MechWarrior Retrospective: The Future is Hawken

The first multiplayer game I really got into was an odd one – Microsoft’s MechWarrior series. If you haven’t played it, it’s basically a game in which you pilot a massive robotic walker, called a ‘mech, armed with a judicious amount of firepower. Unlike most FPS games of the time, there was a high level of customisability; given a maximum tonnage, you had to balance engine power, armour and weapons to make your perfect fighting machine. You could act as a sniper, taking down enemies from kilometers away with banks of missiles shot forty at a time, or get in close and rip your opponent’s legs off with a well aimed autocannon shot.Continue reading

Battlefield 2142 Retrospective

Battlefield 2142 holds a special place in my heart because it’s the first shooter I was any good at. I’d been playing the Battlefield series since 1942, but I never had a fast enough (read: non-dialup) internet connection to support online play. In 1942 I used to play at infrequent LAN parties at the houses of my friends. It was amazingly good fun, full of wing riding and jeep ramming, but only happened for a few hours a year.

When Battlefield 2 was released, I saved up my money and eventually was able to purchase it. Even though most of my friends had upgraded to broadband internet around this time, I lived so far away from the nearest town that no broadband would reach me. I used to go over to my friend’s houses to play it, staying up long into the night because I knew that when I returned home I’d be back to playing the lifeless singleplayer. I really relished the time I spent with my friends playing Battlefield 2, but eventually it came to an end when I had to leave the U.S. for university in England.

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