Battletech: Somehow even more awesome than this image makes it look.
A recent kickstarter recently gave me a lot of joy as Harebrained Schemes, the wonderful talent behind Shadowrun Returns, have managed to successfully fund a turn based Battletech game! Personally, this has made me so happy on multiple levels. By far the most important way it does, is that it’s yet another incredibly successful kickstarter for producing a turn based strategy game and it was funded in less than 24 hours! Its amazing success is in light of how just a couple of years ago, debate revolved around reviving old turn based game franchises as FPS or TPP* action games. Turn based games were a “dead” genre and completely commercially non-viable, so why make any more? In fact, when I first heard this was funded, I was actually surprised to see they didn’t turn it into a Mechwarrior like simulation game.
Not that I am complaining, because as you might be able to tell as far as I’m concerned, the more turn based strategy games the better IMO. Especially ones featuring mechs.
Battletech is actually a pretty old game, having been around since 1984 and I played it first in the 90s – around the time I also got into Warhammer. In the end I didn’t play a lot of Battletech, but I always loved the contrasting armies of mechs, tanks, squishy infantry divisions (eventually) and VTOL aircraft on offer. Today I don’t really play any tabletop models games, because I find they can become a very expensive addiction very quickly – so a turn based computer version that offers all the army customization without the investment in models? Sign me up now! Not that I think this game poses any risk of hurting the tabletop, as Shadowrun Returns was what ended up getting me into the excellent Shadowrun Tabletop system after-all.
After reading over their kickstarter, I am glad it has been so successful because originally I think they were going to make more of a skirmish game. Now that they have the funding, there is a move towards making a full single player campaign. This is pretty awesome, because Battletech has a long and rich amount of lore to draw from for such a campaign. It’s not quite the grim gothic eternal war of Warhammer 40k, but it still has some great factions and an intriguing background of intergalactic war to use – most notably the long running succession wars.
The best thing is, with plenty of time left to go and a studio with an excellent track record already (three excellent Shadowrun video games), Battletech is probably going to go the distance. Hopefully the single player campaign hits the voice acting and expanded mercenary campaign tiers, which I am quite excited about. So if you have an interest in playing turn based strategy games and combat with large mechs, think about backing this project!
*FPS = First Person Shooter. TPP = Third Person Perspective (not always shooters).