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Battletech: Heavy Metal

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Battletech: Heavy Metal Game Poster Image
Third expansion pack brings back classic robots for fans.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Heavy Metal is mainly focused on adding content in terms of maps and 'Mechs. The expansion does include a Flashpoint story mode that sends players to uncover the secrets of a derelict ship, but there's no positive or negative messages overall.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Players are responsible for running and maintaining a crew of mercenaries. The player has some basic origin set up at the start, but otherwise, characters fall into generic templates meant to fill certain roles on the team. Your character and his crew are generally honorable, but there are choices throughout the story missions that can swing the moral pendulum in either direction.

Ease of Play

This is a turn-based strategy game and the expansion follows the same mechanics as the base game. On the battlefield, players have plenty of time to plan and execute their tactics. Players should be aware though that there's a large amount of micro-management and maintenance involved, including monitoring BattleMechs’ various weapons, heat, and even orientation on the map. Outside of battles, this level of complexity continues, with players upgrading and maintaining 'Mechs and pilots.

Violence

The game features large scale destruction with squads of 'Mechs battling in a variety of different environments. ‘Mechs are armed with different conventional and sci-fi weapons with high degrees of destructive capabilities. ‘Mechs can be dismembered in combat and human soldiers can be killed, though the scale of the game keeps the onscreen blood to a minimum.

Sex
Language

Some mild profanity occasionally shows up in the dialogue. Parents should also be aware that online chat does open up the possibility of offensive language from other players online.

Consumerism

This is the third paid expansion to the base video game, based on the popular BattleTech franchise. The expansion is also the final content pack included in the optional Season Pass, which also includes the previous Flashpoint and Urban Warfare expansions.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Battletech: Heavy Metal is the third paid expansion to Paradox Interactive's Battletech sci-fi strategy game, available for download on Windows, MacOS, and Linux based computers. The expansion adds new 'Mechs, weapons, and a new mini-campaign Flashpoint to expand the story. It requires a lot of micro-management for both 'Mechs and pilots, as well as a lot of deep strategy during battles. The combat generally focuses on 'Mech versus 'Mech battles, though some other units occasionally join the fray. There are lots of explosions and destructive features during combat, though very little in the way onscreen blood or graphic violence. There's also some mild profanity in the dialogue, but the unmoderated gameplay could expose players to harsher language or inappropriate content.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

BATTLETECH: HEAVY METAL is the third and final paid expansion to come to Paradox Interactive and Harebrained Schemes’ BattleTech sci-fi strategy game this season, bringing a whole host of new additions to your 'Mech lineup. The expansion brings eight new 'Mechs to the battlefield. Seven of the robots are classic 'Mechs from back in the days of the original tabletop game plus the all-new and original behemoth, the Bullshark, armed with its equally massive new Thumper cannon. The Thumper isn't the only new addition to the Battletech arsenal, as Heavy Metal bring a total of eight all-new weapon systems, keeping your 'Mechs armed to the teeth and maximizing their destructive capabilities. You can play the new content online in multiplayer skirmishes, or go it alone in a new mini-campaign Flashpoint mission that sends your crew out to recover a derelict cargo ship drifting back into the Periphery. You'll fight to discover the secrets this ship holds and come face-to-face with legendary members of the infamous Wolf's Dragoon in the process.

Is it any good?

Since its release in mid-2018, this strategy game has made constant strides to improve and pack in more content for its fans' interests. Battletech: Heavy Metal marks the third and final DLC expansion in this "season" of content. While the previous expansions, Flashpoint and Urban Warfare focused more on new gameplay mechanics and maps, Heavy Metal is all about the 'Mechs. The game injects some new blood (or rather, motor oil) into the mix with the hulking powerhouse 'Mech, the Bull Shark. This behemoth is like a destructive force of nature on the battlefield, leveling city blocks with its Thumper cannon like it's nothing. The metal beast is a great addition to the previous lineup, filling a new role for those brave enough to take it to the frontlines of battle. Earning the Bull Shark involves playing through the new story-based Flashpoint. While this is a relatively short string of missions, it's a great bit of nostalgia for longtime Battletech fans, as they not only get to see the reintroduction of some long lost 'Mechs, but also stare down members of the classic and infamous mercenaries known as Wolf's Dragoons.

The Wolf's Dragoons aren't the only reason for Battletech fans to get nostalgic. Heavy Metal also introduces seven more classic 'Mechs which date back to the original tabletop game where, due to copyright issues, they weren't allowed to be used in later material. But now, these bots are back from the scrapyard, along with a host of new weapons. What's surprising is just how seamlessly these relics slide back into the fray. Each feels uniquely suited for a specific role and shores up any weaknesses players might have previously had in their squads. For fans, it's a return to old school glory for the franchise, while newcomers to the Battletech Universe still get a diverse selection of new toys to play with. By bringing together old and new, Battletech: Heavy Metal ensures that the current Battletech content season wraps without an ounce of rust in sight.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in BattleTech: Heavy Metal affected by the fact that combat is mainly between gigantic robots? Is violence against mechanical robots more acceptable than the same violence against human characters?

  • What are some of the ways that DLC can help add to a gaming experience and keep players' interests? What are the benefits and drawbacks to buying expansion packs in terms of cost versus content?

Game details

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