Monday, May 10, 2010

I've finished it: MW2 is one of the greatest games ever created.

From the moment the intro movie with the Clan Wolf Timber Wolf kicks in, you know you're in for an incredible ride. The loud thumping of the mechanical titans' feet, the blasts of azure PPC fire... it just comes together in a wonderful symphony of destruction. The two different factions, Clan Wolf and Clan Jade Falcon really give weight to the narrative of the Refusal War and let you know that you're getting your money's worth. What sorta game, outside of RTSs, actually has two campaigns these days, one for each faction? All in beautiful 1024x768 resolution for those of us with rigs powerful enough to use it. It's pretty amazing that this was possible for a DOS game when most other games at the time were still using 320xsomethingIcan'tevenrememberanymore!

I gotta be honest here. BattleTech is my favorite fictional universe, bar none. While I am also a huge Star Trek fan, my first love has always been BattleTech. I can still remember walking into a game store in my wee youth and stumbling into the back, where I laid eyes on a 3025 Technical Readout, the one with the Marauder on the front. Sure didn't know it at the time, but I would end up collecting a large part of that universe's books over the years. I actually paid 144 dollars for a vinyl model of a Timber Wolf and have it sitting on my shelf. This universe obviously means a great deal to me. And the closest gaming portrayal of the BattleTech universe is the classic MW2. The Clans are my favorite faction in BattleTech, so to be able to immerse myself in Clan Jade Falcon or Clan Wolf was incredibly enjoyable. Plus, the completely open weapon loadout customization and just well-thought out gameplay mechanics make the actual game a joy to pilot. The fluff of the universe is simply icing on the cake for a simulation which portrays 20-100 ton walking machines of warfare.

And for those of you wondering, the lack of dedicated servers for multiplayer was completely fine with me. Sure, it's expected of most PC games these days, but you gotta remember, MW2 was made way back in the scary DOS days, later ported over to Windows. There was Kali, and NetMech, and that was fine for us old timers. In fact, you might not be aware, but the entire term of "Clans" for online gaming groups came about because of MW2, it was that influential in helping to establish online gaming into what it is today. The More You Know!

Sure there are a few problems. The PPCs are slow moving blue balls instead of beams of lightning. And the darn right arm always seemed to be the first location to be destroyed. But despite those shortcomings, MW2 is fondly remembered by myself, and many other old timers, as the best Mech Sim ever, and undoubtedly one of the greatest games ever created.

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