By Delta_Ass 0 Comments
Just checked out Hawken, and uh, it looks pretty awesome. Seems very similar to the old MechWarrior games I loved to play. And given how there really haven't been any MechWarrior games since MW4 Mercenaries, I'll take anything I can get these days. But I'm not sure if they'll be able to be really successful and memorable without a decent story or fiction. That was the reason why EarthSiege 1 and 2 always failed against MechWarrior, because the universe of EarthSiege (and later Starsiege) was piss poor. Commercially, I mean. Some people I think might've preferred ES's gameplay and whatnot, but they sold nowhere near as well as MechWarrior 2 and Mercenaries. Nobody gave a rat's ass about what was going on in EarthSiege. I think the general story was something about mankind creating artificial intelligence and they went berzerk as all AI in scifi are want to do, and mankind has to try to fight back? Very very generic science fiction bullshit. Mankind fighting their rebellous artificial intelligence... it's a widely used trope. There's nothing there. And sure, the HERCs looked somewhat cool, but they weren't nearly as cool as the BattleMechs in MechWarrior.
MechWarrior had the entire lore of the BattleTech universe behind it. And this, even more than the great gameplay and music and graphics, was what made the MechWarrior games stand out as one of the premier franchises on the PC. People just couldn't get enough of the BattleTech universe and all the glorious Mechs. I myself started out just going to game stores and picking up the technical readouts. Those are the really wide books with numbers like "3025" or "3050" proudly displayed on the side. See, those were the years that the readouts covered. The entire universe spanned about a millenium's worth of fiction and backstory and characters. After I'd collected all the technical readouts and poured over them, lovingly reading over the development history and design characteristics of each and every Mech design, well... hey, now it's time to move on and start collecting all the novels. This was rather easy, since novels were cheap at about 5 or 6 bucks each back in the day, and they'd written a whole lot of em. My favorite BT authors were Blaine Lee Pardoe and Robert Thurston. Thurston wrote the great "Legend of the Jade Phoenix" trilogy which covered the beginning of the Clan invasion of 3049 from the Jade Falcon perspective, and which was later collected in a giant omnibus. I own both the original three novels, which I stow away for safe keeping, and I'll read the omnibus whenever I feel the urge. Soon, I'd collected most all of the novels that had been published, and then I decided to go to sourcebooks. If you don't know, sourcebooks are those books full of the lore and battles and historical summaries in the universe. They also generally contain a few sections in the back devoted to the actual pen and paper mechanics and stats for the tabletop game, but that's not really the draw. The reason to own the books is for the fluff, or background lore which fills out the fiction.