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MobyGames Classic Community Stories: MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat

Shacknews readers share their own stories revolving around the classic MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat, the latest game inducted into the "MobyGames Classic" series on


On Wednesday we announced 1995's combat simulation MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat was the next addition to our growing list of video game classics, presented by

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.

Shacknews user uebersoldat remembers time with MechWarrior 2 quite fondly. "Still one of the best sims ever made," he states. "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."

Shacknews user walker270 got quite hooked on the game's online multiplayer component back in the day, much to his parents' chagrin. "First online game I ever played. Ended up running a $300 phone bill one month from Netmech. Parents were not happy. Good times," he states.

Perhaps the coolest bit of community feedback comes from Shacknews user axiomatic, who actually worked on the game doing "art assets (textures) as well as some logo work for print stuff and some early alpha/beta testing." He writes, "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."

Check out the original Chatty thread for more stories and memories from MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat.

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
  • reply
    February 24, 2012 5:30 PM

    Shack Staff posted a new article, MobyGames Classic Community Stories: MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat.

    Shacknews readers share their own stories revolving around the classic MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat, the latest game inducted into the "MobyGames Classic" series on

    • reply
      February 26, 2012 11:35 AM

      I ran clan Goliath Scorpion on the Kali Grand Council league for a few years in the late 90s and I have nothing but fond memories of mech2 netmech. Along with ActionQuake2, it's the game that got me on the path to working in the games industry. I have fond memories of us practicing death from above maneuvers for hours on end against each other and using them profusely in games vs the other clans, much to their annoyment. But we have fun so what the hell. I've been somewhat disappointed by more recent mech titles, it seems as though piloting skills are not nearly as important as they were in mech2 due to the agility of the mechs and jumpjets. That combined with the funky lag aiming (shooting the air in front of the mech's path to hit them because they weren't doing any lag compensation in their networking) made for a game where it was a little more skilled and challenging to actually hit the enemy.

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