Praying that they don’t shoot me in the back!
Developed by Harebrained Schemes, Battletech Is by far one of the best strategy games that has come to fruition in 2018. I love the art style that is used for the character portraits and cinematics coupled with multitudes of ‘mechs and different weapon combinations makes for some pretty amazing strategies.
Why did I not keep the jump jets…?
Battletech has you starting off playing with the different colours and flags for your mercenary outfit. Once you have got past all the basic start up and you are first actually playing the game you’ll quickly find that the game itself is very intuitive, much like XCOM 2, with multiple aids showing various information such as hit chance and armour levels on opposing mechs. This layout of information helps the player intuitively decide which direction and how far they wish to push their mechs into the varied terrains that surround each map.
The camera will often move quickly to capture the ensuing fighting as you play through the many turns that you will burn through while playing, however, some players have noted that they didn’t like the amount of cinematic camera angles there were in the game, so the developers made it available for the option to be changed which shows some amazing speed in response to the community. The HUD presents information very well, not cluttering the screen, whether you are flying from contract to contract in space or in the heat of battle, information is very clearly spread out and made very easy to read.
“Enemy reinforcements are incoming!”
The battle can roll very quickly out of your favour if you aren’t prepared. Much like any game that has a luck factor involved, sometimes you just need to ensure that you get a killing blow when you fire that Long Range Missile salvo. Yes, you will get headshots every once in a while, but its pure luck. On the other hand, remember this goes both ways and that npc can fire that one laser that just rips off an entire torso piece. So do yourself a favour, play tactically and make sure you can quickly move about on the battlefield.
Personally I have enjoyed the combat so far. Yes there are some things that need working out like the injury timing as well as probably the more random spread of different enemy mech types. The game will sometimes also carry you a little if you are falling behind in the early campaign missions but don’t mistake the AI for stupid as it will cause no end to the annoyingness it will torment you with!
The initiative system is more than likely my new favourite way of playing strategy games now. It makes you pick choices to try and better link your actions together so when you face down that mech you can be sure you’ll deal maximum damage. The heavier your mech is in tonnage leads to the slower it is able to act in combat, so remember this when you see those enemies moving on the map so you get an idea what may be coming to face you in the conflict. Use speedier mechs to quickly dispatch your slower enemy combatants or bring lumbering behemoths like the heavy and assault class mechs to truly rain down death on your unsuspecting enemies.
The Great and The Grotesque
Yep it’s that part in the review again! So here it is, in terms of the quality of the graphics on the mechs and even the different terrain, such as forests and water sources, make this game phenomenal and I truly enjoy watching the lasers and rocket streak across the map to strike their unsuspecting foes. While there are certain tooltips that could be changed to help better reflect what information you see as you charge into battle, these are only minor changes that are personal to me though, rather than game breaking or a desperately needed fix. The combat always feels very quick paced even when using the heavier battlemechs, this being because there are so many tactics you can use to incapacitate opposing mechs. The maps are always very intriguing in how little portions of them can become absolutely detrimental to your survival chances.
If there is one nuisance that exists which is really annoying, it’s the loading times from a saved game file, which I’m sure will be fixed but it certainly feels a bit long if I’m able to make a cup of tea and sit back at my desk, still waiting for it to load!
Finally, I also want to point out again how truly amazing the game is, from the art style used in cinematics, right down to the vastness of the map that exists in the game, it truly feels like this game is going to be everyone’s favourite strategy game for a very long time.
- Beautiful graphics all round on weapon effects and the environment
- Sometimes can be quite long time to load a saved game
- Challenging gameplay, battles can change almost in an instant, from treacherous terrain, enemy reinforcements arriving, to how you kit out your ‘mechs.
Would I recommend the game?
Of course I would! Battletech is probably going to be the best strategy game of the year. This game will continue to flourish under these developers and I’m sure that we will be seeing many more elements that will make the game even more exciting than it is already.
Developed by: Harebrained Schemes
Produced by: Paradox Interactive