BattleTech: The Crescent Hawk's Revenge

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Battletech:
The Crescent Hawks' Revenge
BattleTech - The Crescent Hawk's Revenge Coverart.png
Developer(s) Westwood Associates
Publisher(s) Infocom
Producer(s) Scott Berfield
Tony Van
Designer(s) Tony Van
Programmer(s) David R. Dettmer
Barry Green
Artist(s) Chuck Austen
Scott Berfield
Joseph B. Hewitt IV
Jenny Martin
Rick Parks
Aaron E. Powell
Don Woo
Composer(s) Paul S. Mudra
Dwight Kenichi Okahara
Platform(s) MS-DOS
Release 1990
Genre(s) Real-time tactics
Mode(s) Single-player

BattleTech: The Crescent Hawks' Revenge is a real-time tactics game based in the FASA BattleTech universe. Developed by Westwood Associates for Mediagenic, and produced by Scott Berfield, the game serves as a prototype for what later became Dune 2, the first real-time strategy title on the PC.[citation needed]

Gameplay[edit]

BattleTech: The Crescent Hawks' Revenge used a proto-real-time strategy engine[clarification needed] that allowed players to pause the game every time orders were issued to a unit. Players could also speed up or slow down time, allowing them to play the game at any desired pace. The combat was modeled modestly well after classic BattleTech rules, much more so than the later Mech Commander, making The Crescent Hawks' Revenge one of the few BattleTech games to closely follow the rule set of the board game.

The main part of the game was a linear campaign of missions, where the player was presented with a tactical battle that could last anywhere from 5 minutes to 50 minutes. The first mission involves a simple battle between a Jenner mech and a Locust mech, serving as a tutorial and story kick-off. Later missions would give the player control of 4 mechs in their 'command lance' and 2 additional lances.

The mechs in the command lance could be controlled individually or given orders together as a lance, while mechs in the two other lances were controlled by issuing orders to the entire lance only. This is another major strategy milestone, as The Crescent Hawks' Revenge had the concept of allowing the player to control both individual units and groups of units using the same control scheme.

The campaign is noted for its variety, where the player would be tasked with objectives ranging from defending a crashed dropship, to stalling enemy units for a set amount of time, to protecting a convoy that is attempting to load up with ammunition. Campaign missions sometimes had multiple endings, and the outcome of a battle could influence the following missions.

However, the campaign is also noted as being very difficult, with some early campaign choices making subsequent missions much harder without the player realizing it. While the game attempted to present the player with multiple ways to complete some missions, the methods often varied wildly in difficulty, and the player would not know this until after trying all options.

Plot[edit]

The story follows the protagonist of the previous Crescent Hawks game, Jason Youngblood, as he heads to the home base of the infamous Kell Hounds mercenary organization. The Hawks are attacked en route, crashland, and spend a good portion of the early game protecting their crashed dropship and helping the Kell Hounds repel the Kurita attack.

After repelling the attack, the Crescent Hawks go on a long series of missions to rescue Jason's father from his Kurita captors, at which they are successful. Jason is reunited with his father, who has been missing since the beginning of the Crescent Hawk's Inception.

The game then has a major timeskip to the period of the clan invasion. The Crescent Hawks join the Kell Hounds and fight alongside them in repelling the clan invasion, often alongside their former Kurita enemies. The Crescent Hawks, Kell Hounds, and Kurita forces are successful in defending the Kurita capital, and the game ends with the Hawks earning the respect of their new Kurita allies.

Notably, there is also a story crossover between the Crescent Hawks and the original Mechwarrior game. In a short one-shot mission, The Crescent Hawks attempt to save the Blazing Aces, the mercenary group from the original Mechwarrior game, from a Clan attack. They are unsuccessful at saving the main character, Mechwarrior Gideon Vandenburg, who dies during the attack. However, Gideon has secretly hidden most of the Ace's mechs from the clan, and the Blazing Aces survive despite their leader's death.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Review scores
PublicationScore
CGW3/5 stars[1]
Dragon4/5 stars[2]

Computer Gaming World in 1991 stated that BattleTech was an excellent conversion of the board game "without having to get out the tape measure and stack of charts", with good VGA graphics and sound card audio.[3] In a 1992 survey of science fiction games the magazine gave the title three of five stars,[1] and a 1994 survey of strategic space games set in the year 2000 and later gave the game two-plus stars out of five, stating that it "has strong role-playing elements, but still retains the tactical flavor of mechwarrior combat".[4] The game was reviewed in 1991 in Dragon #167 by Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk Lesser in "The Role of Computers" column. The reviewers gave the game 4 out of 5 stars.[2]

In a 1999 retrospective, Computer Games Strategy Plus named The Crescent Hawk's Revenge as a runner-up for its "10 Essential Real-time Strategy Games" list.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Brooks, M. Evan (November 1992). "Strategy & Wargames: The Future (2000-....)". Computer Gaming World. No. 100. p. 99. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  2. ^ a b Lesser, Hartley; Lesser, Patricia; Lesser, Kirk (March 1991). "The Role of Computers". Dragon (167): 47–54.
  3. ^ Lambright, J. D. (February 1991). "Infocom's BattleTech: The Crescent Hawk's Revenge Unleashes Its "Lethal Heritage"". Computer Gaming World. No. 79. p. 20. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  4. ^ Brooks, M. Evan (May 1994). "Never Trust A Gazfluvian Flingschnogger!". Computer Gaming World. pp. 42–58.
  5. ^ Bauman, Steve (November 15, 1999). "10 Essential Real-time Strategy Games". Computer Games Strategy Plus. Archived from the original on March 1, 2005.

External links[edit]