MechWarrior 3

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MechWarrior 3
MechWarrior 3 Coverart.png
Developer(s)Zipper Interactive
Publisher(s)Hasbro Interactive
Producer(s)Michael Mancuso
Designer(s)George Sinfield
Artist(s)Daniel Dociu
SeriesMechWarrior
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
Release
Pirate's Moon
  • NA: December 3, 1999
Genre(s)Vehicle simulation
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

MechWarrior 3 is a vehicle simulation game, part of the MechWarrior series. It featured a new 3D accelerated graphics engine at the time of its release. The game contains over 20 missions, with access to 18 different mechs. A novelization called Trial Under Fire was written by Loren L. Coleman.

Gameplay[edit]

Mechwarrior 3 is a first-person mecha simulation game, where the player pilots a Mech in each mission. Mechs are giant armored robots and fitted with various projectile and energy weapons. Mechs engage in combat with other mechs as well as traditional military vehicles such as tanks, helicopters, and occasional weapon emplacements. During combat a Mech's weapons and critical components can be damaged, and it is even possible for entire limbs to be blown off of a Mech.

Mech customization is a major aspect of gameplay. The player has near total control over the configuration of each of his or her Mechs. From the type and amount of armor used to various internal components, and all of the Mech's weaponry and ammunition. In the campaign additional parts, weapons, and ammunition are acquired through the missions, captured supplies, and salvaged enemy Mechs.

Also in the campaign, the player controls up to three squadmates, with the ability to issue basic orders such as attack, move, and return to the Mobile Field Bases (MFBs) for repairs.

The Mobile Field Bases are a unique feature not seen in any other Mechwarrior game. The player starts the game with three MFBs, although these can be destroyed. The MFBs travel with the player throughout the missions advancing when ordered to by the player. They carry all the player's supplies, which means there is a weight limit to the amount of supplies the player can keep. The MFBs can provide field repair and resupply provided they are carrying suffient armor and ammunition. As Mechs do not have shields, and are only protected by armor which is damaged in combat, the MFBs can become crucial in enabling the player to complete a mission.

Plot[edit]

The story opens with a short briefing of the Inner Sphere's Operation: Bulldog, a daring plan to eliminate the most hostile and vicious clan in the Inner Sphere: Clan Smoke Jaguar, led by Anastasius Focht and Victor Steiner-Davion. Operation Bulldog and Task Force Serpent have already completed their objectives, but there is one last operation left—the one with which the player is tasked—the disruption of a ranking Smoke Jaguar officer's attempt to rally and restore the Clan forces. This mission (codename: Damocles) is to destroy key Smoke Jaguar installations on the planet Tranquil, including a mech factory, a starport, a geothermal power plant, and the Smoke Jaguar control structure. The mission is a commando operation with limited forces, and does not include elimination of the enemy as an objective.

Two dropships are deployed to release the BattleMech force to destroy these installations. However, while in orbit above Tranquil, a dropship is attacked by naval laser fire. The Blackhammer is shot down and the remaining dropship, the Eclipse, retreats to safety. The player was already deployed from the dropship, which had been slightly off target before it was destroyed. The Mobile Field Bases (MFB), which were deployed at the same time as the player, land on target. The player's first mission is to rendezvous with the MFBs and secure the area from hostile forces.

At least seven Mechs are deployed. Two are destroyed by the enemy near the beginning of the game and one toward the end. The novelization mentions one more casualty lost due to a parachute malfunction. The remaining four survivors gradually link up over the course of the game. Twelve more Mechs remain aboard the Eclipse, but they cannot be deployed directly, and an attempt to fight through from a safe landing area fails after heavy casualties. Despite this setback, the player must continue with his objectives, and eventually secure a Clan shuttle to rendezvous with the Eclipse in low orbit.

Pirate's Moon (expansion pack)[edit]

In-game screenshot of Mechwarrior 3 with a 'Puma' Light Mech and a 'Thor' Heavy Mech

MechWarrior 3: Pirate's Moon is the only expansion pack for MechWarrior 3, with an all new storyline and 20 new missions, plus six new mechs, brand new terrains, and a number of weapons. The player can select either Campaign Missions or Pirate Missions which contain respective stories.

