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Heavy Gear

Critic Reviews 78% add missing review

Electric Games (95 out of 100) (95%)

Bottom Line: Wonderful graphics, sounds, and music. Fantastic campaign mode. As addictive as an action game gets. Move over, Mechwarrior - Gears rule!

1998 · Windows · read review

Gamezilla (93 out of 100) (93%)

Once again Activision has pushed the limits of gameplay. All action sim fans should pick this one up; you won't regret it. There's a whole lot o' replays to be had, and a whole lot o' gears to build. There's also a pretty good story involved, and this game launches a new universe. So sim fans, action fans, and sci-fi fans alike, pick it up: Heavy Gear is definitely worth the heavy coin.

Jun 7th, 2000 · Windows

Reset (9 out of 10) (90%)

Nie spos├│b mie─ç do HEAVY GEAR jakiekolwiek zastrze┼╝enia ÔÇö gra opracowana i pomy┼Ťlana zosta┼éa w doskona┼éy spos├│b, gdy┼╝ zar├│wno weterani boj├│w Mech├│w jak i ┼╝├│┼étodzioby bardzo szybko opanuj─ů sterowanie oraz poruszanie si─Ö po rozleg┼éych opcjach gry.

Mar 1998 · Windows · read review

Electric Playground (9 out of 10) (90%)

All in all, Heavy Gear can easily be crowned as the best game of its kind (at least until Microprose throws Mechwarrior 3 at us this year). Activision was wise to incorporate the best elements of Mechwarrior 2 into Heavy Gear, but in many ways this effort to keep the game familiar almost does the game a disservice. Heavy Gear was going to draw the obvious comparisons to FASA's Mechwarrior series and there was probably little that Activision could do to avoid this. But I think they should have gone further to give Heavy Gear a completely different feel without sacrificing the strong gameplay mechanics they already had in place.

Jan 15th, 1998 · Windows · read review

PC Jeux (89 out of 100) (89%)

Un cocktail explosif, savamment orchestr├ę, o├╣ "action" rime avec "r├ęflexion". Incontournable.

Dec 1997 · Windows

PC Action (Germany) (86 out of 100) (86%)

Nimmt man die etwas kargen Landschaftsgrafiken aus, ├╝berzeugt Heavy Gear durch viel Liebe zum Detail. Das beginnt bei den ausgefeilten Missionen und setzt sich bei der packenden Hintergrundgeschichte, den erstklassigen Videos und der umfangreichen ÔÇ×Wir-basteln-uns-heute-eine-feuerspeiende-Blechb├╝chseÔÇť-Option fort. Ich konnte mich im Story-Mode derart mit Ranger Edward Scott identifizieren, da├č ich meinen Monitor b├Âsartig angeknurrt habe, wenn mein Alter ego mal wieder bl├Âd angequatscht wurde. Selbst wer das Rollenspieloriginal nicht kennt, findet einen einfachen Zugang zu der PC-Umsetzung. Einsteiger feiern dank der Trainingsmissionen schnelle Erfolge, und Profis erfreuen sich an der Optionsvielfalt, die es erm├Âglicht, immer wieder neue Finessen zu entdecken.

Dec 17th, 1997 · Windows

Power Play (86 out of 100) (86%)

Ich war anfangs nicht nur skeptisch, sondern nach der ersten Mission regelrecht entsetzt. Das lag aber weniger am Spiel, sondern an meinem Fehler, da├č ich nicht umgedacht hatte. Wer mit alten, auf riesige Kampfroboter abgestimmten, Taktiken versucht, die Schlacht zu gewinnen, hat im Vorfeld bereits verloren. Was Activision hier abgeliefert hat, ├╝bertrifft mein geliebtes Mechwarior 2. Gerade die Kombination aus der Ausnutzung des Terrains inkl. der KI machen Heavy Gear zu einer Herausforderung f├╝r jeden Mach-Veteranen. Dabei sieht alles nicht nur besser aus, sondern funktioniert auch besser. Gerade die Landschaft macht viele unterschiedliche Strategien m├Âglich. Es gibt nur wenig, was mich st├Ârt. Zum einem h├Ątten es in der Kampagne ruhig beide Seiten sein k├Ânnen. Zum anderen frage ich mich, wozu ich an meinem Gear zwei H├Ąnde habe, aber lediglich nur mit einer kr├Ąftig zupacken darf? Aber das tut dem Spielspa├č keinen Abbruch.

