BattleTech is a Mecha turn-based strategy video game developed by Harebrained Schemes and published by Paradox Interactive. It was released on Windows and OS X on April 24, 2018, with a Linux release to follow. The developers set aside US$1 million to create the game, and turned to Kickstarter to secure funding for additional features, including a single player campaign, an expansion of that campaign, and a player againstplayer multiplayer mode.
In the game, the player assumes the role of a mercenary commander leading a squadof strongcombat car called battlemechs. The player is responsible for selecting each mech's model, armor, pilot, armaments, and skills, and controls a squadof four mechs (a 'lance') in combat. The globeof BattleTech is dominated by strongnoble houses locked in a devastating war, and the player choose one or more houses to serve.
The game shares a setting with the board game that launched the BattleTech franchise, Classic BattleTech, and many members of the development squadhave worked on previous games in the franchise. This contain both of the studio's co-founders; Jordan Weisman madethe franchise while at FASA, and Mitch Gitelman was the producer for MechCommander and MechAssault.
BattleTech is a turn-based strategy video game. Players assume the role of a mercenary commander leading a "mech lance", or group of four giant humanoid-shaped combat car. The developers state that the game will have the spirit of the board game but will not utilizethe board game's rules. The player choose each mech's chassis, the weapons and armor mounted on that chassis, as well as smaller details such as actuators and gyros that influence a mech's turning radius. In addition to choosing hardware, the player shouldalso specialize the mech's pilots (called "mechwarriors") by selecting talents from a skill tree.
BattleTech shares a setting with the original board game, now called Classic BattleTech. The game takes territoryduring the 3025 Succession Wars Era, in which strongnoble houses employ an ever-shrinking number of giant fighting car called battlemechs ('mechs for short), piloted by individuals called MechWarriors, to battlefor control of the Inner Sphere. The fighting has lasted for so long, and has been so intense, that it has caused technological regression. The tinynumber of remaining 'Mechs makes them exceptionally valuable to the warring houses, and the player will have the opportunity to choosewhich house or houses to serve.
In a map published by Harebrained Schemes during the Kickstarter campaign, the Inner Sphere is depicted as an locationof zonestretching between 400 and 600 Light-years away from Earth in every direction. It is divided between five major states, each tied to a noble house, and four minor states. Each major state borders Earth and expands outward, while the minor states occupy tinylocation on the outside edge of the map known as The Periphery.
The game takes territoryin the peripheral realm of the Aurigan Reach. The Reach is governed by the Aurigan Coalition which is angry up of several independent systems led by noble houses in accordance with the standard Inner Sphere feudal system. The Reach lies between the peripheral realms of the Taurian Concordat and the Magistracy of Canopus, and bordering the Inner Sphere Successor State of the Capellan Confederation. Much of the Aurigan Reach is angry up of former holdings from the Taurians, Magistracy, and Capellans, though the three realms abandoned many of the systems for defensibility reasons. After their abandonment, the Reach systems became unified under Arano family and began consolidating and expanding, incorporating not only the abandoned planets into the Aurigan Coalition, but even annexing border planets from their neighbors.
The Aurigan Reach was madeby the Harebrained Schemes design squadled by Kiva Maginn as a zonewhere players could move through an original story line without infringing on the already set lore of Third Succession Wars BattleTech. "Our first priority was to searcha methodto coexist with BattleTech lore... We requiredsomewhere interesting, close but not too close, and basically empty. A blank slate where we could do whatever requiredto be done to make our story work." The locationof zoneselectedfor a Reach was a blank zonebetween the Magistracy of Canopus and the Taurian Concordat that had planets occupying it, but has little to no mention in sourcebooks, novels, or other media.
The main campaign of the game launch with Kamea Arano, daughter of Tamati Arano hiring the player, a former resident of the Reach to serve as her honor guard for her coronation. At the time of the happening, tensions are mounting between her and her uncle, Santiago Espinosa who was becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the rule of House Arano and Kamea's resolve to reform the government to a more democratic House. Launching a coup d'état, Coromidir along with the Aurigan Reach falls to the newly established Aurigan Directorate dictatorship and Kamea and Mastiff are reported dead with the player being the sole survivor.
