One of the first games to involve physical simulation of a player’s mech, MechWarrior 2 was a first-person, vehicle simulation game that was developed and published by ‘Activision’ way back in 1995.
The game is set in the year 3057 and it incorporates elements of tactical simulation, combat, and physical simulation of the Japanese technique of ‘Mech’. Mech refers to the usage of giant robots and larger-than-life mechanics that help in tactical combat. The game is a remake of the ‘Refusal War’. As a part of the game, the player was required to join one of the clans namely, Clan Jade Falcon and Clan Wolf. On top of that, the player was also required to complete 32 missions.
The game’s lore was very complex and long. The game’s plot involves 2 factions that are at war with each other. There are 2 campaigns that are spread over 32 missions and the game requires the players to decide their clan right at the beginning of the game.
The game was released for DOS, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, Playstation, and Sega Saturn. It was initially in a single-player mode but later the devs included an add-on disk for the inclusion of multiplayer mode called, MechWarrior: Mercenaries.
Upon its release, it was crystal clear that Mechwarrior 2 was a financial hit as it sold nearly 500,000 copies in 3 months after its release! Eventually, it became the 12th best selling computer game of 1996 in the United States.
A single thing does not make Mechwarrior 2 great. Its cutscenes, action sequences, graphics, customizable mechs, sound effects, and background score set it apart and contribute towards its success.
The attention that has been given to details and animation are really top-notch and cannot be understated in any way. Back then, the game had the best graphics and it really blew the doors of the genre!
The game allowed the player to choose between several control modes that included but were not limited to ‘point and shoot’ and a more advanced mode that allowed the player to manage the legs and torso of the mech. The game also allowed the player to override an emergency shutdown if the heat levels rose too much.
Since we are talking about MechWarrior, how can we forget Timberwolf? Considered as the poster child of both MechWarrior 1&2, Timberwolf is the best available Mech in the game. It is capable of high damage output, quick speed and smooth maneuver, and effective shielding. Amongst all its unique mechs, Mechwarrior’s Timberwolf stands out like a Swiss Army Knife for mechs.
The game was bombarded with critical praise after its release. For instance, NextGen gave it 4/5 stars, PC Gamer gave it 93/100 for PC, Maximum gave it a whopping 5/5 stars. Apart from that, the game won the ‘Origins Award’ for Best Fantasy or Science Fiction Computer Game in 1995.
The soundtrack of the game was also pretty amazing. Composers Gregory Alper and Jeehun Hwang received universal acclaim for their creation. The soundtrack used in the game is still considered to be a part of the upper echelons of gaming history. In fact, the soundtrack was actually available on standard CD tracks that simply allowed the players to play the audio on a standard audio CD player, independent of the game.
Even though the game had glitches every now and then, a complex storyline, and a little inconvenient gameplay ( considering everyone had joysticks during those days), MechWarrior 2 remains and will remain the ‘Best Mech Game Of The 90s
Mechwarrior 2’s contribution:
Being one of the first combat simulation-based video game has its perks. For its time, Mechwarrior 2 held really high standards. Its graphics and game mechanics have inspired many video game developers to follow in on its steps.
Both Mechwarrior and its extension pack hold a huge significance in the genre. Especially the extension pack which retained the mech action and the usual gameplay of the original games but with a new twist, combined it with complicated resource management. It included signing contracts, hiring and buying personnel, customizing mechs, etc
With this game PC game was really catapulted to a much higher level. Despite its contributions, this game is criminally underrated. From cutscenes to combat-oriented simulation gameplay this game wasn’t influential, it was revolutionary!
How many versions does MechWarrior 2 have?
MechWarrior 2 has 3 versions:
MechWarrior 2: 31st century- This is the main game with a single-player mode.
MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries- This is the extension pack that included multiplayer as well.
MechWarrior 2: Ghost Bear’s Legacy- Released as a follow-up to the Mercenaries, this game allowed players to play as Clan Ghost Bear and offered 14 brand-new BattleMechs.
How many games are there in the MechWarrior franchise?
There are 5 games in the franchise:
1. MechWarrior (1989)
2. MechWarrior 2 ( 1995)
3. MechWarrior 3 (1999)
4. MechWarrior 4: Vengence (2000)
5. MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries (2019)
Which is the latest MechWarrior game?
The latest game in the franchise is MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries that was released in 2019. The game was developed by ‘Piranha Games’ and it made the use of ‘Unreal Engine 4’, the very same engine that has been used by the upcoming game ‘Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2’.
Where can I buy MechWarrior 2?