Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries

Review

posted 12/8/2002 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: PC
The terrain isn’t as impressive as it used to be. Sure it was pretty cool when the engine debuted two years ago. Now, it’s just average. But it would probably take a lot of horsepower to render a better outdoor setting with huge mechs towering over buildings and foliage. Instead you get lifeless trees and the ground sometimes show the borders of the textures used.

I was also disappointed at the lack of destructible objects and terrain. You’ll have trees that fall to dust when you walk through them and some buildings you can take down but all in all there’s not much else to tear apart. There’s sprite like people on the ground and you can’t shoot or run them over. Vehicles are modeled well and I did enjoy seeing a group of helicopters swooping around me trying to take me out with their missiles. You can run into the vehicles to destroy them if you are out of weapons or just feel to need to stomp them into oblivion.

What I was surprised at was the lack of impressive sound the game has. With huge mechs and massive weapons you would expect a barrage of impressive sound effects to go with it. In reality, I didn’t get a sense of firing my massive cannons or large grouping of missiles as the sound coming from my Z-680 speakers seem rather bland and weak. Microsoft could’ve added a lot more oomph into this game by providing a great audio experience but alas the game lacks that too.

Yes there is a multiplayer aspect but no cooperative mode. One of my favorite ways to play with my friends is co-op and I was a little disappointed to see that it was omitted from Mercenaries. That’s not to say it doesn’t have a good plethora of multiplayer options, but the one that I sorely miss is co-op play. Other than that you get some good gameplay modes such as team battle, destruction, and mission play.

Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries is a good follow up to Vengeance but it feels more like an add-on with it’s two year old engine. At a full price of $50, it does seem a little steep. If the game were going for around $35, it would be more fairly priced. Still if you are new to the Mechwarrior series, Mercenaries is a good pickup to start as it doesn’t confine you to a linear mission scheme giving you a little more freedom.



B-
Mercenaries doesn't feel new but there's some good aspects of the game. It's different when you are not part of a Clan and do your job for money. The game does have some good features but the graphics are looking rather old.


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