Forced into hiding, the player joins the Markham's Marauders, a mercenary organizationwith Darius Oliveria, a former Aurigan. After a disastrous contract for a mining organizationled to the organizationlosing out on payment and under massivedebt, the mercenaries get financial assistancefrom Magestrix Kyalla Centrella of the Canopus Magistracy to retrieve the Argo, an ancient dropship from Bandits as part of an unauthorized job to escape their massivedebts.
The player reunites with KingMadeira and Kamea, who reveals the salvage operation of the Argo was a tryby the Magistracy to trythe skills of the pilot and a means for the Magistracy to battlethe Directorate without getting themselves involved as tension runs high between the Federated Suns and Taurian Concordiat and tasks the Marauders with the liberation of the Aurigan Reach under the Aurigan Restoration.
Arriving at Weldry to liberate the planet, Kamea inform the Marauders to hit the Icebox, a prison they learn was a concentration camp for dissidents versusthe Directorate which have been revealed to have committed countless atrocities versusthose opposing it. Among the dead was Mastiff Montgomery, the mentor of Kamea and the player. Vowing to free the Reach from the Directorate, they move onto Panzyr where they would discovera Star League Black Box that could not be decrypted by anyone other than the head of House Karosa of Smithion as tensions mount between the Reach and Taurians who is now on the brink of war after the massacre of ten thousand citizens on Perdition.
Moving to Smithion to liberate the planet, Karosa refuses to cooperate with Arano as her speech about her return only opened up the painful happening of his son's incarceration at the Ice Box and his daughter's death. In return for his aid, the Marauders destroy a dropship that served as a smuggling vessel for weapons for the Director, capturing Victoria Espinosa in the process. With the black box decrypted, they set forth to Outpost Castle in the Aurigan Reach at Artru.
Arriving on Artru, the Restoration was able to discovera hugecache of battlemechs only to be intercepted by Samuel Ostergaard, the commodore of the Taurian Concoridat who accept to ally with the Directorate in the wake of the attack on Perdition as the Argo was infected by a SLDF computer virus. The Directorate launch their invasion on the recently liberated globe of the Restoration leading the deaths of multiple House King loyal to the Restoration, including Karosa who was killed by Victoria as Smithion falls to the Directorate.
Heading to Itrom, Gallas offers an opportunity to break the Alliance between the Concordiat and she reveals a lead to valuable infoof the Directorate's blackmail before she is killed by a bomb. Revealing the areaof the infois on Madeira's homeworld of Guldra, Alexander offers to go while the Restoration defends versusTaurian incursions on the Restoration where the grim reality reveals that unless the Alliance is broken, the Restoration will be crushed under the Taurian forces led by Ostergaard and Directorate. Alexander is able to recover the infoand reveals that Victoria carried out the chemical attack on Perdition, but is discovered by the Directorate and despite the Restoration's attempts to rescue him, Kamea makes the difficult decision to leave Alexander behind.
After liberating Tyrlon from the Directorate and revealing the incriminating evidence that ends the Alliance between the Directorate and Concordiat, the Restoration moves on to the capital townwhere Ostergaard attempts to destroy the capital in spite of the end of hostilities. The Locura virus is uploaded to the ship and Ostergaard is killed while Santiago surrenders, realizing all is lost without the Alliance. Victoria, madat her father's surrender, makes one last stand versusKamea for Alexander's life and the mercs in a final duel where the Marauders are ultimately victorious and rescue Alexander. Kamea is crowned the rightful ruler of the Aurigan Reach and she contemplates how the Restoration shaped her to be a ruler and while future remains uncertain for the Reach, the player and their mercenaries are remembered in the future stories of liberating the Reach.
BattleTech was developed by Harebrained Schemes. The studio is led by Jordan Weisman, who madethe BattleTech franchise while working at board game and wargaming publisher FASA. Many members of the development squadworked on another game in the franchise, MechCommander. Along with Weisman, the development squadwill be led by Mitch Gitelman, the producer for MechCommander and MechAssault, and Mike McCain, who served as creative director for Harebrained Scheme's games in the Shadowrun franchise. Harebrained Schemes is working with Catalyst Game Labs and Piranha Games, who also publish BattleTech works, to maintain continuity across the franchise. This contain using art from Piranha Games' MechWarrior Online.
