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Heavy Gear 2 - PC

AED 155
Expected delivery byNov 03 - Nov 05
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Product Description

Imported from USA

.com
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Your unit is to be transported to the planet Caprice, the base of the enemy. Practice espionage and gain
intelligence on weaponry and counter tactics. You are one of the finest warriors in history and your Gear equipment
echoes that fact. Prove your bravery as you advance behind enemy lines to prevent future extraplanetary invasions of
Terra Nova.

Review
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So what if it lost FASA's Battletech license. That didn't stop Activision from turning out another
MechWarrior game, albeit disguised under a new brand name. Heavy Gear, based on Dream Pod 9's rival anime-inspired giant
robot pen-and-paper RPG, looks, sounds, and plays much like Activision's popular MechWarrior games, putting you in
command of a powerful mobile suit loaded with devastating weapons and thick armor plating. Heavy Gear should have been
an all-new game; Gears are much smaller than Mechs, standing a mere four meters in height on the average. They're
supposed to be fast and agile, limited only by the flexibility and speed of their human pilots. But in Activision's
game, you become a slave to the war machine you thought was yours to command, much how you might have felt in
MechWarrior 2.

Heavy Gear looks sharp at first glance. Each Gear is rendered in careful detail and textured in dark camouflage,
lending these massive mobile suits a look even better than their distant BattleMech cousins. Also gone is the flat,
lifeless terrain of MechWarrior 2, replaced this time with rolling hills and plenty of boulders, cacti, and other such
obstacles that can be used as cover in the heat of battle. At the same time, 3D accelerator owners can take advantage of
enhanced frame rates and special effects including flowing clouds, lighting, and transparent shadows. But with or
without a 3D accelerator, you'll certainly appreciate the unobtrusive green heads-up display, which readily displays
your status and weapons loadout while outlining your target in color-coded wire frame to show how much damage he's
sustained, and where.

Unfortunately, further investigation yields that the graphics could have fared considerably better. For one thing, in
spite of the varied topography, a Gear always looks like it's walking straight ahead - even as it scales a near-vertical
hillside. This effect is more disorienting than, say, the pixelated, bland-looking explosions that further detract from
the game's aesthetic value. Moreover, the effects of your Gear's various weapon systems look plain and, at best, leave
much to the imagination.

Thankfully, Heavy Gear's audio doesn't suffer the same faults as its visuals. From the bass-heavy stomping of your
Gear's legs as it rushes into battle to the metal-on-metal clank of your rifle shots tearing into the enemy, you'll get
a good feel for the combat through Heavy Gear's sound. All the while, a stirring, percussion-heavy synth-orchestral
soundtrack adds that epic feel to each and every battle. But strangely enough, this soundtrack sounds rather like the
scores that added so much atmosphere to MechWarrior 2 and Mercenaries. This big nod to Activision's previous future
simulators turns out to be only the first of many.

For all intents and purposes, Heavy Gear plays just like MechWarrior 2. Mech veterans will have an easy time making the
switch over to Gears, what with no longer having to worry about overheating or any such complications. Otherwise, even
though Gears are supposed to be many times more maneuverable than Mechs, Heavy Gear feels almost as lethargic as did the
Mech games at their worst. Other opportunities to capitalize on the smaller, faster humanoid Gear design were likewise
passed up. A Gear can only carry a single handheld gun while the other arm dangles uselessly at its side; close-range
melee weapons, which appear in the pen-and-paper RPG, are conspicuously absent. Gears can crouch, but they need to come
to a dead halt first, which is a lot more trouble than it's worth most of the time. Likewise, Gears can sidestep, but
this is only a trivial addition considering they can twist 180 degrees at the torso. Other elements of gameplay fare
better; for instance, you can pick up spare weapons from the battlefield should yours run out of ammo. Each Gear has
wheels, letting you move quickly from point to point or escape from battle in a pinch. Gears also have their own AI,
which means you learn enhanced abilities as you progress through the game. A powerful blow will knock a Gear clean off
its feet, leaving it vulnerable until it manages to clamber back to a standing position.

Heavy Gear offers two well-designed solo play modes, the first being a linear story composed of nearly three dozen
missions. The story unfolds through beautifully rendered cutscenes in between missions and over radio communication
during the missions themselves. The missions continue to surprise and contain enough variety to hold interest through to
the story's conclusion. Throughout these missions, the computer-controlled opponents will have you outnumbered - but
probably not outclassed. The AI has a bad habit of shooting straight at you rather than leading its shots, making
torso-twist strafing runs unusually effective. And while the AI deserves a bit of praise for trying to use cover to its
advantage, you'll be hard pressed to stifle a chuckle the first time you see an opposing Gear blow itself up by walking
into a boulder. Nevertheless, the computer will provide a competent challenge if only because of its superior numbers,
especially since you can't rely on your inept squad mates to get you out of a pinch. Even when you finish with the story
mode, you'll find plenty to like in the less structured but equally enjoyable tour-of-duty game, which allows you to
handpick your missions as you rise through the ranks on either side of a civil war. This mode offers a vast scope of the
conflict as one side gradually takes the advantage over supplies, intelligence, and sheer numbers. But before you leap
headlong into warfare, you'll want to run through the helpful training exercises, which will whip you into fighting
shape within an hour or so.

After winning your virtual war, you'll probably want to try your skills against your friends. Fortunately, Heavy Gear
comes equipped with Internet multiplayer support right out of the box. Unfortunately, Activision makes it little secret
that Heavy Gear's Internet play option is in an unfinished beta form. Glitches and crashes abound both in the menu
screen and during actual multiplayer gameplay, though you'll probably get a game going with a little perseverance.
Promises of a patch don't change the fact that an important component of this product was allowed to ship in an
incomplete form, no doubt to make the Christmas rush. At least Heavy Gear's solo play modes don't suffer from the same
glaring hang-ups.

With the exception of its lacking originality, Heavy Gear contains all the elements of a successful game and is
certainly the finest game of its kind in many months. Of course, it's also the only game of its kind to be published in
many months, which makes it a definite buy for those yearning for more giant robots since last year's Mercenaries. Its
similarities to MechWarrior 2 and Mercenaries ensure that fans of those games will also enjoy Heavy Gear. At the same
time, its similarities represent a missed opportunity to create an all-new product centered around a new kind of vehicle
design. Instead, Heavy Gear feels very derivative right down to its soundtrack and ironic intro, with only a handful of
new gameplay features on top of a superior story mode and the enjoyable tour of duty. Heavy Gear will keep most mech sim
fans busy for a good while, much of which will be spent wondering why it didn't have the courage to break from its
roots. --Greg Kasavin
--Copyright ©1998 GameSpot Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without
express written permission of GameSpot is prohibited. -- GameSpot Review

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