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Default RPGWatch Feature - Battletech Review

January 2nd, 2019, 13:51
You can learn what Forgottenlor thinks about Battletech in this first review of the year.

When I was studying at the university, I played a lot of tabletop games. One of those was Battletech. There was nothing more fun than playing giant robots with a variety of weapons and blowing the heck out of your opponent. Of course, the game wouldn't have been any fun if Battletech wasn't a well-designed tactics game, where not only the experience of your mechwarrior, but the speed, armaments, size, and durability of each individual robot (or battlemech) played a role. Having a classic tactics game as the basis of a computer game is a good thing, but it doesn't ensure a good game. Even implementing great mechanics isn't alone a game, especially not for single players, who aren't playing to have fun with their friends, but who want an interesting variable campaign. Battletech is actually two interwoven games. On the one hand you play a story campaign. On the other there is a sandbox game, where you travel and take procedurally generated missions. The two games are interwoven, but sadly not equally good.
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January 2nd, 2019, 14:10
I still have to play this one - Thanks Forgottenlor!
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January 2nd, 2019, 14:52
Thanks for the review, forgottenlor!

I agree with most of your assessment. Most of the short-comings are attributed to budget reasons. Yes, the game could be deeper, the missions and maps more varied. They simply had to get the core right first. And I think they did a good job. Let's hope the add-ons (or hopefully BattleTech 2) will flesh it out further.

I'm a big fan of the game (and BattleTech in general) and I recommend to play the campaign once.

After that I strongly recommend to have a look at the mod RogueTech, which remedies many of the short-comings of the base game and adds deeper mechanics. Be warned though, that the mod is further ahead in the BattleTech timeline and you will see many new weapons and equips. Also many new mechs ported over from MechWarrior Online.

I have 100 h in the vanilla BattleTech and 240 h in RogueTech, which I will further play for a long time to come. Here is a link to the wiki:
https://roguetech.gamepedia.com/Roguetech_Wiki
Ask me anything about the mod, if you want.
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January 2nd, 2019, 15:34
Not sure I fully agree with the review. I thought the campaign was awful. I thought while the strategic maps combat was a bit repetitive the maps themselves - while small - were quite variant and decent. They also encourage different approaches.
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January 2nd, 2019, 15:40
Average at best. Yes I said it the campaign is boring and repetitive. Can't wait for modders to create custom campaigns as I don't see the expansions adding more.

Basing my opinion off the Flashpoint DLC.

Update: Also it's not an RPG and was never advertised as one. Same as X-Com.
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Last edited by Couchpotato; January 2nd, 2019 at 19:02.
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January 2nd, 2019, 15:44
I also still need to play this one, I believe I was waiting for all the content to land but then I'm not likely to buy any of the expansions, so I might as well just play it soon. I got sucked into replaying Fallout: Tactics, but after I finish it might be time to 'mech up.
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January 2nd, 2019, 16:01
I found the game fun at first even with irritatingly long loading times. But after 10h you notice that side missions are all the same. Then you notice as you start getting bigger MECHs that combat still plays the same. And that enemy MECHs are all just the same but only with bigger numbers in play.
Main story mission also don't offer enough variety to break this, after a while I had to force myself to finish the game just so I feel I didn't waste money on the KS.

I think this would have worked better as a MP competitive game as it was designed for the tabletop. Having samey rules but turning it into a tactical game with RPG elements just does not work. Especially not with lack of 20 additional features.

This is how Xcom would have looked and played if Firaxis made it with only half the features it had at release.
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January 2nd, 2019, 18:24
If I agree that the campaign design has a problem, it's not through repetition, it's through design of missions and surprise elements, that is play once to not choose a tactic/strategy not matching those surprises at second try. Moreover the story telling is average.

I quite disagree for the random missions diversity. I had a lot more diversity than in XCOM2 or XCOM1 or Long War 2. Including from enemies setup changing significantly a mission, but also a party changing missions as your roster evolves.

