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In the year 3058, after a dreadful battle against the forces of the Inner
Sphere, the Clans suffered a terrible defeat and were forced to leave the
Terran space for 15 years. Back in their worlds, the struggle for power
started. Armed with powerful BattleMechs, you will have to regain honor
through over 50 missions to become the Khan, leader of the clan. Only
then, you will be able to challenge another Khan and become if successfull,
the il-Khan, leader of all Clans. In your last mission, you will lead the
final attack against Terra to clean the dishonor of the defeat and restore
the peace to the Inner Sphere.
MechWarrior II can be described as a futuristic combat-simulation game where
players control huge two-legged war machines. Similar to other 3D games, the player
has a first person perspective view from the cockpit inside the BattleMech
but this time, you are not exploring labyrinths like traditional 3D games
but vast spaces set in a large variety of environments.
The movement controls are really easy and intuitive so that it will not take
longer than a minute to move your BattleMech around. You can also jump, look
up or down for targets on the ground and in the air, and move your torso to
the left or to the right to shoot at targets on your flank while heading in
one direction. The game supports keyboard, mouse, a wide variety of joysticks
(Advanced Gravis, Thrustmaster, CH Products, etc..) and Virtual Reality
headsets (Virtual IO I-Glasses).
MechWarrior II mixes the VGA and the SVGA graphic modes. The introduction
which is definitively a must see uses VGA graphics, while the game, depending
your choice of resolution, will be in VGA or SVGA mode (640 by 480 or 1027 by
768). Of course, you will need a fast video graphic card and a very powerful
processor to play with the SVGA modes. If however, your machine is not fast
enough, you can change the graphic details in the options to speed up the
gameplay. A 486 DX2/66 processor is a minimum to play with MechWarrior II
set with full options and VGA graphics, and for best performances we recommend a
During your missions, you will encounter many different objects. They are all
represented in 3D using texture-mapped graphics of an impressive realism.
When you destroy one target for example, you see the entire thing blow up
with superb explosions into debris that even remains on the ground. The
buildings and other structures collapse under your attack in a cone of fire
leaving ravaging flames over the pile of debris. All this contributes to give
MechWarrior II an intense atmosphere especially with the music and the sound
effects. Rarely do I describe in the reviews the kind of acoustic experience
a game delivers, but this time, it would not be fair if I did not mention
Soundelux Media Labs, a sound effects company, created incredibly realistic
explosive sound effects for a totally immersive experience that keeps the
player out-of-breath during the missions. The quality of the 16-bit sampled
sounds has rarely reached this kind of perfection and no doubt that you will
hear the difference the minute you launch the game. The computer's voice is
omnipresent keeping you aware of your enemies's presence, confirming your
commands and also informing you about the accomplished objectives.
In Mechwarrior II, there are two possible ways to play. In the first mode,
the Trial of Grievance, you select different options such as the
battleground, your clan affiliation and your squadron's configuration, for
instant action. The second mode instead, lets you start a career in one of
the two clans: the Wolf and the Jade Falcon, where you advance in rank
after completing missions to finally become the il-Khan and reconquer Terra.
Only in this second mode will you be able to customize your BattleMechs with
armor, engines, weapons, ammunition, etc. Fifteen BattleMechs are
available in the game with a choice of over 20 different weapons ranging from
lasers to missiles. The success of your missions will depend on your ability
to balance your configuration between heavy firepower and speed, as sometimes
a slow BattleMech can be an easy target for faster enemies.
A mission disk will be available in December with additional BattleMechs,
between 10 and 20 missions, powerful new weapons and other terrains. The
present version of MechWarrior II does not support multi-players, but the CD
contains a Netmech demo that allows head-to-head combat over a network, a
modem or a serial link. Unfortunately, and this will remain true for the
upcoming multi-player version, you can only play if there is one CD per
machine. The upgrade will be available in November at a retail price of $30.
Finally, a Windows 95 version will be at the rendez-vous in December and will
feature multi-player support.
Even if you are not a fan of this kind of game (like I was), MechWarrior II plunges you into a dramatic universe where the action is so intense and you feel so stressed for your own survival that you will loose weight after playing with it! Activision has created a legend.
486 DX2-66 MHz or higher,
Min 8MB memory (7Mb of free Extended memory),
MS-DOS 6.0 or later,
Hard drive required with 45Mb free,
Double speed CD-ROM drive or faster,
256-color SVGA video graphic card (VLB or PCI recommended),
Microsoft mouse or 100% compatibles,
Standard two-button joysticks, CH Flightstick and propedals,
Thrustmaster Flight, Weapons, and Rudder Control Systems,
Thrustmaster F-16 Flightstick, Gravis Gamepad and Phoenix Joysticks,
Virtual IO Glasses, Suncom Technologies SFX gamepad, Microsoft Sidewinder
Creative Labs Sound Blaster Basic, Pro, 16 and AWE32; Media Vision Pro Audio
Spectrum Basic, Plus and 16; Gravis UltraSound; Ensoniq Soundscape; Roland
MT-32; General Midi devices supported.
NOTE: This game will NOT run with an 8 bit sound card or the PC speaker. You must own a 16 bit sound card.
100% Hayes compatible modem (9600 BPS or faster); Null-Modem connection, or
Technical Support: 310-479-5644
BBS Support: 310-479-1335
Activision Europe Ltd.,
Long Island House, Suite 3A,
1/4 Warple Way,
London W3 0RQ.
Technical Support: +44-(0)990-143-525
28, rue Armand Carrel
93108 Montreuil sous Bois Cedex
In Australia and Pacific Rim:
P.O. Box 873,
Epping, NSW 2121.
Click here for additional screen shots.
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