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Mechwarrior 4
Review by: Nick Arvites
Developer: FASA Interactive
Publisher: Microsoft Games
Genre: Action
ESRB: Teen
Online: Yes
Date Posted: 6-10-03

Mechwarrior 3 left a bad taste in many people’s mouths. Many thought the series was doomed after that poor title. Thankfully, the license moved from Hasbro to Microsoft. This partnership gave us Mechwarrior 4. Those with the horror stories from Mechwarrior 3 can breathe a sigh of relief, since this game has excellent multiplayer as well as an excellent single player mode.

This game takes a break from the Inner Sphere-Clan conflict to go to a more regional setting. Your character is a prince returning to his home planet. While you were away fighting the clans, your father’s forces were overthrown by House Steiner. As a Davion supporter and the heir to the planet, you take it upon yourself to begin the liberation effort. This makes Mechwarrior 4 the planetary assault campaign Mechwarrior 3 longed to be. The story is moved through the pre-mission briefings and communications throughout the missions. You undertake different missions in different areas of the planet. Initially, you perform hit-and-run attacks, but you eventually move on to cities and the presidential palace.

The Mechwarrior series has never looked better. Customizable insignias, paintjobs, beautiful Mechs and detailed landscapes blend with bright and vibrant lasers and explosions. Mechwarrior has never looked better and run smoother.

Multiplayer was significantly improved since the last incarnation. Lag is still present, but it is more manageable. Horror stories as seen in Mechwarrior 3 do not happen in Mechwarrior 4. The Mech choices in the game were decent as it was a list of favorites. For those interested, the expansion and the two Mech packs expand the list of playable Mechs. Even without expansions, the bread-and-butter of this game is still the multiplayer.

Enemy Mechs are much smarter, as are your wingmen. Your wingmen actually gain experience throughout the level and perform better as they go. The wingman command system was improved and you rarely see your wingmen doing something completely stupid. As stated earlier, you do not have to worry about the Mobile Field Bases in this game. This allows better missions since you can concentrate on hit-and-fade missions or all out assaults. This does not mean you cannot repair in the middle of missions. There are stationary repair bays on most of the maps that can fix your Mech in the middle of combat.

Highs:

  • Mechwarrior’s return to greatness
  • Excellent single player campaign
  • Excellent multiplayer
Lows:
  • Personally, would rather see more Mechs
Final Verdict:

Mechwarrior 4 is great. I would recommend buying it if you could find it bundled with the expansion or if they are priced under 20 dollars. Great game and still playable.

Overall Score: 8.7

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