Mechwarrior 2

Activision has kept everyone waiting for a very long time. Talk of Mechwarrior 2 has been circulating for literally years. We have finally come to the end, and there is a pot of gold waiting. Gold deflects lasers, doesn't it? You'll be asking yourself that question in your sleep after a solid 20-hours of game play. Strap on your Virtual-IO glasses, and start living this title. It is more intelligent than just a walk-and-shoot doom game, and far more exhilirating than even your good flight simulators. From the ability to design your own Mech., to the complete line up of hardware support, Activision took a no holds barred approach to Mechwarrior 2. Throw in multi-player support, and a soon to be released update pack and you have a real best-of contender.

Do you have an extra piece of hardware to help you get into the game? Mechwarrior 2 probably supports it. If you don't, you need it. The vast difference between playing with a keyboard and a thrustmaster, Virtual-IO helmet, pedal combination is unbelievable. Having a blazing fast Pentium with a video card even faster, and a free 50+ MB on your hard-disk is another blow to the checkbook this game cries for. Although it does have lower video modes (320x200) for slower machines, anything less than the 640 mode on a monitor makes the game difficult. The beutifully scrolling graphics were only beutiful on our Vesa local bus, or PCI machines. On our ISA based machines (even the fast ones) the video speed was too slow to run in any of the high video and detail modes. However, the software end of the compatibility picture is great. I had no trouble running it under OS/2 in a standard game prompt window, and not problems under Dos. Although it will not run in a Windows95 dos box, Activision will be releasing a native Windows95 version very soon. We were able to get Mechwarrior 2 to run on all of our test machines.

Last Notes
A definate must have for any action, or simulator fan. The Virtual IO glasses are a real treat, although they do prove to be an unfair advantage during two player games since whomever has the glasses can turn far quicker than a standard control mech. This is a game that you can sink into, and find out 6 hours later that you've missed your lunch appointment, your dinner appointment... your date... You get the idea. Get it.


* Graphics : 22/25
Extremely high resolution, beutifully scrolling mechs, and high detail make the graphics real eye-candy. A little more detain (texture maps) on the actual ground would add more, although this game already pushes anything available.

* Gameplay : 24/25
Wow. You can lose yourself in the gameplay. Strap on you glasses, put your feet in the pedal controls, and lock your hands on your thrustmaster and wait until someone is forced to snap you back into reality.

* Longetivity : 25/25
Between an incredible one player game letting you play both sides of the story, and 2-player modem play -- this game can last a lifetime.

* Compatibility : 21/25
Excellent software, and peripheral support make this game very easy to run if you meet the system requirements. However, before you dive into this great game -- read the side of the box and make sure you have more than what they ask for.

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