MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat

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MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat
Basic Information
Type(s)
Video Game
Activision
Activision
MechWarrior
Vehicle Simulation
CD-ROM
MS-DOS, Microsoft Windows and Mac OS
Retail Features
Gameplay-Single-player.pngGameplay-Multi-player.png
Ratings
This title was rated Level 1 by the RSAC
United Nations International Release Date(s)
MS-DOS, Microsoft Windows and Mac OS
July 241995
Achievements | Awards | Changelog | Cheats
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Help | Localization | Manifest | Modding | Patches
Ratings | Reviews | Screenshots | Soundtrack
Videos | Walkthrough

MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat is a 1995 video game produced by Activision. It is part of the MechWarrior series of video games. It separates itself from the original board game BattleTech by placing the player inside the cockpit of the BattleMech.

Originally developed for MS-DOS, it was ported to a variety of platforms including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, and the home consoles Saturn and PlayStation (as MechWarrior 2: Arcade Combat Edition). The MS-DOS, Microsoft Windows, and Mac OS releases shared the same gameplay, while the console conversions tweaked the game's mechanics to emphasize arcade-style action over the tactical-simulation of the original PC release.

In MechWarrior 2, the player can choose to be a member of one of two clans, either Clan Jade Falcon or Clan Wolf, while engaging in a total of 32 missions (16 missions for each Clan) in the year 3057 time frame.

MechWarrior 2 features a soundtrack composed by Jeehun Hwang, which consists of ambient electronic music and a rendered intro sequence by Digital Domain.

Plot details[edit | edit source]

MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat (generally known as MechWarrior 2) is a game re-creation of the "Refusal War" between Clan Wolf and Clan Jade Falcon. Set shortly after the climactic Battle of Tukayyid between the Inner Sphere and invading Clan armies, the plot revolves around an ideological conflict inside the Clans. It focuses only on Clans Jade Falcon and Wolf, both of which represent a different side in the struggle — Crusaders and Wardens, respectively.

Background of the conflict[edit | edit source]

The Clans are the descendants of the Star League Defense Force, most of which was led by their commander Aleksandr Kerensky into the unknown regions of space in an attempt to save the warring nations of the Inner Sphere from obliterating each other. These forces eventually splintered and formed 20 separate groups, called the Clans, creating a society entirely based around warfare and creating the perfect warriors for their advanced BattleMechs.

Over the years of isolation, two schools of thought divided the clans. Crusader clans wished to return to the Inner Sphere as conquerors, forcing the nations to unite and recreating the Star League. The Warden clans, on the other hand, believed that the clans should act as protectors of the Inner Sphere, only intervening if a threat of sufficient magnitude was encountered.

Eventually, the Crusader faction won out and the Clans returned to the Inner Sphere as an invasion force containing only of a small fraction of the clans including the Jade Falcons, Clan Wolf and the Ghost Bears. The invasion force consisted of both Crusader and Warden clans (chiefly Clan Wolf). The Wardens participated in an attempt to mitigate the damage caused by the Crusader clans. The invasion continued until the invading clans were challenged by the ComStar organization to a fight on the planet Turkayyid. If the Clans won, they would gain control of Terra (controlled by ComStar at the time) and if they lost they would halt the invasion for 15 years under a truce.

The battle was lost by the Clans and their invasion was halted for fifteen years. In the wake of the defeat, Ulric Kerensky, the (then) leader of the invasion, and also a member of the Warden leaning Clan Wolf, was charged with treason by the Crusader elements of the clan. They thought that since Ulric was a Warden, he engineered the defeat to sabotage the invasion. They called for him to be stripped of his status, opening the door to ignore the truce and continue the invasion.

As part of clan law, matters can always be settled by combat (in this case through a "Trial of Refusal") and Ulric issued a challenge to the Crusader clans to uphold his status within the clan council and, as a result, maintain the truce. The Jade Falcon clan, the strongest of the Crusader clans took up the challenge.

This is where things stand at the start of the game. In the conflict known as the Refusal War, the Jade Falcons fight to prove the Council's judgment of guilt correct, allowing an immediate resumption of the Invasion against the still-weakened Inner Sphere. Ulric and the Wolves, however, are grimly determined to fight a war of extermination against the Falcons and leave them too weak to pose a threat to the Inner Sphere.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

At the start of the game, the player must choose to side with one of the two Clans involved in the Refusal War: Clan Wolf or Clan Jade Falcon. The battles in the game take place on planets named in the various BattleTech source books on the war, as well as expanded universe novels such as Bred for War. Each battle has a specific goal such as search-and-destroy, reconnaissance or a base strike.[1] Initially, the player controls one Mech, but in later missions has access to squad commands.[1] Between missions, a mech lab allows players to customize the weapon, armor, engine and heat sinks of any drivable mech.[1]

MechWarrior 2 is played as a tactical simulation, incorporating aspects of both real-time first-person combat and the physical simulation of the player's mech. The player can choose between several control modes, from a basic "point and shoot" mode, to an advanced mode that allows the player to manage the legs and torso of the mech independently. The mech's on-board computer provides feedback to the player, ranging from the proximity of friendly and enemy forces to system damage and ammunition depletion. Among other things, the player must carefully manage heat build-up; the mech's computer will attempt to perform an emergency shutdown if heat levels rise too high, though this can be overridden by the player. However, rising heat levels caused by the repeated firing of weapons can result in ammunition explosions and damage to the mech, including the loss of limbs actuators, and, ultimately, overheating will result in catastrophic detonation of the mech's fusion engine.

A version for Windows 95 was released, which included NetMech software for player vs. player battles over a network or direct connection.[1]

Critical reception[edit | edit source]

MechWarrior 2 was critically well received. GameSpot praised the game for its high resolution graphics and its requirement of strategy and planning from the player. The control complexity was likened to that of a flight simulator.[1] GameRevolution also noted that the controls were not overly complex for a simulation, and a throttle-control joystick was particularly intuitive.[2] NetMech had some problems with stability and smoothness.[1] PC Gamer US awarded it a score of 93/100.[3]

3D Enhanced Editions[edit | edit source]

A number of enhanced versions were released to take advantage of the 3D graphics accelerator cards at the time, including 3DFX, Matrox Mystique, and ATI 3D Rage.

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat Review. UK Gamespot (May 1, 1996). Retrieved on 2009-11-26
  2. Strap yourself in and hold on to something!!. gamerevolution.com (06/05/04). Retrieved on 2009-11-26
  3. Vaughn, Todd (September 1995). MechWarrior 2. PC Gamer US. Archived from the original on March 12, 2000 Retrieved on April 14, 2010