When you choose your random missions, you just need ensure not skip some types because they tend be harder. Moreover, there's a difficulty variation that hasn't XCOM and which changes significancy a mission.

What I disliked in this game is the fans base, a majority of Battletech fans are hardly bearable for me, this ended spoil me the game quite significantly. For MP I totally don't care and would have skip it, bother with the fans would have been a nightmare. And I know that bother with me is difficult too. :-)

I end defend a bit a game I don't want support because I felt the comment in this thread was rather unfair, it's just some comments don't match the feeling I had, I have no analysis on that, just some feeling. I'd love the game if it wasn't coming from some tabletop, but it's pretty clear that without such tabletop base, such game would not have benefit of such depth on combats and diversity. Mechs refit make ridiculously simple XCOM 1&2 soldiers building. If you like party builds it's a must play game.

That's why Fireaxis can only have hard time to compete, they did it from scratch, not from decades of designs from experts.
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January 2nd, 2019, 20:24
Originally Posted by you View Post
Not sure I fully agree with the review. I thought the campaign was awful. I thought while the strategic maps combat was a bit repetitive the maps themselves - while small - were quite variant and decent. They also encourage different approaches.
That opinion surprises me, because all the campaign missions had handmade maps and different conditions than on any of the generic missions. I found protecting the fleeing drop ships or taking out isolated and cut off bases before they could raise an alarm very exciting, where as the generic missions usually were destroy a convey, destory building, or destroy a mech lance, and were very straightforward. Or did you not like the characters and story?
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January 2nd, 2019, 20:26
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Average at best. Yes I said it the campaign is boring and repetitive. Can't wait for modders to create custom campaigns as I don't see the expansions adding more.

Basing my opinion off the Flashpoint DLC.

Update: Also it's not an RPG and was never advertised as one. Same as X-Com.
Well you've voiced this opinion often, and we'll just have to agree to disagree. It is more of an RPG IMO than the Valkyria Chronicles, regardless of how they are advertised. I've made my case in the review, and that's the way I see it.
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January 2nd, 2019, 20:31
Originally Posted by forgottenlor View Post
Well you've voiced this opinion often, and we'll just have to agree to disagree. It is more of an RPG IMO than the Valkyria Chronicles, regardless of how they are advertised. I've made my case in the review, and that's the way I see it.
Well I'm stating a fact you're giving an opinion.

Fact #1 - Nowhere on the Kickstarter page is it called an RPG
Fact #2 - Nowhere in the marketing of the game was it called an RPG
Fact #3 - Steam and GOG don't even list it as an RPG

That would be like me calling the TotalWar games an RPG.

Valkyria Chronicles on the other hand is sold, labeled, and played as a tactical role-playing game. For reference Japan labels these type of games differently then the West.
SJRPG Strategy Japanese Role Playing Game or better know as a Simulation RPG.
Beyond that you wrote a good review.
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Last edited by Couchpotato; January 3rd, 2019 at 05:45.
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January 2nd, 2019, 22:46
Thanks for the review forgottenlor.

I picked this one up as my hubby really enjoyed the game (he is a big fan of robots/mechs) - unfortunately, I didn't really enjoy it I guess I'm not really a mech fan to begin with, and not understanding how each mech works gave me hard time.

I did enjoy watching hubby play though, the writing seems to be quite solid - very emotional when certain character gets killed etc.

May give it another go sometime.
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January 2nd, 2019, 23:34
It was the later part. I thought the story and presentation of the story was very poor. The actual combat portion of the campaign was fine; but i wouldn't consider that much to the story - just the action around the story.

Originally Posted by forgottenlor View Post
That opinion surprises me, because all the campaign missions had handmade maps and different conditions than on any of the generic missions. I found protecting the fleeing drop ships or taking out isolated and cut off bases before they could raise an alarm very exciting, where as the generic missions usually were destroy a convey, destory building, or destroy a mech lance, and were very straightforward. Or did you not like the characters and story?
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January 3rd, 2019, 02:13
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Well I'm stating a fact you're giving an opinion.

