Developed by: FASA Interactive/Microsoft
MechCommander 2 official page: http://www.microsoft.com/games/home/games.asp?g=134
Expected Release: Summer 2001
Battletech meets the RTS world in this sequel. FASA prefers to call MC2 a real time tactical game, since there is no resource collection involved. Improvements in MechCommander 2 include a fully 3D graphics engine that allows for zooming, rotation, and angle adjustment of the camera.
Field commanders will also have the benefit of calling in support like repair trucks, salvage vehicles, air strikes, and artillery bombardments. No longer will you feel as though you're out on an island all by yourself. Though these perks will make missions a lot easier than they were in the original MechCommander, outside support will cost you resource units, which you can earn by pillaging enemy warehouses and other structures.
The 3D nature of the objects and 'mechs in MechCommander 2 allows for location based damage. There are a total of 13 different armor locations on each 'mech. Getting the elevation advantage on a hill means a better possibility of headshots, which can force enemy pilots to eject long before the rest of their mount gets too damaged. This results in a more intact battlemech for your salvage crews to pick up.
Line of sight
Another nice aspect of MechCommander 2 is the elimination of the fog of war. There's still a line of sight (LOS) restriction -you'll only see enemy units within the line of site of your own units, but you'll always be able to see all the terrain on a map. You'll need to equip your 'mechs with sensors to detect any enemy vehicles that are not in your immediate sight line. Unidentified enemy radar contacts appear as red polygonal wireframes. Confused about whether or not you have line of sight or sensor range to a certain spot on the map? Run your cursor over it - if that spot is out of range, your cursor will change color. Alternatively you can see the limit of your LOS and sensors by checking the minimap.
Locked and loaded
One new aspect of the game shown at Gamestock was the 'mech loadout interface. Like any other MechWarrior game, you can take any mount in the game (29 'mechs in all) and customize it with lasers, autocannons, missile launchers, and more. You can also choose to outfit your 'mechs with long range sensors, extra armor, heatsinks, and more. The interface is simple, like Diablo's - drag and drop what you want on to the 'mech. Unlike MechWarrior 4, there is no hardpoint system, just simple space limitations without any restrictions on what type of weapon can go where.
The inevitable role-playing aspect
As your pilots gain experience, you'll be able to pick out new proficiencies for them. These include weapon specific ones like laser gunnery skills, autocannon gunnery skills, etc. They might also include passive bonuses like sensor expertise, or a toughness bonus that allows them to always eject from a wrecked 'mech.
We're very excited about MechCommander 2. With its attractive graphics engine, effective use of the Battletech license, and enough unique aspects to set itself apart from other RTS games, we think MechCommander 2 could turn out to be one of the top games in its genre this year.
More MechCommander 2 pics