/ DEVELOPER: Microsoft
Somewhere along the way it became cool to essentially neuter one of the best game lines
in PC history. I will stand by my assessment that Mechwarrior 3 is the
crowning pinnacle of the MW series. A year ago when we saw the screenshots of the
newly aquired MW4... newly acquired by megacorp Microsoft, we all said, "Ooo."
I remember saying, "Microsoft is taking on the gaming market and doing
it right!" How fucking wrong I was.
The coolest thing about MW's 2 and 3 was the Mechlab where the game
followed FASA's Battletech core rules quite nicely and designing a mech was challenging,
but rewarding. Management was the key and custom placement could make for some
deadly, deadly mech. My favourite was the 50 ton mech with little armour, slow
engine, a shitload of heat sinks, 2-3 large ER lasers and some jumpjets. This was my
sniper mech, and while she was slow, she could jump onto cliffs to avoid the enemy and
snipe them from hiding. Could I build this same mech in MW4? Fuck no!
The 50 ton mech was limited to 1 friggin Large laser thanks to Microsoft's dumbed down
design and critical placement system. In its rush to create eye candy, Microsoft
neatly fucked up the best mechanics of the game. (Stryker notes - This is where Fenris
and I didn't see eye to fist. The reason why Microsoft did what they did is because
they wanted the Mech's to have weapon layouts similar to what they look like. Take
the Madcat for instance, this bad boy has 2 large missile launchers on its
shoulders. In MW3 you could put any type of weapon where these missile
launchers were, and in game your Mech would still show missile launchers on your
shoulders. But you could be shooting laser out your shoulders, lasers out your arms,
lasers out your ass for christ sakes! That's where MW4 changed the system.
They made the Mech's more 'realistic' to their config. You could only put missile
type weapons on your shoulders, cause they were classified as 'Missile Hardpoints'.
Thus putting more thinking into the Mech. you choose for your mission and the role you
would partake in that mission.)
The game just doesn't feel right either. I just never
got the hang of it and I felt downright alienated by this new fangled program. The
custom missions were crap, the storyline and acting was shit. In MW3 you could
salvage enemy mechs. You were trying to survive on a strange planet, your supplies
crippled. You had to survive, yet still finish your objectives. IN
MW4 you play Archie Andrews, your family is killed or some shit and you proceed throught a
series of poorly designed missions and acting sessions that makes Denise Richards look
like an Oscar Winner.
Multiplay is alright I guess with the addition of a few choice
pieces of equipment, but when the Mechlab process is as fucked up as it is, who cares?
This game was designed to be eye candy, and that it is. The polys it
pushes are great and the game is pretty. I cannot deny that fact. But this
game was on my computer for less than a week. I'm glad I never paid for it, just
borrowed a copy from a friend. Hopefully Microsoft takes a better look at what made
the Mechwarrior series great before they turn out another piece of apeshit game like this.
Eye candy is nice, but even a pretty tricycle is just a fucking tricycle.
I give Mechwarrior 4: Vengeance 4 Ted McGinley heads out of 10. Eat
(Stryker notes - The multiplayer was 'ok' wasn't' the best, but it wasn't' Ted
McGinley suckage either. I played a wide array of Mech's on multiplayer. My
favorite Mech was 'Tiny XR-903' as shown below, this bad ass Mech could stop a mudhole in
you walk it dry, then clean its feet on Fenris' carcass. I give a bit more than
Fenris did, it gets 6/10 McGinley heads, it had its moments, but that's just it 'moments')
(Fenris notes - I don't normally counter notes, but in regards to artistic
depictions of me being squashed by mechs, I must retort. As for stomping a mudhole,
Stryker can take any mech he wants, I'll be playing a REAL game... in fact the greatest
game ever made, with the greatest character ever made. That's right bizzatch, I'm