Dec 1997 · Windows

GameStar (Germany) (83 out of 100) (83%)

Heavy Gear erreicht in Sachen Atmosph├Ąre nicht das gro├če Vorbild Mechwarrior. Mir fehlt das Gef├╝hl, mit einer kurzen Bewegung am Joystick tats├Ąchlich einen riesigen Stahlkolo├č zu steuern. Es geht deutlich actionlastiger zu, stellenweise erinnert mich das Programm eher an 3D-Ballerorgien. Ein paar Features machen aus Heavy Gear aber dann doch deutlich mehr als ein reine Action. Vor allem das T├╝fteln und Knobeln ├╝ber der m├Âglichst perfekten Konfiguration meines ganz pers├Ânlichen Gears motiviert ungemein. Die Eins├Ątze sind durchweg gelungen, auch wenn man teilweise seinen Mitk├Ąmpfern allzu viele Aufgaben ├╝bertragen kann und dann fast ohne echte Bem├╝hungen das Ziel erreicht. ├ärgerlich ist die schwachbr├╝stige Gegner-KI. Ich kann h├Ąufig aus der Entfernung einen feindlichen Gear abmurksen, ohne da├č der Blechkamerad aus seiner Ruhe erwacht. Kein perfektes Programm, aber ein gelungener Einstieg in neue Welten.

Dec 1997 · Windows

Game Revolution (B+) (83%)

Just don't call it that. Activision describes it as "The new breed of 3d combat simulator". The truth is that Heavy Gear is just a continuation of Activision's success in the Mechwarrior series (license now owned by MicroProse). It is extremely similar to MechWarrior 2, but also has important differences. Improved graphics, better mechs, now called "gears", some sort of a story, and of course (unavoidable when dealing with cutscenes) bad acting, make for a game that old Mechwarrior fans will love and others should consider.

Jun 5th, 2004 · Windows · read review

PC Player (Germany) (83 out of 100) (83%)

Trotz eines neuen Szenarios l├Ą├čt Activision nicht vom "MechWarrior"-Spielprinzip ab. Mit ihrem Kampfroboter-Auflauf ├╝bertreffen sich die Entwickler dabei selbst.

Dec 1997 · Windows

Gameplay (Benelux) (81 out of 100) (81%)

Indien je jezelf wel ziet zitten in zo'n zeven ton zware gear met alle wapentuig die je je maar kan wensen om de grote variatie aan tegen te lijf te gaan, dan zou dit wel eens jouw spel kunnen worden.

Mar 2nd, 1998 · Windows

PC Games (Germany) (74 out of 100) (74%)

Heavy Gear ist zwar optisch anspruchsvoller als seine Vorg├Ąnger und sonstigen Artverwandten, spielerisch bringt Activisions Robotersimulation jedoch nichts Neues. Zus├Ątzlich bieten die Missionen nicht viel Abwechslung, und auch deren Anzahl ist mit nur 32 St├╝ck etwas begrenzt. Der eigentliche Schwachpunkt d├╝rfte jedoch die KI sein, die befreundete und verfeindete Roboter recht planlos durch die Landschaften lenkt. Nur durch die gro├če Anzahl wird der Schwierigkeitsgrad auf eine herausfordende H├Âhe getrieben: F├╝nf identisch ausgestattete Gears gleichzeitig zu bek├Ąmpfen, stellt f├╝r einen ge├╝bten Spieler kein Problem dar.

Dec 3rd, 1997 · Windows

GameSpot (7.3 out of 10) (73%)

With the exception of its lacking originality, Heavy Gear contains all the elements of a successful game and is certainly the finest game of its kind in many months. Of course, it's also the only game of its kind to be published in many months, which makes it a definite buy for those yearning for more giant robots since last year's Mercenaries. Its similarities to MechWarrior 2 and Mercenaries ensure that fans of those games will also enjoy Heavy Gear. At the same time, its similarities represent a missed opportunity to create an all-new product centered around a new kind of vehicle design. Instead, Heavy Gear feels very derivative right down to its soundtrack and ironic intro, with only a handful of new gameplay features on top of a superior story mode and the enjoyable tour of duty. Heavy Gear will keep most mech sim fans busy for a good while, much of which will be spent wondering why it didn't have the courage to break from its roots.

Dec 18th, 1997 · Windows · read review

PC Joker (73 out of 100) (73%)

Ganz pers├Ânlich war ich nie ein gro├čer Fan der Stahl-S├Âldner: Die riesigen Mechs agieren einfach zu tr├Ąge, um mich begeistern zu k├Ânnen. Leider gelingt das auch den wesentlich flinkeren Heavy Gears nicht ohne weiteres, dazu ist ihre Steuerung schon mal zu kompliziert geraten. Auch die stets sehr ├Ąhnlichen Missionsziele (zerst├Âre dies, vernichte jenes) und die etwas eint├Ânige Grafik tragen nicht eben zur Motivation bei. Wohl aber der hier sehr spannend inszenierte Story-Modus.

