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MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat

MobyRank MobyScore
DOS
88
4.0
SEGA Saturn
...
3.5
PlayStation
85
3.4
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Description

You are the genetically engineered Clan Mechwarrior. The Clans are invading the Inner Sphere. Join either the Wolf Clan or the Jade Falcon Clan as they pursue their own agenda against the Inner Sphere and other Clans. Take your advanced Omnimechs into battle against all comers. Win high warrior ratings (by using less mechs or smaller mechs than needed, completing secondary objectives, etc.) and you'll get chance at a promotion trial where you face superior odds in an arena. If you win, you advance in rank. If you are very successful, you can make it all the way up to Khan, leader of the Clan.

Mechwarrior II was developed in-house by Activision as the successor to their original Mechwarrior. While this time there are no dynamic campaign and mercenary actions, the Clan culture is integrated into the two campaigns. Different clans have different mechs and different rules, even different weapons. You can customize your mechs in order to use less than the "par" force in order to get a higher rating. The game features full 3D environments. The addition of NetMech allowed users to fight each other online.

When 3D cards came along, special versions of the game were created to take advantage of 3D texturing.

Screenshots

MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat PlayStation Loading out the mech for battle.
MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat Windows I'm here to chew bubble gum and kick some butt----and I'm all outta bubble gum!
MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat PlayStation Taking apart a target facility with missiles.
MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat PlayStation Objectives are updated as you complete them.

Alternate Titles

  • "MechWarrior 2: Combat au XXXIe Siecle" -- French title
  • "MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat: Arcade Combat Edition" -- PlayStation title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Heavy metal thunder DOS Ashley Pomeroy (233)
A fun, rich gaming experience. Windows Paul Budd (333)
Better, but not enough Windows Tony Van (2688)

The Press Says

World Village (Gamer's Zone) Windows 1997 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
Play Magazine PlayStation 1997 91 out of 100 91
Coming Soon Magazine PlayStation Apr 16, 1997 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
Gamezilla Windows Dec 12, 2000 87 out of 100 87
Freak PlayStation May, 1997 87 out of 100 87
PC Player (Germany) Windows Feb, 1996 82 out of 100 82
Absolute Playstation PlayStation Mar, 1997 8 out of 10 80
macHOME Macintosh 1997 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Computer Games Magazine Windows Jan 18, 1996 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Game Revolution SEGA Saturn Jun 06, 2004 B- 67

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Trivia

1001 Video Games

MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

3D Acceleration

Mechwarrior 2 straddled the boundaries of DOS and 3D accelerator cards. As a result, several DOS-but-3D-accelerator-only versions were released specifically for certain chipsets to be bundled by OEMS with their cards. (Later releases, including a "Titanium" version, include all released versions as well as a generic Direct3D version for Windows 95.) One of these OEM bundles, ATI's 3D Expression+PC2TV, was an oddity since the software-only version ran faster on a 486/66 than the "accelerated" version did on a Pentium 90!

Development

During development, the game (surely to be cancelled due to the money lost, and two year delay) was put on hiatus, because of memory limitations, (The game engine was only capable to have one mech onscreen at a time) Two programmers took the project on their own time, and rebuilt parts of the engine, alleviating the memory limitations, and allowing more mechs onscreen. After Activision found out, they cancelled the hiatus, and with a new team, continued development.

Extras

The original package came with two "sheets" of Clan Warrior propaganda. The Wolf Clan, as the leader of the "Wardens", wants to "shepherd" Inner Sphere toward enlightenment, while the Crusaders, lead by the Jade Falcon Clan, believe that Inner Sphere belongs to them and they'll take on all comers to reclaim it.

Macintosh version

The Macintosh version of Mechwarrior 2 featured a bug that caused the display to be messed up when using certain game resolutions.

If the user set the screen resolution to, say 320x240 pixels, the game would be drawn at that size on the screen. So if you were playing the game on a 15'' screen at a smaller resolution than the standard resolution of your computer (e.g. 640x480) your game would actually be only a portion of the screen. The fact that a system 7 or 8 user couldn't lower the screen resolution below what was recommended by the system didn't help.

The difference between DOS and MacOS was that DOS gamers could play their games at any resolution in full screen while the Macintosh somehow only drew the game at a smaller size.

References

You can target individual buildings, and their names show up in the targeting radar. In some city maps (the city map for Trial of Grievances, for example), you can find a tower building curiously labeled "Activision".

Awards

  • Computer Gaming World
    • April 1998 (Issue #165) - Introduced into the Hall of Fame
    • June 1996 (Issue #143) – Space Simulation of the Year
    • June 1996 (Issue #143) – Space Simulation of the Year (Readers' Vote)
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) - #27 in the “150 Best Games of All Time” list
    • March 2001 (Issue #200) - #9 Best Game of All Time
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 12/1999 - #38 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
  • Origin Awards
    • 1995 - Best Fantasy or Science Fiction Computer Game
  • PC Gamer
    • April 2000 - #40 in the "All-Time Top 50 Games" poll
    • April 2001 - #8 in the "'50 Best Games of All Time" list
    • April 2005 - #31 in the "50 Best Games of All Time" list
Information also contributed by Adam Baratz, Chris Martin, Fire Convoy, JL3001, Kasey Chang, PCGamer77 and WWWWolf

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Contributed to by Brian Hirt (10014), Corn Popper (69753) and Kartanym (10772)