Game Type

Mech Shoot-em-up

Mem. Card

Review Date

March 1997

Setting the Scene

Set in the 31st century, Mechwarrior 2 drops you into a Hatfields & McCoys style feud between two warring clans (Wolf & Jade-Falcon). Both sides of course feel that they are fighting for the right cause, and now it's up to you to decide their fate. You are given the opportunity to decide which clan you will play as, and are given a good number of missions to complete that will decide the outcome of this brutal war.

Oh, fighting in the 31st century is not done in the typical current day manner, in which you line up a bunch of troops and make cannon fodder of them...Progress has planted you firmly in the seat of a 6-story, 80 ton mechanical beast known as a "Mech". Each Mech has it's own arsenal of super destructive weapons, and it's own strategic capabilities. Ah yes, I can see this battle is going to be much more "civilized"!


Mechwarrior 2 is really two genre's of games in one. You can choose to jump right into the battle in the Instant Action mode or choose more of a strategy based game in one of the two clan modes. Both modes succeed in their own right and make for a very nice action, arcade, shooter, strategy game...phew, how's that!


You can tell just by looking at Mechwarrior that it is not a straight PC to console conversion. The graphics scroll along at a fairly respectable pace with very little pop-up. Your mech is viewed from the inside with no outside the mech option available. While an outside view would have been a nice option, the cockpit scene is a nice one that I would probably have defaulted to anyway. The heads-up display is rather simplistic but functional and gets the job done without too much clutter. The mechs you must do battle with are depicted nicely and animated with a great deal of fluidity. I enjoyed watching all of the moves that each enemy mech employs. They are varied and well executed. Landscapes, while a bit barren, are also nicely done and varied. You are given a good number of planets to visit, each with it's own graphical representation and missions to accomplish.

The downside of all this is that the backgrounds are extremely simple. Other than your rather plain polygon building structures, a few hills and mountains and of course mechs, there isn't very much to see in this game. In addition to being sparse, the backgrounds are also rather drab. There are not many vibrant colors that jump out at you. Everything is kind of washed out and plain looking. I presume the look is supposed to represent the foreboding worlds that your mech is doomed to traverse, but a little splash more color here and there surely wouldn't have hurt things.

Okay, back to the good stuff. Since the scenery is rather simplistic for the PlayStation, it is at liberty to move a lot of mechs around without any visible slowdown! You are also treated to a variety of weapons coming at and leaving your mech. Again, all the ammunition animation's fly around without any slowdown. Explosions are also well are treated to a nice little "puff", followed by exploding mech pieces that litter the ground and often crash into you!

To be honest, after I settled down and started to play the game in earnest, I stopped paying attention to the sparse graphics and really began to appreciate the fact that everything moved around pretty damn good. There is a fairly well tuned 3D engine at work here.

I should also mention the FMV that is packed into this game. It is VERY good and sets the proper mood for the game. I don't want to spoil anything for you, but there is one waterfall scene for the opening of the Wolf Clan campaign that is gorgeous. The rest of the clips are equally well done.

Sounds and Effects

Nice sounding Mechs...You hear the THUMP, THUMP, THUMP of their enormous footfalls and the gear sounds they make when walking and turning. All very convincing. Explosion sounds when a rocket goes off or the laser blast noises are also tasty. When you blow a mech up, the resulting sound of the clanking metal dispersing over the land is also quite satisfying. You also have an onboard computer relaying mission messages to you. These messages only help to make the game more intense in some instances. It's a nice addition.

The music is also very good, often rising to a fevered pitch at just the right moments. Lot's of bottom end and good pulse pumping orchestration. A good fit for this type of game.