Fact #1 - Nowhere on the Kickstarter page is it called an RPG
Fact #2 - Nowhere in the marketing of the game was it called an RPG
Fact #3 - Steam and GOG don't even list it as an RPG

That would be like me calling the TotalWar games an RPG.

Beyond that you wrote a good review.
In my opinion it's a good reason because a tag is a choice, it's Norman Spinrad I think that wrote that Science Fiction is anything published with the tag Science Fiction.

At internet age, that would be a little different, Science Fiction would be everything published and classified with the tag, not just by makers, but also by consumers.

For this point, a RPG or not RPG, my question would be if Batteltech is a RPG then why XCOM1&2 isn't a RPG?

At some point I admit that Tactical RPG are often borderline and still tagged RPG. Eventually the problem isn't that basic.
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January 3rd, 2019, 04:42
Buying mechs was really pretty crazy. It's far cheaper to just get salvaged mechs and work with whatever mechs end up in your bay.

I enjoyed the sandbox missions a lot more. I even kept playing after the campaign until I got friendly with House Steiner (which is barely in the game) and acquired the achievement for getting every mech, which took well over 100 hours! There are quite a few maps to play on and, even if you get the same map again, the battles will take place in different areas on the map so in mission you might be able to dance around a river to keep your heat down while, in the next, you're out in the desert with nowhere to hide. Plus the different mechs have pretty different abilities which force different tactics.

Some of the random missions did seem rather unfair. I quickly learned not to attack convoys, for instance. You're tasked to blast a convoy being escorted by enemy mechs but that convoy isn't a bunch of food trucks, they are monster sized tanks that can do serious damage to your mechs all by themselves. Then the reinforcements show up!! Assassination missions, on the other hand, aren't too hard and the target mech is often a big one. Knock that thing's legs off or bounce it around until the pilot breaks and you can get a great reward!

Normally when you destroy a mech until 1/3th of it remains.
Ouch… uhh, a quick little edit, please?
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January 3rd, 2019, 10:32
I liked BATTLETECH quite a lot. Very entertaining. Played it all the way through, and then for a while after. I still need to try the expansion.

I only spent $25 for this as a Kickstarter backer, and it was $25 well spent!
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January 3rd, 2019, 10:40
So whether or not a game is an RPG is dependent on whether or not it is marketed as one?

I consider it to be a strategy game with RPG elements. There is a story. You play a character in that story, therefore you are playing a role. Your mech has stats and abilities which level up over time.
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January 3rd, 2019, 11:33
Originally Posted by Zloth View Post


Ouch… uhh, a quick little edit, please?
I read through my own texts three times and the editor reads through once. Still that isn't always enough to catch everything.
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January 3rd, 2019, 11:45
Originally Posted by HellRazor View Post
So whether or not a game is an RPG is dependent on whether or not it is marketed as one?

I consider it to be a strategy game with RPG elements. There is a story. You play a character in that story, therefore you are playing a role. Your mech has stats and abilities which level up over time.
Guess every game is an RPG nowadays then by that logic.

Alright then Rome Total War 2 is also a turn-based SRPG because you play a leader with stats, abilities and so on. Let's not forget the agents, armies, and cities you manage.

Anyway lost all interest in this game as the new mechwarrior game looks better.

loading…

Lets call it an ARPG.
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Last edited by Couchpotato; January 3rd, 2019 at 12:01.
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January 3rd, 2019, 13:26
Originally Posted by purpleblob View Post
Thanks for the review forgottenlor.

I picked this one up as my hubby really enjoyed the game (he is a big fan of robots/mechs) - unfortunately, I didn't really enjoy it I guess I'm not really a mech fan to begin with, and not understanding how each mech works gave me hard time.

I did enjoy watching hubby play though, the writing seems to be quite solid - very emotional when certain character gets killed etc.

May give it another go sometime.
Its kind of like understanding the rules for D&D or Pathfinder. The ruleset is complex with lots of nuances. Its way too much for a proper tutorial, and I can see it being a barrier for getting into the game.
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