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Author Topic: BattleTech review - long overdue turn-based spin on a strategy great  (Read 36 times)


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BattleTech review - long overdue turn-based spin on a strategy great

For a tabletop strategy as revered as BattleTech, it's remarkable that it's taken this long - close to 35 years, by crikey - for a dedicated turn-based video game to emerge. Okay, sure, Westwood's early brace of proto-Dune strategy RPGs came pretty close to transposing the heraldry of wargaming's premier trouser-tank battle system, but it's unfortunate that in the years since, BattleTech has become synonymous with - and subordinate to - the MechWarrior first-person action simulations of the 90s. For strategy fans to have been denied an authentic BattleTech experience for so long is almost as tragic as Robot Jox's continued obscurity relative to the success of Pacific Rim.

Still, although it was deemed necessary that some patient fans put their hands in their pockets first, the fact that we now have BattleTech on PC adds weight to the old adage that good things come to those who wait. For a game that has had to make up for lost time and maintain a level of faithfulness, all while attempting to impose some authority on modern genre champions like the XCOM series, developer Harebrained Schemes has more than enough reason to be proud. This BattleTech is as authentic a recreation of the tabletop classic as you could hope for.

Not that this slavishly follows the rules first laid down in 1984; more that it remains true to the spirit of the source material. Admittedly it's been decades since I laid eyes on one of FASA's old Technical Readouts, thus I'd be hard pressed to judge the game's adherence to scripture. However, the essence of BattleTech's techno-feudal aesthetic, together with allowing players to dive into its expansive lore to a depth that suits them, is largely what makes this interactive edition a success.

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