BattleTech: Urban Warfare

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
BattleTech: Urban Warfare Game Poster Image
Mechs take to the streets in gritty city combat.

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

Positive Messages

While the expansion still has some references to the code of honor that’s been a core of the BattleTech lore, there’s less focus on it in the Flashpoint missions here. Playing as mercenary units gives players a wider berth in terms of moral choices in the branching plots.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Players are thrust into the greater war of the Inner Sphere, but initially are motivated mainly by making a good payday as a mercenary for whoever's willing to pay. Player choices end up dictating exactly what type of character they wind up playing.

Ease of Play

This expansion continues the series’ formula for turn-based strategy. Players have plenty of time to work out their tactics, though there's a lot of micromanagement involved, including constantly monitoring your BattleMech's various systems, weapon loadouts, heat, and even orientation on the map. The expansion’s urban maps add a new layer of complications and possibilities, including using alleys for cover or jumping to roofs for the advantage of higher ground.


The game features large scale destruction and ‘Mech on ‘Mech combat in an urban environment. ‘Mechs are armed with all kinds of conventional and sci-fi weapons, including missiles, lasers, and guns. ‘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.


Some mild profanity occasionally pops up in the game’s dialogue.


This is the second paid expansion to the base video game, based on the popular BattleTech franchise. The expansion is also part of an optional Season Pass, which also includes the previous Flashpoint expansion and the upcoming Heavy Metal expansion to the main game.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that BattleTech: Urban Warfare is the second expansion pack for Paradox Interactive’s BattleTech turn-based strategy game, available for download on Windows, Mac, and Linux-based computers. The expansion adds new maps, units, missions, and modes to the base game, focused on combat in a futuristic city environment. ‘Mechs fight using a variety of sci-fi and modern weapons, with lots of destruction to the environment, enemy soldiers, and other ‘Mechs, but there’s not much in the way of blood or graphic violence. The expansion does require the base BattleTech game to play and is available as an individual purchase or as part of a Seas Pass purchase, which also includes the previous Flashpoint expansion and the upcoming Heavy Metal expansion.

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What's it about?

BATTLETECH: URBAN WARFARE is the second paid expansion to Paradox Interactive and Harebrained Schemes’ BattleTech sci-fi strategy game, bringing the battle for control of the Inner Sphere from vast mountain and jungle landscapes to the gritty confines of the city. Players will take their massive ‘Mechs to the streets, using alleyways as cover, vaulting to rooftops to gain the higher ground, or simply laying waste to a building and bring them crashing down around your foes. You'll test your piloting skills in the cockpit of two brand-new ‘Mechs as you face new, more deadly enemy technology. Players can also choose the path to your destiny in new branching Flashpoint missions and fight back against swarms of enemy troops in the new Attack and Defend mode. Will your decisions and your skills tip the balance of power and change the shape of BattleTech universe?

Is it any good?

Last year, PC gamers were faithfully re-introduced to this classic franchise with a turn-based strategy game that opened a new chapter in the war for control of the Inner Sphere. With the BattleTech: Urban Warfare expansion, the war gets a gritty overhaul by ditching the open battlefields of the past for the close quarters, guerilla tactics of a metropolitan battlefield. Moving to the city is more than just an aesthetic change, as players have to make fundamental changes to how they’ve played the game until now. Battles take on a more claustrophobic feel, as ‘Mechs squeeze through alleyways to sneak up on enemies or to use an abandoned building as makeshift cover. It’s also fun to take the high ground, perching on rooftops like an oversized armored gargoyle, raining destruction on foes from on high.

BattleTech: Urban Warfare brings more to the table than just some new maps. There are a couple of new ‘Mechs and enemy troops as well. While the Javelin ‘Mech doesn’t feel too much different than some of the other smaller ‘Mechs in the game, the new Raven fills a unique support role with its heavy reliance on electronic warfare devices, but light weapon and armor load. The new Attack and Defense mode is an interesting new feature, challenging players to defend their base from a steady flow of enemies while trying to advance on the opposing base. It’s fun initially, but feels sort of like it was tacked on just for the sake of adding a new mode, and lacks some of the depth of the other features. Still, the expansion as a whole adds more than enough twists and changes to the BattleTech formula to build onto the original and evolve the overall experience.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Battletech: Urban Violence affected by the fact that you're fighting giant robots instead of people? Would the impact be intensified if there was more blood or gore shown in combat?

  • What are some of the ways that DLC can help the longevity of some games? Would you rather have expansion packs that build on the original game, or a brand-new game in a franchise? What are the benefits and drawbacks to buying expansion packs in terms of cost versus content?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sci-fi action

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