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MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf
game: MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf
posted by: GF! Back Catalogue 10/2004 => 1995
date posted: 12:00 AM Thu May 27th, 2004
last revision: 12:00 AM Thu May 27th, 2004

By Steven Simmons

You'll have to hang on to your mech this winter as you battle it out in MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf. This amazing sequel takes the BattleTech experience to the next level. The most popular feature of the original was undoubtedly the Xbox Live all-out battle zones. Well, the battle is back and better, with 3 new mechs, better graphics, and a few new twists.

The battle starts out with you and your teammates spawning in a field of mechs, your helpless, fragile human bodies tiny beside the humbling mechanical monstrosities. First thought: run for your life. Then you notice the mechs aren't moving, but crouched down, with ladders running up to open cockpits. You notice your teammates climbing in, and you realize that all your favorite mechs are being taken. You climb into the nearest armored, track-wheeled tank and you're off for battle.

As far as the actual combat goes, any MechAssault player will be right at home in the sequel - the gameplay feels and works the same. Bad news for the Mad Cat diehards though: when you respawn, you are mech-less. You have to take your pick of whatever mech is waiting in your respawn zone. The well-rounded players are definitely going to be the heroes of the Lone Wolf online games.

Good news though for those down-and-out teams who are being slaughtered in their respawn zone - high powered stationary guns are there to keep the enemy back. Stationary guns are introduced too, with a promised sighted rocket that will pack a real punch.

The almost useless body armor from the original (i.e. the Elemental) is souped up for Lone Wolf. As you step into the suit and it locks in place around your body, you feel a bit better protected, even powerful. You have a huge attached claw for a melee attack and can climb buildings and terrain. And there is a new trick everyone will grow to love and fear: you can hijack other player's (or the computer's) mechs. Just hop on and start hacking - the assaulted player hacks back and the winner takes the machine.

And probably the most exciting and innovative new feature: the VTOL. This Vertical Take-off and Landing fighter plane will add whole new levels of strategy to the game. Mechs can attach to their team's VTOL, instantly upgrading their weapons and supplies from whatever the VTOL is carrying. The VTOL also works as a bomber, or can be used to move mechs out of (or into!) the danger zones, even placing them in impossible to reach sniper positions. With a good pilot, it seems a team could be nearly unstoppable.

The environments in MechAssault 2 are much more robust: You can kick trucks at opponents and cause damage, the buildings take more realistic damage and come apart in stages, not just either stand or fall like the original.

Also available are at least three new Mechs - one in each weight class. At the same time, the same online release of new content that made MechAssault fans so happy will continue with the sequel. Presumably this will mean new Mechs, new game types, and new maps to keep your battles fresh.

For those of you who like a plot to go along with your machine-powered mayhem, the offline game promises to be more in-depth with more challenging AI and a split-screen cooperative play.

So - when MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf starts appearing (and disappearing!) on shelves in January, we're pretty sure it's going to exceed all expectations from the long-time fans, and thrill the MechAssault.