Battletech is a Turn-based Mech game set in the very same universe of the title. Developed by Hairbrained Studios and the original creator of the Battletech series, Jordan Weisman, Battletech brings a fresh modern look at a legendary franchise. Announced back in July 29, 2015, Battletech would be made through backing from Kickstarter, with the Kickstarter campaign running from September 28 to Nov 4 2015. The game would officially release on April 24, 2018 through Steam.
SYNOPSIS & STORY
Battletech leads in with the creation of your character and where they originate from. While the game lends more of a classic text and 2D illustrated perspective as compared to other games that have similar RPG-esque creation, it only serves as a driving force that leads you into the diverse and lore rich universe that is Battletech. Blending text-based and voiced conversations between the silent protagonist and various characters that you’ll encounter, I found that Battletech‘s story certainly kept me intrigued, as if I were in a RPG session with some fellow gamers. Set in 3025, during the late period of the Succession Wars between the major great houses of the Inner Sphere, the setting is focused on a smaller portion of the outer reaches of the Inner Sphere, which in a way keeps the story from diluting the timeline that is already considered canon from various sources, but also eases players that are not familiar with the universe into the world itself.
Created with the Unity engine, Battletech possesses some really gorgeous visuals for a turn based game. While the day one launch had some issues with optimization for some, the fluidity and payload effects of the battlemechs engaging in combat felt like I was watching a Mechwarrior Online match as a spectator or from a commander’s perspective. The attention to detail towards the mechs felt like I was looking at a moving miniature that I had painted myself. The terrain and various objects that littered different battlefields certainly didn’t feel rushed as much of it looked as amazing in contrast to the battlemechs that would be walking through it.
The overall gameplay for Battletech is fairly decent, although players whom are unfamiliar with the tabletop or even the Battletech universe may be at a disadvantage. This primarily comes with the fact that the game retains much of the mech loadout features found within Mechwarrior Online but possesses traits found in the table top iteration, as well as Mechcommander. In addition, players have to decide on specialization trees for their upcoming pilots as many of these abilities can help turn the tide, including “to-hit” bonuses.
Battletech by far is one of those games that despite being difficult and at times clunky with its camera settings, that turn based strategy games are still fun. Having never really touched the tabletop version of Battletech, yet played the majority of the Mechwarrior and Mechcommander series back in the late 90s, that I would consider this a major success in bringing such a legendary franchise back into the limelight. Although there are more post launch plans that Hairbrained Schemes has in store, there are plenty of Nexus mods that are sure to enhance the replayability of the game, at least until the next expansion.