Mech Commander 2
Description official description
On the world of Carver V, the FedCom civil war between House Davion and House Steiner threatens to pull plenty of innocent bystanders into the maelstorm... It also offers plenty of opportunities for a veteran mercenary commander... Such as yourself.
MechCommander 2 is a game of real-time tactical mech combat, and a sequel to the original MechCommander. Take on missions from your employer(s).
Once you have selected a mission, you need to outfit your mechs. You can purchase new mechs if you have enough C-Bills, but most of your acquisitions will come from salvage of downed mechs. You can then refit the mechs by changing its loadout to customize for the pilot.
After you have chosen your mechs and properly outfitted them, it's time to assign your pilots. Each pilot can have zero or more specialties, depending on experience level, and those skills can significantly increase his or her effectiveness. It takes good planning to match the right mech to the right pilot.
On the full 3D battlefield, you will control movement, targeting, and engagement tactics of your mechs. Call in support elements such as artillery and airstrikes, scout choppers and sensor probes, even a salvage team to salvage downed mechs. Capture resource buildings or resource trucks for more "support points". Capture turret stations to turn the owner's weapons against them, or blow up the generators, or the control station, or the turrets. It's all up to you. Take over the sensor control station to obtain sensor data. Capture military installations to get better weapons.
The action is in real-time (pausable), and the full 3D view is rotatable in all directions (up/down/full 360 pan) and zoomable. Terrain is full 3D with plenty of trees and other objects, from infantry and battlearmor to trucks and other transport vehicles. Plenty of things to blow up on the ground, from fuel tanks (which causes BIG explosions) to ammo dumps (more big explosions), to plenty of civilian buildings.
After you fulfill your mission objectives (primary and secondary available), the pilots get medals and campaign ribbons if applicable based on performance, and gain experience. If they gain sufficient experience, they may gain a level and win a special expertise (such as LRM, Laser, etc.). You can also salvage downed mechs (including any you lost) and perhaps sell them for further profit.
Multiplayer is quite robust with internet play and plenty of options and different game modes.
- MechCommander 2 - Alternate spelling
- 机甲指挥官2 - Simplified Chinese spelling
Credits (Windows version)
206 People (201 developers, 5 thanks) · View all
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 78% (based on 26 ratings)
Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 23 ratings with 4 reviews)
as a RTS game, it succeeds... it's not very difficult, nor does it have many elements that are standard in other RTS games (a tech tree, building your own buildings, etc.), but that's not what it intends to do. It's a small unit game (you never control more than half a dozen or so 'Mechs) and go out and complete missions (which are pretty much exclusively kill and/or capture missions). The true charm of this game can only be appreciated by a fan of the BattleTech universe. Just like the classic Wing Commander 2, you don't care how repetitive the missions might be, you're spending sleepless nights to complete another mission to advance the absolutely phenomenal storyline. This game has obviously designed by someone with attachment to the BattleTech universe and a great attention for detail. Every major personality is superbly acted inbetween scenes, and the twists and turns make for a highly engrossing storyline that's not to be missed.
Also, the animation is superb. The 'mechs and their surroundings look very neat, and you can swivel the camera and zoom as you please. The controls are very good (although there wasn't much to do wrong, as there aren't as many complex options as in most other RTS games), and there are enough options in choice of 'mechs, modifying such 'mechs between missions, and choice of pilots for such 'mechs to guarantee some replay value. And even though the missions are repetitive, the designers tried to spice it up a bit, with building designs changing, some missions are at night and some during heavy rainfall, etc. A lot of other games are missing such simple but effective variations.
Honestly, if it wasn't set in the BattleTech universe, neat storyline and all, I would still like the game (as I like most decent RTS games) but would consider it above average at best. The options aren't that many, the missions are slightly repetitive. And - even though most players won't be bothered by this - the game doesn't stick as close to the BattleTech boardgame as I would have liked (even though it sticks very well to the flair of the BattleTech universe). The 'Mech customization - while interesting - has nothing to do with how you'd do the same in a boardgame, and the choice of 'Mechs, Vehicles, etc. in this game - while quite a few - aren't exactly classic boardgame adaptations... I actually believe a few of these have been newly designed just for this game. The point of this eludes me as the BattleTech universe has been around since the 80's and has plenty of existing source material to draw from as it is.
The Bottom Line
A must-have for any BattleTech fan, and well worth a look to a RTS fan. These days it's usually obtainable cheap and/or as part of compilations, and at a bargain price it's a pleasant waste of time and money well spent.
