MobyGames Classic: MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat Classic returns with MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat, the 1995 PC mech-combat simulation by Activision.


MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat stomped onto the PC gaming scene in the mid-nineties, bringing complex first-person combat that was as much about deftly piloting the series' multi-ton walking tanks called mechs as it was about reflexes. Location-based damage and operational controls that let players rotate their mechs' torsos independently of their legs were just a couple of attributes that set MechWarrior apart from other combat sims. The game also saw several versions that helped bridge the gap between DOS and 3D accelerated video cards, including some versions made and bundled specifically for certain video cards by a variety of their manufacturers. It also eventually made its way onto the PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and Mac.

Today we add 1995's classic first-person combat simulation, MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat, to our growing list of video game classics, presented by

For many gamers, MechWarrior 2 was the first in the series to really capture the imagination. MobyGames reviewer Paul Budd enthusiastically describes how the game made him a MechWarrior convert. "I was never a big fan of the original Mechwarrior game. That said, I really tried to go into this game with a clear head," he states. "This was one of the best gaming investments I ever made! This game is full of action, cool music and sounds--and you get to pilot enormous Mechs! The broad array of terrain-types and combat scenarios will give you many hours of slammin'-jammin' gaming goodness."

MobyGames Reviewer Ashley Pomeroy touts the game's presentational attributes, which continued to evolve with each subsequent expansion and sequel. "The impression of moving about in a giant robot was extremely well conveyed," Pomeroy states. "Your robot strode around the landscape exactly as if it was a hundred feet tall and made of iron. The sound design was effective as well, with a good range of clanks and robot noises that added greatly to the experience."

She also touches on MechWarrior 2's RPG-like customization options. "One of the best features was the way that you could customize your robot, indeed you could choose several different robot bodies. Each could store a certain weight of weapons and equipment in a certain set of locations, and if you overloaded your robot it moved slower, heated up quicker, and couldn't jump as far," she explains.

Tell Us Your Stories! We want to hear about your experiences with MechWarrior 2. Tell us your stories. Why did you love it? What drove you crazy? Remember it fondly with us in the comments below. We'll select some of your thoughts and memories and add it to a Weekend Update to this feature.

MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat on

You are the genetically engineered Clan Mechwarrior. The Clans are invading the Inner Sphere. Join either the Wolf Clan or the Jade Falcon Clan as they pursue their own agenda against the Inner Sphere and other Clans. Take your advanced Omnimechs into battle against all comers. Win high warrior ratings (by using less mechs or smaller mechs than needed, completing secondary objectives, etc.) and you'll get chance at a promotion trial where you face superior odds in an arena. If you win, you advance in rank. If you are very successfully, you can make it all the way up to Khan, leader of the Clan!

Mechwarrior II was developed in-house by Activision as the successor to their original Mechwarrior. While this time there are no dynamic campaign and mercenary actions, the Clan culture is integrated into the two campaigns. Different clans have different mechs and different rules, even different weapons. You can customize your mechs in order to use less than the "par" force in order to get a higher rating. The full 3D environment wasn't pretty, as this was before the 3D accelerators made their debut, but it's still better than anything that came before. The addition of NetMech allowed users to fight each other online. When 3D cards came along, special versions were created to take advantage of 3D texturing. While not QUITE as replayable as Mechwarrior, it's nonetheless a classic.

MobyGames Classic is our chance to look back at the games that helped shape the video game industry with the help of our sister site It combines a short history lesson on the title and anecdotes from the Shacknews community.

Shack Staff stories are a collective effort with multiple staff members contributing. Many of our lists often involve entires from several editors, and our weekly Shack Chat is something we all contribute to as a group. 

From The Chatty
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    February 22, 2012 3:45 PM

    Shack Staff posted a new article, Moby Games Classic: MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat. Classic returns with MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat, the 1995 PC mech-combat simulation by Activision.

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      February 22, 2012 4:01 PM

      Still one of the best sims ever made. I got my old CD out the other day and ripped the soundtrack to my iPod. Been listening to Arkham Bridge and Iron Piston often lately.

      Brings me back :D

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      February 22, 2012 4:08 PM

      Here's an in-depth retro review of MechWarrior 2 from a guy who reviews old DOS games.

      I remember playing it, I remember liking it, but damn I never realized just how detailed and in depth the game was. Especially when compared to today's games (or at least my current perception of today's games)

      I remember at the time thinking how cool it was that this game was a very accurate simulation of something that didn't exist in real life.

      I guess it just underscores how we need to have mod teams like MWLL and support their efforts if we like them.

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      February 22, 2012 4:08 PM

      Now THIS is what we were expecting from Pirahna. And THIS is what they promised.

      Fuck their shitty P2W MMO.

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      February 22, 2012 4:21 PM

      My story is pretty quick...

      First online game I ever played. Ended up running a $300 phone bill one month from Netmech. Parents were not happy.

      Good times.

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      February 22, 2012 4:43 PM

      I've never actually played MW2, though I own it. I should break it out some day, even if it means having to play as Clan Jade Turkey.

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      February 22, 2012 5:00 PM

      Can Mercenaries be far behind!? I must admit to really liking MW4 though.

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      February 22, 2012 9:18 PM

      Didn't get to play MW2 but I loved MW3/4.

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      February 22, 2012 9:26 PM

      I still get a boner thinking about the intro/cinematics.


      also this makes me want to fire Living Legends back up!!!

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      February 23, 2012 6:43 AM

      Oh my god... now I'm really old.... I worked on this game when I was much younger... now it's considered a classic?!?! It's only 8:42am where I live and I think I need a stiff drink after this news.

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        February 23, 2012 6:52 AM

        I shall raise a glass to you, champion of champions.

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        February 23, 2012 7:21 AM

        What did you do for it?

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          February 24, 2012 8:03 AM

          I did some art assets (textures) as well as some logo work for print stuff and some early alpha/beta testing. Nothing special but the FASA guys were the best group of guys to work with.

          I am a network engineer now and do nothing as fun now as I did back then. Good times.

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        February 23, 2012 7:45 AM

        What? How do you not realize this is a classic? If you truly worked on it you have a new fanboy!!

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        February 23, 2012 8:23 AM

        thank you for whatever you did on MW2. i have fond memories of that summer we spent together.

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        February 23, 2012 8:34 AM

        Good god, it is one of the best sims ever made, dear sir. You are a legend.

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          February 24, 2012 8:04 AM

          Thank you but if you read above my contributions were small. But contributions none the less. ;-)

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        February 23, 2012 2:39 PM

        It's been a classic for like 10 years now. And not "classic" as in "old", but "classic" as in "one of the best games ever".

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      February 23, 2012 7:31 AM

      What an amazing game. I got my real start in online gaming in this and C&C. I have some pretty fond memories of being a little kid joining online clan battles with my brother, meeting up in Kali and launching into Netmech and promptly getting destroyed. Good times.

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      February 23, 2012 7:32 AM

      God the network lag in that game, even with cable modems you had to shoot at nothing until you saw the other mech taking damage, then you knew where he actually was.

      Still loved it.

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      February 23, 2012 8:24 AM

      Man we used to play the shit out of that

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      February 23, 2012 9:25 AM

      I think this was my first '3D' game after buying that very expensive Monster 3D card with the pass-through cable. It was AWESOME! I still get goosebumps seeing that trailer again.

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      February 26, 2012 2:47 PM

      I didn't play MW2 much, but holy GOD did I play the shit out of Mercenaries. Mercenaries was so badass. Online was so fun.

      This game always made me want VR goggles, and a 30 button joystick. VR goggles would've been the best. Can't wait for Mercenaries to pop up.

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