The Mother of all Mechs, that's my quick take on Heavy Gear 2. No other
mech-type sim (or "Gear" type sim) comes close to matching the raw
adrenaline packed into the box of Heavy Gear 2. Not only does Heavy Gear 2
have the greatest scenery, but they also have the most unique locations.
From a misty swamp valley, to outer space; you won't find a better variety
of combat areas in any other mech game.
Nice, but the graphics will kill
the frame rate you say…. Not the case! I reviewed HG2 on my lowly K6 266 3DNow, and frame rate, graphic beauty and special effects were all
OUTSTANDING! Kudos to Activision for making a simulation for the rest of
HG2 will look stunning on all higher end systems, but it's
nice that people with older computers will enjoy the game just as much as
our more blessed brethren. I could stop there and HG2 would still be an
outstanding game, but Activision went all out with superb mech movement,
excellent squad control, challenging missions, and fully customizable Gears.
Once you start playing HG2, you won't want to stop.
Well, if you aren't heading to your nearest software store by now, I guess I
should give you some more details. Let's start with control of the
The control of your Gear has never felt better or more natural. It's
true, Starseige was the first "mech-type" sim that utilized the mouse to
control the targeting cursor independent of the torso. Starseige, however,
lacked the torso twist to enable extended fields of fire.
HG2 overcomes this by allowing the mouse to twist the torso as well as
controlling the targeting cursor. Simply moving the mouse to the edge of
the HUD view will twist the torso. To help increase your situational
awareness, Activision ingeniously added a center identification cursor. So
when you are busy rotating in a firefight, you simply have to move the mouse
to the center mark to know you are facing front and center.
Click to continue
This may sound
like no big deal, but when you are in a firefight, you instinctively use
this visual cue whether you realize it or not. I used the combination
number pad and mouse to control the mech and targeting systems at the same
time. This setup became second nature to me and it feels "right."
are a few keys that are not in the area of the number pad, but these aren't too
critical to combat operations. You can always re-map priority keys to the
number pad area. The series of tutorials help you get started in mech
operations, but the best tutorial you can get is in multiplayer. After
about an hour or two running around in multiplayer, controlling your Gear
will become second nature.
Learning the Trade
Speaking of the tutorials, there are a series of tutorials that will take
you through movement, weapons, stealth, zero-g combat, and tactical command.
The tutorials give you a good idea of the ins and outs of Gear Combat, but
they are no substitute for combat itself.
I also recommend reading the
manual. The tutorials were a little vague on certain details. On
the other hand, the book was a little vague on certain things as well.
Between the tutorials and the book, you should have most of your questions
answered. After doing the tutorials and reading the book, you're ready for
some quick combat.
Take it to the Streets
Instant action combat is just that: instant. You can choose to go it alone,
or with a squad of Gears against however many opponents you wish to battle
in as many waves as you wish. This is a great place to experiment with
different types of Gears and weapons.
I spent a good while in Instant
action trying out the different weapons and seeing how they work and how
badly they damage other Gear. Once you have had enough playing around and
are familiar with the weapons you can choose to start a single player
campaign, play a historic mission, or proceed to Multiplayer combat.
The Campaign is a good choice to start with. The missions start off slowly
and progressively get more difficult as you succeed. The missions are
linear so there isn't a lot of replay value in the campaign.
Go to Page Two