Windows · by Gothicgene (66) · 2006
One of the strengths of this game was its story and its immersion in the Battletech universe. Unlike Mechwarrior 4 or 2 or the expansions to either, this game allows you to become instantly familiarized with the politics of the Inner Sphere. Throughout the plot line there is a constant level of side-switching and allegiance trading (you are a mercenary commander) that does serve to keep you interested.
The sound and graphics are quite similar to MW4, however, as this is a strategy game, you are unable to take a driver's seat. You are given full 3-d control of the camera as well as limited zoom capabilities. As is the case in many "fully 3-d" strategy games, this is of limited utility and can sometimes serve to distract rather than assist. Almost all of the weapons and mechs look and sound exactly as they did in MW4, although there are a few weapons you won't have seen in that game. Additionally, weapon effects are different in this game than they were in MW4, as is the mech lineup and their loadouts.
The mechs themselves are quite well-balanced, just as they were in MW4. Of course, heavy is better, but there are trade-offs to consider. Heat functions differently in this game. All in all, the mech bay is one of the most interesting parts of the game, just as it was (for me) in MW4.
Additionally, you have a choice of pilots for the mechs you use in each mission. As you use each pilot, he or she gains experience in targeting and piloting and also acquires certain perks as they "level up" (green, regular, veteran, elite). This is a cool part of the game but it does eventually prompt you to simply use the same pilots over and over again, as there are not enough missions or tons to field more than 3-4 pilots on each mission.
The game design is quite good actually. You start each mission with the mechs you drop in with. Additionally, you can capture "resource points" that are used to order in artillery, repair trucks, or to capture disabled mechs. This is the "strategy" aspect of the game, but I found I didn't employ it much. Frequently, the mechs you begin with are sufficient, along with a couple of repair trucks, to complete mission. The missions themselves are pretty standard (attack, defend, convoy, etc) and mostly simply consist of destroying all the enemies that show up. It is exciting, however, especially in the later missions, to see dozens of laser blasts and mechs exploding. The missions take you throughout a variety of terrain, just as MW4 did, which keeps them from becoming too monotonous. The small briefing clips also help in this respect. You can tell that throughout the game, a mind was being directed towards making things balanced. It is well-thought out, but is unclear if this is due to the quality of the source (battletech) or the game.
Ultimately, it's a fun game. If you're a a fan of MW4, you'll find you can slide immediately into this game and play it in almost the same way.
The gameplay and mission design is ultimately boring. By the end of the game I was ready for it to be over. There is nothing truly compelling about the game that wasn't present in MW4, but this game lacks the skill factor that was present in MW4 which allowed you to pilot a mech.
This is NOT necessarily a weakness of the game (since strategy games are ALL point and click interfaces) given its genre, but since it's not precisely a strategy game either (hardly any resource management) but rather a tactics game, it's not exactly a strength either.
MC2 lacks the thrill of piloting that I think drew so many to the MW series, as you feel divorced from the action viewing mechs fight it out in small scale. Zooming in helps, but it's not the same.
The reuse of many of the sounds and visuals from MW4 (though not as detailed) was a bit disappointing in my opinion, especially as this game came out a year after MW4.
I think this game is an example of a hybrid that didn't work out as planned. Hybrid games are quite often marginal or worse, with Warcraft 3 being the exception, rather than the rule.
The Bottom Line
This game is good, but objectively, the gameplay is unfulfilling. The plot is engaging, the graphics are dated by today's standards (i'm looking forward to MW5, if it ever gets made) but it's still battletech. I would recommend picking it up if you see it for 15-20 bucks, as it is a game of reasonable length (15 hrs) and the enjoyability is acceptable. It's simply not as exciting or compelling as MW4 was. It is uncertain if that's the game's fault or if it's a failing of the subgenre, but either way, the game is ultimately not as good as it perhaps could have been.
Windows · by Marty Bonus (39) · 2004
Just to start out, the graphics are a huge improvement between MC and MC2. The switch from 2.5D isometric to a fully 3-D floating, adjustable camera ultimately works to this game's benefit. You can zoom in and see the lighting effects close-up, with armor and limbs flying off 'Mechs, or zoom out for a larger field experience. The weapon effects have been improved greatly. Lasers don't look like bullets, but beams, as they should. Missiles arc upward and travel downward to their targets. The destruction animation for both units and structures has also been improved.
The customization rules have been improved greatly. Weapons don't just weigh down a 'Mech; there's heat and space considerations as well. And any space not occupied by weapons can be fitted with armor, so you don't need to feel guilty about maxing out your heat at the expense of space.