Dec 1997 · Windows

Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault) ( ) (70%)

Heavy Gear is a strange hybrid of all the giant robot games that have come before it. It is part Earthsiege, part G-NOME, and a whole lot of Mechwarrior 2. That's the problem, really. There's just really nothing terribly original about the game. Sure, it's set in an all-new universe, and you have Gears instead of 'Mechs, but there are just too many similarities between Heavy Gear and Mechwarrior. I mean, couldn't they have at least come up with new names for the robots? Kodiak, and Naga, and Grizzly...oh my. Still, the combat is usually fun and intense, the missions have plenty of variety, and the game has a very solid feel to it. Activision has earned some serious points for their inclusion of Heavy Gear's online component; the ongoing Internet war between the North and South really adds some spice to the standard head-to-head gameplay.

Dec 7th, 1997 · Windows · read review

Mega Score (70 out of 100) (70%)

A promessa de um substituto para MechWarrior na Activision vai ter que esperar por melhores dias. Heavy Gear não cumpre os sonhos que nos fizeram sonhar.

Feb 1998 · Windows

Gamesmania.de (65 out of 100) (65%)

Die M├Ąngel habe ich schon zur Gen├╝ge breitgetreten. Die Portion Wing-Commander-Video zum Ausgleich vermag mich nicht nennenswert zu bes├Ąnftigen. Gut, sie wirkt sich positiv auf die Motivation aus. Anderenfalls w├╝├čte ich auch nicht, was mich dazu br├Ąchte, ein- und dieselbe Mission mehr als dreimal zu spielen, nur mit einer gr├Â├čeren Anzahl von eventuell st├Ąrkeren Gegnern. Wenn wenigstens die KI besser geraten w├Ąre, so da├č die Taktik nicht zugunsten der Action leiden m├╝sste ... Die verh├Ąltnism├Ą├čig ordentliche Wertung hat Heavy Gear der guten Story, den professionellen Schauspielern (also doch!) sowie nicht zuletzt der sch├Âneren und abwechslungsreicheren Grafik zu verdanken. Letzteres gilt allerdings nur f├╝r Besitzer von 3D-Beschleunigern.

1997 · Windows · read review

Computer Gaming World (CGW) ( ) (50%)

The most disappointing thing about this game is that you see lots of parts of the game that really do show care and creativity. I don't know what caused Activision to stop the team short of completion, but whatever the reason, it robbed them of producing a hit and us of getting a great game. HEAVY GEAR just don't look like a finished product. I'd love to see a fully cooked version of this game, because parts of it show great potential. But as it stands, it's still a bit too chewy to enjoy.

Mar 1998 · Windows

Computer Games Magazine ( ) (40%)

Heavy Gear isn't any worse a game than Mechwarrior 2, but neither is it any better a game. In fact, considering the egregious bugs, the sloppy programming and the little-changed engine, it's not even that different a game. Activision's loss of the FASA license behind the MechWarrior universe should have taught them some hard lessons, but it seems to have had little effect. The result is a game every bit as inspired but mediocre as what they've been doing all along.

1997 · Windows

Player Reviews

The unsuccessful successor to Mechwarrior2.

The Good
Like most Activision games using this engine (i.e. the Mechwarrior 2 products and Interstate 76), Heavy Gear featured excellent graphics, sound, video cutscenes, and music. Additionally, the engine had been updated so that it supported 3D cards, the results of which rivaled most other cutting edge games on the market.

Overall, the roughly 30 campaign missions were varied and fun. The operations ranged from standard search and destroy, to protecting your landship (essentially a hovercraft similar to our aircraft carriers), to infiltration/intelligence gathering. They were not too difficult, but nonetheless proved challenging.

As with most fighting robot games, you can customize your gear. You could easily drag-and-drop various body parts and weapons with the well designed interface. One interesting aspect of this was that you could essentially use a heavy strider's legs with a scout gear's torso, although one would not do this as a practical matter. As you progressed further, more weapons, gears, and equipment were available.

During combat, your gear gear weapons were fairly well developed. Also, the game featured realistic damage model similar to Mechwarrior wherein specific parts of the gear were damaged depending on where it was hit -- thus, you could possibly lose an arm or other vital systems, and the gear would reflect that.

The Bad
Probably one of the most disappointing points of Heavy Gear was the 'feel' of the gears. Activision's marketing campaigns all claimed gears were smaller and more agile than the bots in the Mecharrior (which they should have been, since gears are actually glorified suits of powered armor), and that the game would play like a cross between the fast first person shooters such as Quake and the giant robot feel of Mechwarrior. In reality, the game did not play too differently from Mechwarrior, save for the fact that gears were a lot weaker.

Also, some of the weapons seemed under-developed, such as the plethora of mortars available. In the pen-and-paper RPG, these weapons might be effective against troops or small vehicles, but they were not too useful in the computer game.

