MechWarrior 3 vs. Heavy Gear 2

Sure these are old games, but what did you expect to see here.

I am going to take these two together since I played one after the other and because Computer Gaming World did reviews of these games in the same issue, although they gave the gold medal to Heavy Gear 2. I liked both games, but definitely feel mech 3 was better.

Mech 2 is still the best Mech game of the series (I have not played Mech 4 yet, but I heard it was different and not as good), but Mech 3 was great in its own right. It had good combat, the ability to repair during the mission (which is nice since you still cannot save in the mission), and good mission briefings which really conveyed a sense of story. Some of the missions were hard, but they were all doable. I only became stuck early on in a mission where you have to defeat an Annihilator. This mech is much better than anything you have at this point. After reading two different sets of hints, I was finally able to beat it and move on. The biggest drawback to Mech 3 is the weak squad commands, the worst being the inability to send one command to all squadmates st the same time. Unfortunately you have to go through each squadmate and tell him or her which target to attack, even if its the same target. This is the one area where HG2 has Mech 3 beat. Still, I found Mech 3 to be a great game even 10 years after it came out, but you’ll need Windows 98 to play it. I tried playing on XP, and the game plays, but you can never beat the first mission because at the end of the mission the game won’t let you destroy whatever you were supposed to.

Heavy Gear 2 is a fun game, but the last third of the game is mostly weak. As I said already the squad commands are great in HG2. You can also choose to take more squadmates in a mission or beef up yourself and fewer squadmates. A gear is more like fighting in Iron Man’s armor (sans flying) rather then piloting a big mech. You can walk or go faster on wheels (it looks like you are skating). There is a huge variety of weapons available from the get go, but you are limited in how much you can carry and improve your gear until you progress through the game. You can also choose to be different gears from light to heavy; unfortunately, your choice is permanent unless you make a different character. I started with a medium model, but was getting my butt kicked so I chose the heavy and did much better. The game is a lot of fun until you get to about mission 15 or 16; from here until the end of the game, with 1 or 2 exceptions, the missions are really hard or hard to finish because you can’t figure out what to do or timed or a combination of the aforementioned. The missions have frustrating aspects such as difficult jumping puzzles, long missions (with no in mission save of course), pointlessly difficult missions, missions with hard to complete objectives, and the last great mission where you complete your task and then have 3 minutes to run out of a station in zero g with tunnels all over the place. How about just ending the game with a cut scene when I do what I need to? If it wasn’t for the last third of the game I really would have enjoyed it more, but try it and make your own call.

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