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Game Over Online ~ Preview - MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries (c) Microsoft Game Studios

Preview - MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries (c) Microsoft Game Studios

Published: Wednesday, October 16th, 2002 at 08:27 PM
Written By: Aaron 'PharCyde' Butler

How much longer before we cast off into the great beyond? Before we start colonizing planets we only knew through the eyepiece of a telescope? Before we separate into different factions and battle one another in giant 60-ton robots outfitted with the best weaponry known to the human race? Ah, the future…how exciting it will be! For those who can’t wait until that day, the nice people at Fasa Studios, Microsoft Games Studios and Cyberlore are about to release the latest installment in their successful MechWarrior series, MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries. If you enjoy sitting in the cockpit of a 60-ton robot, blowing other 60-ton robots up along with everything else that poses any sort of a threat, like buildings and trees that happen to be in your way, then read on soldier and see what MW4: Mercenaries will have in store for you!

The story is bleak and dark, as there isn’t much room for happiness when you’re a mercenary for hire. Well, unless being a mercenary is what you wanted to be when you grew up. Anyways, your first and probably easiest decision in MW4: Mercenaries will be to join one of the four clans: Wolf’s Dragons, Northwind Highlanders, Kell Hounds, or Gray Death Legion. The choice is yours to make. Each of the clans offer a description that you can compare with the others, which should help you pick the clan that best suits your play style.

Once you have picked your clan, the fun begins. You start with a few comrades from the get go. In MW4: Mercenaries however, a new option has been made available that will allow you to recruit up to eight team members to watch your back during combat. After you’ve chosen your team, you then need to go over your Mechs and make sure each is as well equipped as a Mech can get, or the best you can do with the C-Bills you start off with; C-Bills being the form of currency in the MechWarrior universe and one of the primary reasons why you’re blowing stuff up.

You’ll be able to customize the dozens of original Mechs you’ve grown to love, as well as ten brand new models that will be available in MW4: Mercenaries. You’ll have a weight limit to abide by for each Mech, so outfit your Mech wisely, a task made difficult since you have a huge arsenal of weaponry to choose from including two new weapons, not to mention the armor plating. Two new electronic packs will also be made available.

Stay on top of your Mechs customizations as often as you can since you’ll be using them quite often, seeing as there are over forty dynamic missions across ten different planets that will keep you and your team working overtime.

The graphics engine in MW4: Mercenaries is the same as its predecessor, but it seems to have received a few upgrades here and there. It was easily able to handle the workload of heavy combat involving several Mechs, vehicles and their respective weapons’ discharge. It was a rather beautiful show of explosions and laser fire. Well-crafted landscapes of trees, water, mountains, snow and forests are all environments where you will conduct campaigns against your foes.

Multiplayer will allow 16 players to engage in one-on-one or team combat. You can choose Battle, which is your “deathmatch” option; Destruction, where you kill your opponents as many times as you can in a given time frame; and Mission, where two teams play in a structured conflict, each team with its own set of mission objectives to complete.

MechWarrior4: Mercenaries has already gone gold and should be on store shelves as early as the first week of November. Mercenaries will surely delight veterans of the series as well as give them some new toys to play with and more soldiers to command. It should also catch the eye of newcomers that are looking for that certain gratification that only blowing up 100-ton Mechs in beautiful 3D environments can offer.

Questions or comments about the upcoming release of MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries for the PC? Talk to us!

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