System Requirements
OS: Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP CPU: Pentium 300Mhz RAM: 64MB HDD: 650 MB + 125MB swap VIDEO: 8MB Direct 3D Direct X 7.0a Compatible SOUND: 16 bit Direct X 7.0a Compatible Age: Teen
MechWarrior 4 casts you as Ian Drusari, the nephew of a powerful duke, who returns to his home world from the Clan Wars to find it occupied by a rival noble family: House Steiner. You must launch a civil war and reclaim your birthright as you command a ragtag army of awesomely armed, 40-foot-tall, 80- ton, 90-mile-per-hour BattleMechs across the remote battlefields of your hostile world. *


This game takes place in the BattleTech universe. This universe was originally created for use in the BattleTech RPG/tabletop board game. There are two factions: the technologically advanced Clans, of which there are several, and the Inner Sphere. Your character is a member of one of the Inner Sphere royal families. The game campaign starts with you watching a cinematic sequence where you see the last message your father has to deliver to you before his . You are with your uncle, and both of you plot vengeance against the rival family Steiner. It is your goal to take it from the treachery of them and restore it to the family for the people of the world and the honor of your house.

What do I do?

In this game, you pilot your mechs from a first or third person perspective. Each mech type has a certain weapon configuration, speed, or other miscellaneous option. For example, the lightest mech, the Osiris, is 30 tons. It has three energy weapon locations, with one with only one slot and the other with two. It also has a slot for ballistic weapons and another for missile weapons. It\'s base speed is 130kph, with a top speed of 135kph. The Atlas, on the other hand, is a 100 ton monster with incredible amounts of weapons and armor. It\'s top speed is only 57kph by default (I had one down to around forty - hey I needed more guns!). Other things that differ by mech is the ability to have jump jets, anti-missile systems, or sensor upgrades. A mech\'s upgradeability is based on weight and availability. Not all mechs, even if they have the tons available, can get jump jets, for example. There are several types of mission you can carry out in your mech. Mission types include: * Destroy all enemy forces * Capture convoy or other non-violent objective * Destroy specific target * Protect target * Defend base * Various recon missions * Any many more, including combinations of the above


Overall, I felt the graphics are acceptable by today\'s standards and great for when the game came out two years ago. Though not without a few rough edges. In particular, some of the added effects (like animals or people running around on the ground) look somewhat flat on the rest of the otherwise 3D world. Also, the movie-like cut scenes are a bit low on resolution. All in all, however, it is a pleasant graphical experience. The mechs themselves look great. The special effects are excellent as well. Weapon effects are most satisfying. They are very believable and detailed. And some just look \'cool\'. Some of the finer points are when you are overheating, your HUD (heads up display) will fade in and out simulating an overheating condition quite believably. Also, your mech (and other overheating mechs around you) will have dark, thick smoke coming out from behind you which you can see if you travel in reverse. Very believable and also well done. Another hot spot is that if you are hit with a PPC (particle projection cannon) your HUD will shimmer and your aim will often be disrupted (on purpose, this is the effect of a PPC). Very satisfying, especially when you see the enemy jolt back as they receive the hit you planned for them :). The weather effects are excellent as well. When you pilot at night, you can see the flashlights moving in front of the mechs that have them in a glow aura around the area they are pointing them at, and they have lense flare of sorts if you look at them. Great work. In summary, above average environments, great effects. Makes for some very pretty battles. :) The music and sound effects are very good as well. The music is decent, and sets the mood pretty well. With a few exceptions nothing spectacular, but you certainly won\'t be turning it off in favor of silence or anything else. The sound effects are very nice, and fit the game well. Your mech, as it moves, makes walking sounds that really add to the feel that you are piloting a 40 foot tall mech. The sensor and weapon effects are very nice, too. When you get a missile lock, for example, the sound effects corroborate that nicely. When you have a missile lock placed on yourself, you get an equally distinct sound ;). Each weapon fire sound is equally pleasing. Remember that PPC I mentioned earlier? It has a unique sound that really puts it in place. The missiles have a sound that help you enjoy the anticipation of its arrival - to your target or the enemy\'s. Very good job in this area. The voice acting is acceptable, and in some cases great, for example the lady who says \'Sensors, Online. Weapon Systems, Online. All Systems, Nominal.\' - most excellent. Though I think that is a throwback to the MechWarrior 2 series - which is great for me :). Also, some of the character voices are good, like your communications officer (I think), and some are not, like some of your copilots. Overall, not too much to complain about, if the occasional cheesy dialog does not get in the way. Also worth mentioning are the occasional curse words present in the game. There are a few in the intro movie, and one of the characters you pick up for potential copilots has a bit of a potty mouth (relatively speaking). Nothing that should strip this game of its teen rating, but worth pointing out nonetheless. I noticed, and would have been happier with their absence.


Mech style games generally have a slightly more complicated control scheme than, say, first person shooters. Though the game can be played completely with a keyboard and a mouse, a joystick is strongly recommended. Not only because of the feel of the game (you are piloting a mech! Who pilots anything with a mouse?), but the somewhat complex controls are made a lot easier by a decent joystick. I use an 8 button joystick, and I use all the buttons and a few shift-key buttons. You can designate a button for shift, so you can have more than the number of buttons on your joystick available for various options. Also you can take advantage of any rudders for torso twists and throttles for speed control. It works very well. Another good feature is force feedback support. It is very nice, and a lot of fun. It really does help with the immersive feeling a lot more. Unfortunately, your very movement generates force feedback events, which simulate a large mech walking. This is great for periods of down time, but horrible for those tight aiming moments. It can really make sniping nearly impossible. It\'s a shame, otherwise I would keep it on all the time as it really does as an interesting element to the game. Overall, the controls are very good. No real complaints.


There were no real bugs that I noticed during game play. On Windows 2000, I had no problem alt+tabbing as much as I needed. Worth mentioning is that I ran the newest version of the game, version 3.0 available at http://www.mechwarrior4.com. Also, some of the movie scenes seemed a little unstable in that the playback was not perfectly smooth - but nothing to really complain about. Very good job, here.


From a Christian perspective, this game has . You will definitely have to destroy various mechs, and the of some of the pilots is implied. There is no of any kind (unless oil and smoke is a form of ;). Also, there are small amounts of foul language in this game. It is not full of it, but often enough to notice. Da*n appears a few times, as well as Hell, and once I caught an S.O.B. which is the worst I can remember. Also there is a definite theme of revenge for a bad deed, hence the name of the game. Other than that, not too bad. Near the end, there is a real sense of your character caring about the lives of the people on the planet you are fighting for. You are a pivotal part of a revolution to take back control of your home world and to help the people live happy lives without repression any longer. Suitably noble and not unlike other of our own world\'s revolutions.

Overall Impression

Overall, this game is quite enjoyable. The game difficulty is configurable, and being the masochist that I am, ;) I put it on the second hardest difficulty level, Veteran. I was pleased with the challenge this game offered. And the 25 levels were all very different and interesting. If you are of the type, like me, that thinks \'you mean this game has 50 foot robots with big guns and lasers and missiles? Cool!!\', then you will most certainly enjoy this game. For some reason that I cannot explain, many find the added complexity not worth the added challenge and variety and do not enjoy this kind of game. But for the rest of us, I highly recommend this game. Only if you are comfortable with the content, of course.

Final Ratings

Graphics B+ Game play A Sound A Interface A Stability A Offensive Content B-

Overall 92% A

* Taken from http://microsoftgamesinsider.com/fasa/default.htm

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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