In my MC review, I explained how players get into the habit of using only energy weapons and avoiding the ones with little ammo (like the gauss rifle). This is because the AI couldn't, and still won't, know how to conserve their ammo for larger targets. In MC2, by default, your weapons have unlimited ammo. You can switch this off if you wish, for a fully-realistic experience, but unlimited ammo is a quick fix for the problem I encountered in MC.
The support tab has changed as well. In MC, you could call airstrikes and sensor/scout probes in the middle of a mission; you were allocated so many of each per mission. In MC2, you are instead given RPs - resource points, not to be confused with the kind you use to buy your equipment pre-mission - and your support options are purchased during the mission. You can also find and capture buildings to obtain more RPs. Your options have been expanded; not only can you call down air strikes and probes, but vehicle support as well. The repair trucks and artillery can be particularly useful.
At the time of its release, MC2 was notoriously laggy even on brand-new desktops. An outdated 'badcard' file in the MC2 directory has to be deleted, or else the program will likely ignore your video card and try to run on software rendering, meaning the game will basically fail to play at even a single frame per second.
While some gameplay mechanics were improved, others were not. In MC, for example, a 'Mech could not be running away from a fight and firing at a pursuer, because its torso could not turn 180 degrees. This is not a problem; this is a mechanism from the BattleTech board game. But in MC2, the torso can turn 180 degrees, meaning that, with patience, a fast 'Mech can continuously outrun and outrange an enemy of equal or worse speed. And since the AI is trained to fight at their optimal range, they will use this very tactic. It's funny to watch a Jagermech blasting away at a bunch of pursuing Hunchbacks who can't return fire because they can't outpace it, but it's also a very easily abused mechanic.
Weapon ranges were also brutally simplified. In MC, for example, it was pretty easy to get into the 'minimum range' of long-ranged weapons to prevent them from being used. Thus, the best strategy against long-range heavy hitters was to rush in and get below the minimum range of their firepower. In MC2, the minimum ranges have been decreased to the point that long and medium range weapons can still hit opponents even from the upper short range. There's no longer a need to carry any close range weaponry; even though MC favored long and medium range, I still had to take into consideration the occasional close-range brawler who could break into my firing line.
The most bothersome difference between MC and MC2 is in the mission and salvage structure. In MC, you are part of the Davion military, and you are ordered into missions. So there's a linear mission path, which is expected. You can buy 'Mechs and components, but never Clan 'Mechs or components, so you rely primarily on salvaging, for which you have an inventory. I praised this system (with some hesitation) in my MC review.
MC2 does away with the inventory and thus the salvage. It encourages you to save your in-mission RP so that you can use it to salvage fallen enemy 'Mechs far more cheaply than if you 'bought' them at the end of the mission. Weapons are unlocked, mission-by-mission, bought as you equip them and sold as you remove them. If I salvage a Clan 'Mech before I obtain the Clan tech, I can use those weapons on the 'Mech, but can't move them to another 'Mech (because I have no inventory, they would be sold and could not be re-purchased). This makes no sense whatsoever.
As far as mission structure goes, MC2 puts you in the seat of a mercenary company. MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries was very successful because of a branching mission layout, in which you got to choose your employers. MC2 does away with the best part of MW2: Mercs, and as a result, you have multiple employers but the missions are still linear. You are given the illusion of agency when, in reality, you are playing the same campaign the first time through as you will the second time. There are no multiple endings, just the good old 'We liberated the people!' one.
On that topic, the acting is terrible. The characters are horribly cliche; Renard is simply evil, Major Kelly is simply good, all right, let's be the good guys. MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries gave me the choice to support Davion or Steiner; in this one, it's just Davion. Hooray democracy.
The Bottom Line
I always recommend MechCommander over MechCommander 2. The game is just better polished and has more replay potential. Once I got done playing MC2, I quit out of the game and immediately found something else to play. I didn't replay any missions unless I had some loss I couldn't replace (which is rarely the case). Overall, you get through it and you're done, which I suppose means that this game didn't waste my time, but it didn't leave me that satisfied either, kind of like whipped cream without the pumpkin pie.
Windows · by Jackson Schwipp (18) · 2010
Source code release
Microsoft has released the source code and full assets for MechCommander 2. Look here to see where you can download it.
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Microsoft MechCommander 2 Website
Official web site for MechCommander 2
- MobyGames ID: 4567
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Game added by Kartanym.
Game added July 21st, 2001. Last modified February 27th, 2023.