MechWarrior 4: Vengeance
|Publisher(s)||Microsoft, Tsunami Visual Technologies (arcade)|
|Genre(s)||Action / Simulation|
MechWarrior 4: Vengeance is a computer game developed by FASA Interactive and published by Microsoft. It was released on November 24, 2000. This game is the fourth game in MechWarrior series. It takes place in BattleTech universe where the pinnacle of all war machines are huge, heavily armed robots called BattleMechs. The player pilots one of these "'Mechs" and uses variety of available weapons (autocannons, lasers, missiles, and more) to battle enemy 'Mechs, tanks and other vehicles. An expansion pack, MechWarrior 4: Black Knight, was released on October 31, 2001, and a subsequent stand-alone expansion, MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries was released on November 7, 2002.
The game takes place on the Inner Sphere planet Kentares IV and its moon. Players take control of Ian Dresari, son of famed Clan War hero Duke Eric Dresari and heir to the throne of Kentares.
A civil war erupts on the planet after William Dresari, Ian's cousin, betrays the family and seizes the throne for himself under the banner of Katherine "Katrina" Steiner, ruler of the Lyran Alliance and responsible for annihilation of loyalists to Victor Steiner-Davion, brother of Katrina. After a surprise attack by Steiner forces on the Dresari royal palace, leaving Eric Dresari and the majority of the royal family dead, Ian meets up with his uncle, Sir Peter Dresari, on the moon orbiting Kentares' to launch a guerrilla campaign against Steiner. Ian fights alongside fellow Resistance MechWarriors, Casey Nolan, Jen McQuarrie, and Jules Gonzales, and their commander Elise Rathburn in various missions. The Resistance eventually relocates its base on the moon and sets up camp for the first time on Kentares' in the arctic regions. At one point during the campaign, Ian's uncle Peter is murdered by Duncan Burke, a high-ranking officer in Katrina's forces. Ian and the rest of the Resistance are devastated by the loss of his uncle and debate over whether or not to continue the fight for Kentares' freedom. They decide to push forward and manage to capture a satellite network from Steiner. The rebel group moves into the mountains.
After destroying a disabled but heavily guarded Steiner dropship, Ian and the Resistance move to the Hadra Peninsula, a remote desert region. Rumors of an abandoned prison camp reach the Resistance and efforts are made to locate and liberate it in order to enlist more personnel for the Resistance. Along the way, Ian is shocked to find that one member of his family survived Steiner's siege of the Dresari palace: his sister Joanna. After a short reunion, Ian and Joanna are separated once more as the Resistance plans to mobilize their forces to assault Steiner's stronghold. They make a brief detour to save the coastal town of Vale after Steiner threatens to bomb the town due to allegations of links to the Resistance. Not only does the Resistance save the population, but Ian manages to personally defeat his uncle's murderer, Duncan Burke, in a heated duel.
Pushing forward into the cities, the fighting heats up and Resistance casualties mount. Joanna informs Ian of an old armory cache hidden somewhere in the city full of equipment enough to outfit four heavy Lances of mechs, valuable for assaulting the Dresari palace, now the headquarters for the Steiner occupation. Before the search for the cache could be conducted however, Joanna and her Lance are ambushed by Steiner forces, leaving her badly injured and in mortal danger. Ian has to make a choice, between rescuing his sister from certain death or securing the weapons cache for an assault on the Dresari palace. Whatever the player chooses, Ian and the Resistance fight one last battle against House Steiner, finally putting an end to the war. However, the fight is not yet over for Ian, as William shows up in a modified Daishi, challenging Ian to a duel. Ian defeats William and finally frees the planet from Steiner's grasp.
Depending on the choice the player makes during the penultimate mission, either Joanna or Ian will ascend the throne as Duchess or Duke, respectively.
Mechwarrior's expansion, Black Knight, takes place several years after Vengeance, and gets its name from the organization of mercenaries the plot revolves around. After the first mission, the Black Knight Legion fall under the employ of the Steiner House, who wish to reclaim the Throne that Ian Dresari has taken; because Ian chose to find the weapons cache and not save his sister, many of his allies have left him, and his power is weak. The Steiner House, however, betrays the Legion, and nearly wipes it out in a surprise attack. This leads what is left of the Legion to seek justice against the Steiner House, while also continuing with their mission to overthrow Ian Dresari. They eventually find and kill Steiner liaison Clarissa Dupree, who is responsible for the betrayal, as well as Casey Nolan, who has remained loyal to Ian. The Legion also overthrows Ian. The final cutscene is a commercial advertising the Black Knight Legion, and they cite their success in killing Clarissa and Ian.
Mechwarrior 4 is a first-person mecha simulation game, with the player piloting a Mech in each mission. Mechs are armored and fitted with various projectile and energy weapons, and engage in combat with other Mechs as well as traditional military vehicles such as tanks and 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 a Mech.
Mech customization is a major aspect of gameplay. The player has significant control over the configuration of each of his or her Mechs, from the type and amount of armor used and some internal components to all of the Mech's weaponry and ammunition. In the campaign, additional parts, weapons, and ammunition are acquired through the missions from salvage and as rewards for success. The Mech configuration system has been simplified from that seen in MechWarrior 2 and MechWarrior 3.
In the campaign, the player controls up to three squadmates, with the ability to issue basic orders such as attack and move.
The 26 campaign missions are made up of seven "ops", each with different environments, and each 'op' containing about 3-6 missions. In the first few missions, only a few smaller mechs are available. As the game progresses, more mechs and weapons are at the player's disposal. These come in the form of salvage from previous missions. Between missions, the player can outfit mechs with different weapons and also assign mechs to one of their three Lancemate slots.
This mode lets players play with all mechs in the game. Players can pick a campaign mission or a wave-mission in which they can select up to four other mechs and fight them deathmatch-style. The map is randomly selected and the player is faced with three enemy mechs to fight. The player has to successively destroy all three enemies in a one-on-one fight.
The game features several multiplayer modes: Deathmatch with several twists such as points awarded for damage dealt; Capture the flag and King of the Hill with two modes, Deathmatch and team-based; escort mode that pits two teams against each other, each with the goal of destroying the other's VIP; and Steal the Beacon, in which players fight for possession of a beacon, that, when carried, will award the carrier points.
- E3 2000 Game Critics Awards: Best Simulation Game
- MechWarrior 4: Black Knight Expansion - Sci-Fi Simulation Game of the Year, GameSpot's 2001 readers' choice awards.