previews\ Sep 26, 2002 at 8:00 pm

MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries - PC - Preview

The year is 3063, and the political backdrop is the civil war between the Federated Commonwealth and the Lyran Alliance. The strife begins with Victor Davion’s call to arms against his sister, Lyran Archon Katrina Steiner, following the murder of their brother Arthur.

In this struggle, talented MechWarriors like yourself are in hot demand. The MRBC has just authorized your new company for mercenary work. After securing the required sponsorship from a full-fledged mercenary company—Wolf’s Dragoons, Northwind Highlanders, Kell Hounds, or Gray Death Legion—your company has ample opportunity to make a name for itself"  Mech jocks will find over 40 new missions that will have you white knuckled leading lance upon lance generating a hefty cash flow to buy all the goodies to make the ultimate mech."

Control up to 100 ton Mechs while leading up to eight hired guns.  Not 2 not 4 but 8 lance mates into the heat of battle in the quest for the all-mighty C-Bill.  This time around, honor doesn’t even enter into the equation - it’s all about the money. Get your fledgling mercenary company sponsored by some of most notable and notorious mercenary groups in BattleTech history and battle your way through the Inner Sphere in more than 40 new missions as you doggedly pursue more lucrative C-Bill payoffs. With more than 35 ‘Mechs, new weapons, and new electronic packages available for purchase, chances are you’ll need every C-Bill you earn.

Some new features include:

Over 40 Dynamic Missions across
10 different planets
How you play through the mission determines what other missions open up to you

Play for Money and Fame,
not honor
Different missions offer different rewards or cost a certain amount to take on. Gain fame and fortune by competing in three of the famous Solaris VII arenas

Secondary Lance
If you have the money, for the first time ever in MechWarrior you can bring eight MechWarriors into battle

Three Different Endings
The missions you choose determine what end game you play

Nineteen new multiplayer maps
Including the brand new Jungle environment which is also a brand new single player setting

Two new multiplayer game options
C-Bill game

Teams are restricted by how much money they have earned.

Merc Affiliation Zone games
People can track the success of each Clan and join forces with their favorite one through the Zone.

Server browser chat
Players can now chat with each other before entering games

Ten brand new ‘Mechs
Shipping with 36 ‘Mechs including new Clan and Inner Sphere ‘Mechs

Well there is the quick important stuff  that the web site boasts, now for a more personal opinion of the game.  Being a Mechwarrior fan from my days of the paper and pencil game of Battle Tech, I'm truly excited about all the titles and have enjoyed many hours of play.  This title is sure to bring many more hours of white knuckled Force Feedback and head dodging of PPC fire and missile dodging.  The terrains are diverse and the missions are quite fun.  The preview promises a pretty solid game, and once your tour of duty is finished and you have racked up all the money for a cushy retirement, it's on to multiplayer via the Internet.

I liked the added secondary lance for additional firepower on those really tough missions but of course you have to pay these guys, so it dips into your funds a bit.  This can be off set by dying or coming out so beat up that you will pay a handsome fee for repairs, so it might be beneficial to hire a few more guns.

Solaris VII is not a mission so much as an opportunity—an opportunity for you to make some serious C-Bills fast. Ever thought of yourself as the gladiator type? If you’re in need of cash, or if you just like fighting for the sake of fighting and don’t mind thousands of rabid fans cheering you—or jeering you—you’re going to like Solaris VII. Choose between three arenas, the Factory, the Jungle, and the most infamous of them all, the Coliseum.  Very cool when in some need of a quick extra couple bucks.

Graphics, sound, Force Feedback, and the interface were all quite nice, especially the Mechlab.  Building mechs seems to get easier with every new addition to the series.  My only major gripe, and remember this is a Preview so hopefully the bugs will be worked out, is about locking up.  Not to the point of a shut down but the game does not play very smoothly especially when you have 12 mechs and a bunch of tanks doing battle.  Considering my test computer more than doubles the requirements, I was a bit surprised.  Again this is a preview so hopefully at release time this wont be a problem.

So salvage, buy, sell, watch your heat and ammo, and make a few bucks and equip yourself with multiple to notch mechs that you can later test in the ultimate fighting experience…INTERNET PLAY!  Remember there are no points for honor here so get out alive and enjoy your wealth.

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