Campaign[edit]

The Lance Leader from MechWarrior 3 is now given an official name known as 'Lieutenant Connor Sinclair' and returns as main protagonist of the campaign missions. Sinclair is assigned to protect the Federated Suns' control over the planet Vale and its resources against New Belt Pirates led by Susie Ryan. During the confrontation, Sinclair and his lancemates encounter overwhelming pirate forces unexpectedly and explore for the further plot to be unveiled.

Pirate Missions[edit]

The player controls 'Scourge', the New Belt Pirate working for Susie Ryan as the forces attempt to attack the Federated Suns' defense and claim control over the resources on Vale.

Reception[edit]

Reviews[edit]

MechWarrior 3 received favorable reviews according to the review aggregation website GameRankings.[2] John Lee of NextGen called it "a worthy successor to the two earlier versions that should keep Mech pilots eagerly engaged until the mission packs start rolling out."[14] (Ironically, there was only one called Pirate's Moon.)

Sales[edit]

The game was heavily promoted in the lead-up to its release.[17] It debuted at #2 on PC Data's computer game sales rankings for May 30–June 5, 1999.[18] The title rose to first place the following week,[19] then remained in the top 10 from June 13–July 10.[20][21][22][23] It took positions 1 and 9, respectively, for June and July overall.[24][25] The game's sales had risen to 99,000 units in the U.S. by the end of July, according to PC Data. Mark Asher of CNET Gamecenter reported that these figures were "good but certainly not what Hasbro Interactive hoped for". Alongside the underperformance of Starsiege and Heavy Gear II, the sales of the game led Asher to speculate that "the mecha market just isn't as big as we thought".[26] The game was absent from PC Data's weekly top 10 by the week ending July 17,[27] and charted 16th for August before exiting the monthly top 20.[28][29]

In September 2000, Asher wrote that "the evidence seems to be piling up that games that require anything more than a keyboard and mouse for a control setup suffer at the cash register, [but] the FASA license is as strong as ever. Hasbro Interactive expects to sell about 200,000 copies of MechWarrior 3 this year alone."[30]

Awards[edit]

The game was a runner-up for Computer Gaming World's 1999 "Science Fiction Simulation of the Year", GameSpot's "Science-Fiction Simulation of the Year" and Computer Games Strategy Plus' "Sci-Fi Simulation of the Year" awards, all of which ultimately went to FreeSpace 2.[31][32][33] The staff of CGSP wrote: "While it [MechWarrior 3] was light on quantity of missions, Zipper finally got the scale right in a Mech sim."[31] The magazine later named the game as a runner-up for its 2000 "10 Best Sci-Fi Simulations" list.[34] The game won the award for "Best Sci-Fi Simulation" at the CNET Gamecenter Awards for 1999.[35] It also won the Origins Awards for Best Action Computer Game of 1999,[36] and for "Best Fantasy Sim" in PC PowerPlay's Game of the Year 1999 Awards,[37] whereas it was a runner-up for the "Best Intro" award, which went to Half-Life.[38]

Pirate's Moon[edit]

Pirate's Moon received favorable reviews, albeit slightly less than the original MechWarrior 3, according to GameRankings.[39]

References[edit]

