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BattleTech (Paradox Interactive)

Parents need to know that “BattleTech” is a turn-based sci-fi strategy game available for download on Windows and Mac. The game is based on the popular “BattleTech” series of tabletop and role-playing games and will feature additional downloadable content in the future. Players control a small squad (or “lance”) of pilots in their large robotic vehicles as they battle against each other using a variety of futuristic weapons. The controls and management of the units is somewhat complex, with players needing to constantly monitor things like heat output, structural integrity, and even positioning and orientation of their units. While there’s plenty of action — complete with lots of huge explosions and massive destruction — there’s very little in the way of blood and no graphic violence. Some of the campaign story elements might be thematically heavy for young players, and there’s occasional profanity in the dialogue, including “s--t.”

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

BattleTech” is a tactical strategy game that reintroduces gamers to the futuristic fantasy world of deep-space empires, political intrigue, and, of course, giant robotic battles. Players take the lead, commanding a mercenary squad of pilots and their massive mech machines. These teams drop right into war zones to take on enemy forces and fulfill contracts for the colonists and houses of the Reach, a territory in heavily contested outer space. You’ll arm your squad, or “lance,” with more than 30 different customizable mechs, and you can go head-to-head against friends, compete against opponents online, or jump into single-player skirmish mode to test your strategies against the AI. Gamers can also take part in an epic campaign story, where they find themselves embroiled in the middle of a violent civil war, with the fate of an entire empire and its people at stake.

IS IT ANY GOOD?

This incredible strategy game based around giant destructive robots uses deep tactical gameplay and amazing visuals to breathe new life into a popular franchise. There’s so much more to “BattleTech” than just moving, punching, and shooting. Its gameplay makes you genuinely feel like you’re in the pilot’s seat of a robotic behemoth, in the thick of battle, with every decision you make critical to both victory and survival for you and your team. There’s a lot of information to take in while sorting out your battlefield tactics. The game does a great job of giving you plenty of options to work with while balancing those choices with a healthy amount of risk.

“BattleTech” also does a good job of showing off environmental scale. While the camera is zoomed out during planning sessions, the game switches to a first-person view when firing ranged attacks and provides a tight close up in hand-to-hand combat, which shows off the mechanical carnage and destruction. If there’s one fault to be found, it’s that the game’s scale can work against it, especially during campaign missions when players must traverse the landscape to trigger certain key story events, which can slow down gameplay. But while this can be frustrating, it does teach players to proceed with caution. Plus, replaying these missions means being better prepared the next time around. All in all, “BattleTech” is an amazing tactical experience that’s a beautifully detailed return to all the things that made the franchise great.

RATING AND CONTENT

Recommended for ages 13 and older

Quality: 5 out of 5

Positive messages: 4 out of 5

Positive role models: 3 out of 5

Ease of play: 2 out of 5

Violence: 3 out of 5

Sex: 0 out of 5

Language: 3 out of 5

Drinking, drugs, and smoking: 0 out of 5

Consumerism: 2 out of 5

GAME DETAILS

Platforms: Mac, Windows

Price: $39.99

Developer: Paradox Interactive

Release date: April 24, 2018

Genre: Strategy

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