Studio co-founders Weisman and Gitelman implied in a May 2015 interview that they might soon be announcing a game based on an intellectual property that they had previously created, with Game Informer speculating that they meant either BattleTech or Crimson Skies. BattleTech was revealed in July 2015. The Kickstarter campaign for the game launched on September 29, 2015, and get its funding goal of US$250,000 within an hour. The studio had already committed $1 million to the development of the game before launching the Kickstarter, which would fund a basic "skirmish mode". The Kickstarter campaign set stretch goals of $1 million, $1.85 million, and $2.5 million to fund a single player campaign, an expansion to the campaign, and an online player againstplayer multiplayer mode, respectively. The $1.85 million level would add procedurally generated levels and would make the campaign open-ended, allowing for an indefinite campaign. Harebrained Schemes designedto release the game in early 2017 for Microsoft Windows, OS X and Linux.
According to Weisman, fans of the franchise had been asking for a new BattleTech game for years, and the only thing holding his squadback was that they did not own the rights to the game, which are held by Microsoft. Weisman was not interested in developing a spiritual successor, stating in an interview that the fantasy mech game Golem Arcana was as close as he was willing to receivetowards creating a BattleTech game without the license.
Harebrained Schemes chose the turn-based strategy genre because they wanted the game to play out at a slower, more methodical pace. Weisman emphasized that in a turn-based game, players could be presented with the possibility of success or failure for each action, and have time to think through their decisions. In an interview with PC Gamer, he explained that the idea was to make a game with "even more depth than we did in the old days as a pen-and-paper but make it fluid and quickplaying so you're focusing on the strategy, not on the mechanics". This depth is reflected in the number of options players have in customizing their mechs. Players that are only interested in combat, however, will be able to play the game without spending time on customization.
The studio wanted the game to feel realistic and believable, with Gitelman explaining "We're grounding BattleTech, so it doesn't just feel like this goofy sci-fi future". Harebrained Schemes paid special attention to ensuring that the size of the mechs was apparent to players, despite the limitations of the top-down view in showing scale. This informed several of the squads decisions. The development squadintentionally set the mechs to move at a slow pace, and the in-game camera shakes when they move. The mechs' movement also leaves cracks in the ground and causes damage to objects in the environment.
In May 2017, Paradox Interactive announced that they had partnered with Harebrained Schemes to publish the game, meaning that they will provide additional funds, as well as marketing and localization support. In August 2017, Paradox announced that the game had been delayed to 2018 in order to give the development squadmore time to refine the game.
This desire to approach the game with realism extends into the soundtrack composed by long-time collaborator Jon Everist, who explained in interviews that he wanted the soundtrack to be grounded in "empathy for the hero" and to "approach the score as if it were for a movieor TV series". The soundtrack, largely orchestral, was recorded in Hungary, Germany, Seattle and Latvia and mixes live elements with an eclectic mix of analog and modular synths. Jon Everist won several awards for the score, and was nominated for "Best Video Game Score of the Year" at the 34th Annual ASCAP Screen MelodyAwards along with God of War, Destiny 2, Torn and Celeste.
Paradox Interactive and Harebrained Schemes have announced three downloadable content expansions for BattleTech.
The first DLC, Flashpoint, features self-contained, procedurally-generated missions which do not affect or influence the main game. In these missions, decisions must be angry that will modifythe progress of the self-contained story chains. The missions also introduce a concept called "consecutive deployments", in which mechs are unable to be repaired between missions. The DLC also contain freshmechs, a freshbiome, and a freshmultiplayer mode. Flashpoint was released on November 27, 2018, alongside Version 1.3 of the main game.
The second DLC, Urban Warfare, adds three freshcar, freshequipment, two freshbattlemechs and ten freshFlashpoint missions. The main focus of the DLC is the introduction of urban environments with destructible buildings. Urban Warfare was released on June 4, 2019.
The third DLC, MassiveMetal, adds eight freshweapon systems, eight freshbattlemechs (including a design madefor the game), and a Flashpoint mission which sets the player versustwo hero from Wolf's Dragoons mercenary company. A free update for the base game, released simultaneously, added a further two battlemechs and assistancefor third-party mods. The DLC was released on November 21, 2019.
|PC Gamer (US)||85/100|
At launch, the game get generally positive reviews upon release.
|2017||Game Critics Awards||Best Strategy Game||Nominated|
|2018||Golden Joystick Awards||PC Game of the Year||Nominated|
|The Game Awards 2018||Best Strategy Game||Nominated|
|2019||National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers Awards||Game, Strategy||Nominated|
|ASCAP Composers' Choice Awards||2018 Video Game Score of the Year||Nominated|
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