MechWarrior 4: Vengeance

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MechWarrior 4: Vengeance
MechWarrior 4 - Vengeance Coverart.png
Developer(s)FASA Interactive
Tsunami Visual Technologies (arcade)
Publisher(s)Microsoft
Producer(s)T. J. Wagner
Composer(s)Duane Decker
SeriesMechWarrior
Platform(s)Windows, Arcade[1]
Release
  • NA: November 22, 2000[2]
  • EU: February 2, 2001
Black Knight
  • NA: October 31, 2001
  • EU: November 23, 2001
Genre(s)Vehicle simulation
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

MechWarrior 4: Vengeance is a vehicle simulation game, developed by FASA Interactive and published by Microsoft. It was released on November 22, 2000. It 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 in 2001, and a subsequent stand-alone expansion, MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries, was released on November 7, 2002.

Plot[edit]

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 IV.

A civil war erupts on Kentares IV after William Dresari, Ian's cousin, betrays the family and seizes the throne under the banner of Katherine "Katrina" Steiner. Steiner is the ruler of the Lyran Alliance and responsible for the annihilation of loyalists to Victor Steiner-Davion, Katrina's brother. 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 IV to launch a guerrilla campaign against Steiner. Ian fights alongside fellow Resistance MechWarriors, Casey Nolan, Jen McQuarrie, Jules Gonzales, and their commander Elise Rathburn, in various missions. The Resistance eventually leaves the moon and sets up camp on Kentares IV's 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 Resistance are devastated by the loss and debate over whether or not to continue the fight for Kentares' freedom. They decide to push forward, capturing 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. 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 again as the Resistance mobilizes 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 defeats his uncle's murderer, Duncan Burke, in a heated duel.

Pushing into the cities, the fighting heats up and Resistance casualties mount. Joanna informs Ian of an old armory cache hidden somewhere in the city, invaluable for assaulting the Dresari palace, now the headquarters for the Steiner occupation. Right before the Resistance prepares to locate the armory, Joanna and her Lance are ambushed by Steiner forces, leaving her wounded and in mortal danger. Ian makes a choice, between rescuing his sister from certain death or securing the weapons cache. Whatever the player chooses, Ian and the Resistance fight one last battle against House Steiner at the palace, 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 player's choice before the penultimate mission, either Joanna or Ian will ascend the throne as Duchess/Duke.

Black Knight[edit]

Mechwarrior's expansion, Black Knight, takes place several years after Vengeance, and gets its name from the organization of mercenaries the plot revolves around. The Black Knight Legion fall under the employ of the Federated Commonwealth, who wish to reclaim Kentares IV from Ian Dresari. Ian chose to find the weapons cache, leading to his sister's death, resulting in many of his allies abandoning him. House Steiner, however, betrays the Legion, and nearly wipes it out in a surprise attack. Legion remnants seek justice against the Commonwealth, while also continuing with their mission to overthrow Dresari. They eventually find and kill Steiner liaison Clarissa Dupree, who is responsible for the betrayal, as well as killing Ian. The final cutscene is a commercial advertising the Black Knight Legion, citing their success against both Steiner and Dresari.

Gameplay[edit]

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.

Campaign[edit]

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.

Instant Action[edit]

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.

Multiplayer[edit]

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.

Reception[edit]

Vengeance[edit]

MechWarrior 4: Vengeance
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic87/100[3]
Review scores
PublicationScore
CGW4/5 stars[4]
Edge6/10[5]
Eurogamer8/10[6]
Game Informer8.75/10[7]
GamePro5/5 stars[8]
GameSpot8.8/10[9]
GameSpy91%[10]
IGN9/10[11]
Next Generation3/5 stars[14]
PC Gamer (US)88%[12]
X-Play5/5 stars[13]

Chris Kramer reviewed the PC version of the game for Next Generation, rating it three stars out of five, and stated that "Knockout graphics and the new gameplay direction aside, this MechWarrior isn't as genre-defining as previous incarnations. A solid game, but not as mind-blowing as MechWarrior 2."[14]

MechWarrior 4: Venegance received "generally favorable reviews" according to the review aggregation website Metacritic.[3]

Black Knight[edit]

MechWarrior 4: Black Knight
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic78/100[15]
Review scores
PublicationScore
CGW4/5 stars[16]
GameSpot7.6/10[17]
GameSpy85%[18]
GameZone9/10[19]
IGN8.6/10[20]
PC Gamer (UK)77%[21]
PC Gamer (US)80%[22]

The Black Knight expansion pack received "generally favorable reviews", although moderately less than the original MechWarrior 4, according to Metacritic.[15]

Sales[edit]