Mechwarriors is an action/strategy game at it's finest. Playability is where this gem really shines. Right from the get go, you have the option of starting off in an Instant Action (arcade type) mode and just jumping on into the game and shooting everything in sight, or you can opt for the campaign missions in which you choose a clan and battle through a total of 48 missions! You also are given the option of going through 6 training missions. I highly recommend you take this route before starting a campaign. If not, your mech will be toasted on a pretty consistent basis. The training missions help you to learn how to control your mech, aiming and firing weapons, stalking, and a trial test. Through all of the training, you are instructed by a commander in a nearby mech. There is really lots to learn here...Virtually every button on your PlayStation controller is utilized. The difference between winning and making your mech look utterly ridiculous, depends on your learning all of your mechs nuances and to use the controls that are at your disposal.

Okay, so let's start a mission...Select either clan and you are brought to a mission scene explaining what your clan needs for you to accomplish. Missions vary from defending a home base, to invasion of enemy bases, to all out search and destroy of enemy mechs. Each mission will require a very different strategy. Going in thinking you can just blast everything in sight will get you wasted in very short order.

Alright, so you've read your mission statement and have gotten your objectives, now you get to pick your mech! You have a choice of 12 mechs, ranging in weight from a mere 20 tons all the way up to the Dire Wolf line, tipping the scales at 100 tons. Depending on your mission, certain weight classes cannot be used. After you pick your appropriate mech for the mission, you get to arm the sucker. Weapons are configured in two variants. You can select one or the other. After you pick the variant of your choice, you can group certain weapons together to get devastating results. Of course grouping too many weapons could cause your mech to overheat...not a good thing! Some mechs are also equipped with a handy little item called a "jump jet". Jump jets will enable your mech to leave the ground for short periods of time and assault your enemies from above. Of course, you must also realize that enemy mechs have this same feature...doh!

Now it's onto the battlefield...As you walk around you will notice there are little icons floating around in certain areas (some will require you to destroy certain structures to discover them). These icons or power-ups will give you extra health, temporary ability to NOT overheat, temporary invisibility, fire rate increase, stealth, weapons reload, jump jet, and speed burst. You may want to remember where they are for later use. Most are temporary (30-seconds) and should be used only when needed! As you would expect, the bigger the mech, the bigger the payload. This is a good thing, but the bigger mechs are also slower and with increased fire power comes increased heat build-up. If your mech overheats, it shuts down for 5 seconds to cool off. Yikes! Not a good situation if you are under heavy attack!! Of course, you can always override the shutdown mechanism, but be warned...driving an overheated mech too hard will cause it to explode...The oppositions AI is extremely well executed. The mechs will often group together and attack you in teams. The enemy mechs in this game are ruthless, so adjust your gameplan accordingly! One of the most effective ways to flatten the other clan members is learning to turn your mech's upper torso in one direction, zeroing in and firing on the enemy, all while moving off in a different direction. Of course fire and retreat is another good option!

You began your campaign as a low-ranking MechWarrior with an additional 8 ranks to attain, Khan being the highest. You are given four trials of position in each campaign in which you can improve your ranking. You are awarded points for successful completion of a mission, the number and types of mechs you destroy and other determining factors such as how many buildings and objects you blow-up.

There are easy, medium and difficult setting options for each mission so you can tailor them to your liking.

So, in overall playability I would have to give Mechwarrior 2 very high marks. It's an action-infested, adrenaline pumping thrill ride that will keep you coming back for more!

Value for Money

You have 48 campaign missions, 6 training episodes, an Instant Action option and loads of configuration options. Yep, I'd say this game packs a mighty powerful bang for your buck punch.





There is no other mech game out right now that can touch this one. For pure action-packed fun, you can do no better. I don't know...maybe it's just me but there is something about climbing on board and strapping myself into an 80 ton behemoth and causing mass destruction that just appeals to me...It's Go Time!











Looks fine, sounds great and once you master the controls it plays well too. My only wish is that they hadn't left out so much of the strategy element to the game when converting it from the P.C because as a pure shoot-em-up, it doesn't quite reach the "Classic" status. Having said that, it looks and moves better than the other previous versions so I guess we cant really complain.








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