If you are a fan of tabletop games, there is a good chance that you’ve heard about BattleTech. If you are not, you might be familiar with games such as MechAssault and MechCommander. There has been a while since giant robots had their last video game and the best indicator that people wanted one is the extremely successful Kickstarter campaign. A couple of years later, we have the final product and it is time to review it.
Give Me My Throne Back!
The year is 3025 and the queen Kamea Arano was thrown off her throne and expatriated to a part of the Periphery called the Aurigan Reach. From there, she needs to make smart decisions to rebuild her army and reclaim the throne. If you are not familiar with the lore, I suggest reading about it as the story is complex and interesting and reminds a bit of Game of Thrones (except with robots instead of dragons).
At its core, BattleTech is a turn-based strategy combat with elements of management. The game is divided into two sections – the first part occurs on the battlefield, while the other happens on the home front where you need to manage your pilots and robots.
Ready for Some High-Paced Combat?
I’m glad to see that the developers were not afraid to add innovative mechanics to the combat. Although the game offers classic turn-based combat, it manages to find a way to make them high-paced and exciting. The crucial reason for that is the addition of Evasion points. You could say that they are a sort of hit points that are vital on the defensive end. The trick is that the only way to regain them is by moving. This prevents you from waiting behind your cover while your opponent boosts their Evasion points and prepares to destroy you. In turn, this makes the combat extremely exciting as you will always be looking to be on the move.
You also need to keep in mind the heat level of your machines. If the robot overheats, they might shut down for a while which makes them particularly vulnerable. The morale level can play a big role in deciding the outcome of the battle. If you manage to complete the objectives, kill the enemies or make the right moves, you will boost the morale of your troops, which can tilt the scales and bring you the required advantage. Add the fact that you can choose between a bunch of robots with different powers and abilities and you get a phenomenal system that makes BattleTech extremely fun to play.
Why Management Matters
When you are not on the battlefield, you will be managing your crew and machines. This can be as tough as fighting since you will often feel like there is not enough money for everything. You will need to repair robots that got damaged during the battle and purchase improvements. However, you will often be forced to choose since you don’t have enough cash to invest in everything. Your pilots will occasionally come into conflict and you will be in the role of the mediator. Depending on the decision you make, it will influence your crew’s performance. The graphics are phenomenal and everything looks brilliant. The only complain I have is related to the interface which can get a bit confusing, especially until you learn how everything works.