A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
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
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.
Violence & Scariness
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.
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Some mild profanity occasionally pops up in the game's dialogue.
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Products & Purchases
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.
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.
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.
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