Lastly, the gears depicted in the game did not look too much like the anime inspired artwork that the Heavy Gear universe is usually portrayed in. Rather, the gears were blocky like and not the smooth organic-looking robot armor suits.

The Bottom Line
Heavy Gear came as a result of Activision losing it's Battletech license from FASA, and it shows. The engine, while fantastic nonetheless, is suited for the heavy walking tanks of Mechwarrior and not agile gears. Also, while the campaign story was somewhat interesting, the overall game setting was not well developed and I did not at all feel compelled to pursue Dream Pod 9's Heavy Gear universe any furthur.

by grimbergen (433) on Oct 10th, 2001 · Windows

Flawed attempt to shove Mechwarrior down your throat once again

The Good
The spiritual successor to Mechwarrior 2 continues Activision's lineup of giant-robot sims with a series of major additions. First of all there's Dream Pod 9's Heavy Gear universe which is set on a distant future where combat is done over mechanized assault suits rather than hulking mechas so everything is significantly scaled down.

In this universe a pair of opposing factions wage an unending war over a distant world. You play as a the lead gear pilot and duelist (the one in charge of ritualistic duels a la MW arena matches) of one of the hover-carriers of one of the factions (don't really recall which one, does it matter anyway?). The storyline isn't another "filler" plot to hold the mech-mayhem togheter and actually gets pretty good and turns the game into more of a Wing Commander-style space opera. As the lead gear pilot it's you who takes the rookie pilots under your wing and keep them safe and sound in the heat of the battle. One of these rookie pilots is actually the son of the carrier's captain, so you know that you have to keep Jr. and Daddy dearest happy. Everything is just dandy until you and the kid get caught by the enemy. Junior turns out to be a total incompetent coward and surrenders to the enemy while you escape with a fellow squadmate....Result? Daddy blames you for the dissapearance of his beloved "courageous" son and starts sending you to a series of suicidal missions and even puts down contracts on your head with your fellow gear pilots!! Obviously things eventually come to the limit and as you garner the few loyal pilots you can muster you'll have to deal with both your psycho captain and the enemy forces. In all, an effective plot that is also novel and exciting, told via excellently acted FMV sequences and integrating the game nicely.

On the gameplay side, weapons are more ballistically oriented with your choices being mostly between different assault cannons/machineguns/mortars, etc. Instead of PBCs or laser cannons. The landscapes offer much more obstacles and debris, and combat is generally more close-quarters oriented. There are also some newer gameplay additions such as being able to pick up discarded weapons on the battleground and use them right then and there.

Excellent hardware accelerated graphics mark another major difference between this and the Mechwarrior-era Activision games. More complex models, detailed textures and even some spiffy effects such as particle/smoke fx and atmospheric details such as visible fog make the game a visual standout.

The Bad
Looking back on Heavy Gear it becomes painfully obvious just how much in denial was Activision about losing the Battletech license. You'd think the developers would cut their loses and just developed a completely original product like on Interstate '76, unfortunately they decided to shell the cash for another tabletop game universe (???) and try to adjust said game to the Mechwarrior gameplay mechanics. And this is what really kills Heavy gear, the fact that it plays like Mechwarrior 2.... only.... it's all messed up!!

As mentioned the scale of everything has been reduced, as the gears are actually humanoid heavy duty power armors, unfortunately the gameplay keeps the mechanics of the MW series and you end up with sluggish controls that fit the hulking behemoths of Battletech's universe but are nowhere near what one would consider as appropiate for these vehicles. While the gameplay is considerable faster than on MW, the agile nature of the gears is completely dulled, and why did they keep controls like the torso tilt when it would be much more appropiate to include fps-like mouse aiming?? Picture trying to play tennis only someone shoved a basketball inside the tennis ball and you'll see what I mean. Activision thought they could just re-sale Mechwarrior under a new pait job and just failed. Either that or they just feared that fans would ignore the game if it deviated too much from what they were used to.

Also, while the mission design is way above average, didn't I escape POW camps like 10 times before in MW2 and Mercs??? And what about nav patrols and depot raids?? Enough with the recycling Activision!!

The Bottom Line
A substantial and interesting sci-fi sim that fails by incorporating the mechanics of a previous hit instead of following it's own rules and fulfilling it's potential. The result is a weird-ass mess that while far from being unplayable, is nowhere near the level of perfection Activision had us used to. I'm afraid that the giant robot torch has been passed and it's time to move on.

by Zovni (10513) on Nov 25th, 2003 · Windows

Plus 10 player ratings without reviews

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Scaryfun, JudgeDeadd, garkham, Xoleras, Patrick Bregger, chirinea, Wizo, Tim Janssen, Venator, Luis Silva.