MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat

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MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat Description

MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat is a 1995 computer game produced by Activision. It is part of the MechWarrior series of PC games. It separates itself from the original board game Battletech by placing the player inside the cockpit of the BattleMech. As such, the game is more a combat simulation than a strategy game.

The game has been released on a variety of platforms, initially for MS-DOS then Windows with versions designed around different video cards with 3D acceleration. It was also ported to the Sega Saturn and the Sony PlayStation as MechWarrior 2: Arcade Combat Edition, with gameplay reoriented towards more action instead of complex simulation.

In MechWarrior 2, the player can choose to be a member of either Clan Jade Falcon or Clan Wolf, while engaging in a total of 30 missions (15 missions for each Clan) in the 3057 time frame.

MechWarrior 2 features a soundtrack composed by Jeehun Hwang which consists of ambient electronic music.

Originally, MechWarrior 2 was to have shipped with multi-player capabilities via a program called NetMech. Development of this application was behind schedule and was not shipped until about eight months after MechWarrior 2 was released. NetMech was made available to the public via a free download or in a low-cost boxed CD-ROM set. The add-on featured various types of gameplay, with support for up to eight players. Later versions of MechWarrior 2 included NetMech.

Many copies of the MechWarrior 2 and NetMech CDs came with an online gaming client known as Kali. Kali allowed games that supported only the IPX protocol to communicate over TCP/IP, the protocol used by the then-emerging Internet. Players using Kali had two major leagues/ladders to choose from. The Grand Council (GC) and The Killing Zone League (TKZ). Both offered wonderful scenario based battles with TKZ offering more of a strategist's view of the overall concept[citation needed].

MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat was originally titled MechWarrior II: The Clans during development and allowed the player to choose from one of six Clans (in the finished product, only two clans were available). An early playable demo of this version of the game was released to the public in 1993.

In the game, the player chooses the side of one of the two Clans involved in the refusal war: The Wolves or the Jade Falcons. The battles in the game take place on planets named in the various Battletech source books on the war as well as expanded universe novels such as 'Bred for War'. Indeed, the briefing and aftermath sequences of the missions include fluff text from these novels and source books which paint the picture of the mission about to be attempted and place it into context of the wider battles. While some of the battles that the player takes place in can be considered to in fact be some of the battles described in other sources, most are not, though they are contextually related to them.

For example in Battletech Canon, on Morges, the Wolves were said to have launched many attacks against Jade Falcon supply convoys which ultimately turned the tide for them. As a Jade Falcon, the player must defend a supply convoy from such an attack. In a similar way, as a Wolf player there is a mission where a player fights as an advanced raiding party in the Great Gash on Twycross, site of a massive battle in the war and mentioned later in the game.

There are some game play elements that are not considered canon however, most notably that of a forcefield in the final Clan Wolf mission, that type of technology is completely unknown in the Battletech universe. However generally the game is faithful in spirit, if not in fact to the storyline of the war and the outcome.

What is not considered canon is the ending cutscenes which depict the victorious side viewing Terra from the moon, an impossibility as so far in Battletech cannon no Clan has conquered planets beyond the truce line. These can instead be taken as each Clans hopeful vision of the future when the Truce finally ends and the invasion can be continued. This dream would eventually be shattered for the Crusader Clans by the Trial of Refusal led by Victor Davion on Strana Mechty.

In Mechwarrior 2, the mech lab allows players to customize the weapon and armor of any drivable mech. However, the mech lab leads to game imbalance issues, as the player can exploit the free and open weapon choices to create so called "gunboats". The practice of "boating" gave the mech disproportionate firepower for its size (at the expense of mission endurance due to limited armor and ammunition). For example, most story missions, including those intended to be challenging, could be easily won by a Mad Dog heavy-mech equipped with 12 machine-guns. The player simply charged the enemy, opened fire at point-blank, and destroyed any battlefield mech (up to and including the Dire Wolf) with just 1-2 seconds of sustained fire. A similar, though not nearly as effective strategy involved outfitting the Maurauder with 10 medium lasers (this strategy required greater discipline on the part of the player to avoid overheating). Though perfectly legal within the rules of the game, boating is banned from player-vs-player tournaments, as boating matches devolve into a non-skill contest of "first shot wins".

MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat - additional information

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MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat - Cover Art DOS