  1. ^ IGN staff (May 27, 1999). "MechWarrior 3 Blitz Begins". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "MechWarrior 3 for PC". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 23, 2019. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  3. ^ Honeywell, Steve. "MechWarrior 3 - Review". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on November 15, 2014. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
  4. ^ Cirulis, Martin E. (June 8, 1999). "MechWarrior 3". Gamecenter. CNET. Archived from the original on August 15, 2000. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  5. ^ Sones, Benjamin E. (June 7, 1999). "Mechwarrior 3 [sic]". Computer Games Strategy Plus. Strategy Plus, Inc. Archived from the original on May 24, 2003. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  6. ^ Fortune, Greg (September 1999). "Mech Lite (MechWarrior 3 Review)" (PDF). Computer Gaming World. No. 182. Ziff Davis. pp. 129–30. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  7. ^ Edge staff (August 1999). "Mechwarrior 3 [sic]". Edge. No. 74. Future Publishing. p. 87. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
  8. ^ Bergren, Paul (August 1999). "MechWarrior 3". Game Informer. No. 76. FuncoLand. p. 74.
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  11. ^ Kasavin, Greg (June 4, 1999). "MechWarrior 3 Review [date mislabeled as "May 1, 2000"]". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on December 5, 2004. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  12. ^ Dickinson, Jon (July 12, 1999). "MechWarrior 3". GameZone. Archived from the original on January 11, 2004. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
  13. ^ Blevins, Tal (June 4, 1999). "MechWarrior 3". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  14. ^ a b Lee, John (September 1999). "MechWarrior 3". NextGen. No. 57. Imagine Media. p. 89. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  15. ^ Lee, Ed (July 1999). "MechWarrior 3". PC Accelerator. No. 11. Imagine Media. pp. 68–71. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  16. ^ "MechWarrior 3". PC Gamer. Vol. 6, no. 9. Imagine Media. September 1999.
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  20. ^ Ajami, Amer (June 29, 1999). "The Menace Strikes Back [date mislabeled as "April 27, 2000"]". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 21, 2000. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
  21. ^ GamerX (July 8, 1999). "TA: Kingdoms, the Top Cavedog". Gamecenter. CNET. Archived from the original on August 24, 2000.
  22. ^ GamerX (July 15, 1999). "Roller Coasters Have Legs". Gamecenter. CNET. Archived from the original on August 24, 2000.
  23. ^ Fudge, James (July 21, 1999). "TA: Kingdoms still on top". Computer Games Strategy Plus. Strategy Plus, Inc. Archived from the original on April 6, 2005. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  24. ^ GamerX (July 20, 1999). "June's PC Best-Sellers". Gamecenter. CNET. Archived from the original on August 17, 2000.
  25. ^ Fudge, James (September 1, 1999). "Half-Life Tops July Sales Charts". Computer Games Strategy Plus. Strategy Plus, Inc. Archived from the original on February 8, 2005. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  26. ^ Asher, Mark (October 1, 1999). "Game Spin: Spy vs. Spy". Gamecenter. CNET. Archived from the original on June 6, 2000. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
  27. ^ GamerX (July 29, 1999). "StarCraft Returns". Gamecenter. CNET. Archived from the original on August 17, 2000.
  28. ^ Fudge, James (September 23, 1999). "Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun Tops August Sales Charts". Computer Games Strategy Plus. Strategy Plus, Inc. Archived from the original on May 2, 2005. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  29. ^ GameSpot staff (October 21, 1999). "September's Top 20 [date mislabeled as "April 27, 2000"]". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on June 2, 2000. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
  30. ^ Asher, Mark (September 15, 2000). "Game Spin: Gold!". Gamecenter. CNET. Archived from the original on April 17, 2001. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
  31. ^ a b CGSP staff (March 6, 2000). "The Computer Games Awards (Sci-Fi Simulation of the Year)". Computer Games Strategy Plus. Strategy Plus, Inc. Archived from the original on April 1, 2005. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
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  33. ^ CGW staff (March 2000). "The 2000 Premier Awards (Science Fiction Simulation of the Year)" (PDF). Computer Gaming World. No. 188. Ziff Davis. p. 73. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
  34. ^ Bauman, Steve (January 28, 2000). "10 Best Sci-Fi Simulations". Computer Games Strategy Plus. Strategy Plus, Inc. Archived from the original on February 4, 2005. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
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  38. ^ "Game of the Year 1999 (Part 1)". PC PowerPlay. No. 47. Next Media Pty Ltd. April 2000. p. 28. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
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  40. ^ The Jaded Critic. "MechWarrior 3: Pirate's Moon Expansion Pack - Review". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on November 15, 2014. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
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External links[edit]