In the United States, the original MechWarrior 4 sold 320,000 copies and earned $11.5 million by August 2006, after its release in November 2000. It was the country's 55th best-selling computer game between January 2000 and August 2006. Combined sales of all MechWarrior computer games released between January 2000 and August 2006 had reached 900,000 units in the United States by the latter date.[23]

Accolades[edit]

The editors of Computer Gaming World named the original MechWarrior 4 the best "sci-fi sim" of 2000. They wrote, "Although it changed the way things work in BattleTech, it accomplished what Crimson Skies set out to do: Open up the sci-fi genre to non-BattleTech-heads."[24] The editors of Computer Games Magazine nominated MechWarrior 4 for their 2000 "Sci-Fi Simulation of the Year" award.[25]

Awards[edit]

  • 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.[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "MechWarrior 4: Vengeance". Tsunami Visual Technologies. Archived from the original on May 25, 2006.
  2. ^ "News Briefs". IGN. November 21, 2000. Archived from the original on April 17, 2001. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
    Mechwarrior 4 In Stores?: "Not today [(November 21)] unfortunately but we got the inside word that everyone's favorite giant battling robot game will be appearing in stores as early as Wednesday[, November 22]."
  3. ^ a b "MechWarrior 4: Vengeance for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  4. ^ Nguyen, Thierry (March 2001). "Mech Mine Marvel! (MechWarrior 4: Vengeance Review)" (PDF). Computer Gaming World. No. 200. pp. 96–98. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  5. ^ Edge staff (February 2001). "MechWarrior 4: Venegance". Edge. No. 94.
  6. ^ Carter, Ben (February 6, 2001). "Mechwarrior 4 : Vengeance". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on February 10, 2001. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  7. ^ Reppen, Erik (January 2001). "MechWarrior 4: Vengeance". Game Informer. No. 93. pp. 126–27. Archived from the original on February 25, 2005. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  8. ^ Human Tornado (December 11, 2000). "Mechwarrior 4: Vengeance Review for PC on GamePro.com". GamePro. Archived from the original on February 7, 2005. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  9. ^ Grey, Bruce (November 30, 2000). "MechWarrior 4: Vengeance Review". GameSpot. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  10. ^ Haumersen, Lee (December 3, 2000). "MechWarrior 4: Vengeance". GameSpy. Archived from the original on February 16, 2005. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  11. ^ Butts, Steve (November 29, 2000). "MechWarrior 4: Vengeance". IGN. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  12. ^ Klett, Steve (February 2001). "MechWarrior 4: Vengeance". PC Gamer. p. 52. Archived from the original on March 15, 2006. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  13. ^ Lee, Ed (February 9, 2001). "'MechWarrior 4: Vengeance' Review". X-Play. Archived from the original on April 17, 2001. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  14. ^ a b Kramer, Chris (February 2001). "Finals; MechWarrior 4: Vengeance". Next Generation. Lifecycle 2, Vol. 3 (2): 86.
  15. ^ a b "MechWarrior 4: Black Knight Expansion for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  16. ^ Nguyen, Thierry (March 2002). "MechWarrior 4: Black Knight" (PDF). Computer Gaming World. No. 212. p. 89. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  17. ^ Kasavin, Greg (November 6, 2001). "MechWarrior 4: Black Knight Review". GameSpot. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  18. ^ Bub, Andrew S. (November 24, 2001). "MechWarrior 4: Black Knight". GameSpy. Archived from the original on February 16, 2005. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  19. ^ Giacobbi, Kevin "BIFF" (November 9, 2001). "MechWarrior 4: Black Knight Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on February 10, 2008. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  20. ^ Sulic, Ivan (November 1, 2001). "MechWarrior 4: Black Knight". IGN. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  21. ^ "MechWarrior 4: Black Knight". PC Gamer UK. February 2002.
  22. ^ Klett, Steve (January 2002). "MechWarrior 4: Black Knight". PC Gamer. p. 73. Archived from the original on March 15, 2006. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  23. ^ Edge staff (August 25, 2006). "The Top 100 PC Games of the 21st Century (Page 5)". Edge. Archived from the original on October 17, 2012.
  24. ^ CGW staff (April 2001). "The 2001 Premier Awards: Games of the Year" (PDF). Computer Gaming World. No. 201. p. 76. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  25. ^ CGM staff (February 8, 2001). "Computer Games Magazine announces nominees for annual best in computer gaming awards". Computer Games Magazine. Archived from the original on February 9, 2005.
  26. ^ "Best of 2001: Sci-Fi Simulation Game of the Year". GameSpot. Archived from the original on December 26, 2010.

External links[edit]