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Mechwarrior 3
Review by: Nick Arvites
Developer: Zipper
Publisher: Hasbro/Microprose
Genre: Action
ESRB: Teen
Online: Yes
Date Posted: 6-10-03

Mechwarrior 3 was the long-awaited sequel to the PC gaming classic Mechwarrior 2 series. If you aren’t familiar with the series, Mechwarrior is the name of the Mech combat simulation series set in the Battletech Universe. Mechwarrior 2 introduced the Clans to the gaming universe and spawned one expansion and one separate game (Ghost Bear’s Legacy and Mercenaries). During the hiatus, the franchise moved from Activision to Hasbro Interactive. This produced mixed reactions among the Mechwarrior fan base. After its release, any fears of the series were confirmed with Mechwarrior 3.

Mechwarrior 3 follows a small group of Inner Sphere soldiers on a botched assault mission during an offensive against the Clans. While the concept sounds good, it plays out terribly. You’re stuck on one planet and start off with no wingmen. The genius designers decided to curse players with Mobile Field Bases. These three trucks follow you into a combat zone and are designed to repair and reload you during combat. Sounds good, but every mission turns into “protect the mobile field base.” How annoying. This basically turns every single mission into a simple “destroy everything on the radar while protecting your trucks.” This is a far cry from some of the objectives that were present in the Mechwarrior 2 series. Since you are a scout group, you can wave bye-bye to massive battles. Instead, you get to go with your idiot wingmen (who are the walking definitions of incompetence) on missions against extremely stupid enemy soldiers. Mechwarrior 2: Mercenaries spoiled the community. It graced us with massive amounts of Mechs and options. This game gives a pitiful selection of Mechs, although a few fan-favorites are present.

Normally, multiplayer would have redeemed this title. After all, games like this are awesome when played over the Internet. This game is the exception. Apparently, the geniuses who made this game didn’t test the multiplayer. Instead of fast-moving action, many gamers received laggy, glitchy garbage. You can take a Bushwacker or a Shadowcat, arm it with a Gauss Rifle, and take out every Mech on the map because you move fast enough to take advantages of the lag. For the opposing players, this is like trying to shoot the X-man Nightcrawler.

If there is a high point of this game, it would be in the graphics department. This game brings the Mechwarrior series into the 3D gaming world. Laser weapons are noticeably changed. Different lasers have different looks to them and Mechs show some detail. Sadly, you don’t really notice this when your multiplayer game is lagging seriously or you’re rushing to bail out your Mobile Field Base in single player mode.

Highs:

  • Mechwarrior game
  • Graphical update to the series
Lows:
  • Laggy multiplayer
  • Weak AI
  • Weak missions
  • Not enough Mechs
Final Verdict:

I’m a die-hard Mechwarrior fan, and even I was tearing my hair out with this game. I wouldn’t bother with this game if I were you and would instead opt for either Mechwarrior 2 (3D be damned) or Mechwarrior 4. It isn’t terrible by any measures, but it pales to its predecessors (and its followers) and that earns it a mediocre rating.

Overall Score: 6.0

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