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BattleTech: Flashpoint

Posted by GG Goblin On December - 6 - 2018

Giant Mechs just keep fighting.

The arrival of a new expansion for a game is quite exciting. More content for an enjoyable title is always welcome, but a major expansion promises veteran players the chance to start the game again and experience something new, while new players may spot something they like the look of in an expansion and be brought into the fold. Mech RTS BattleTech, from Harebrained Schemes and Paradox Interactive, now has the Flashpoint expansion, which is great news for all fans. However, with almost exclusively late and endgame content being added, is Flashpoint really an essential purchase?

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BattleTech was a good game from launch, but there have been a fair few updates since then to improve certain areas, such as stability or quality of life. Alongside the launch of the Flashpoint expansion, the developers also dropped a new patch that would apply to all versions of the game, adding some new content for everyone. This seems to be a trend at the moment, offering paid content alongside free, but I am not complaining. The free content drop brings the likes of a Career Mode which does away with the story missions, and a revision of the reputation system, giving players more consequences to their actions. In all, the free content in the patch is pretty impressive and not reliant on the player buying the Flashpoint expansion to get the most from their game.

But for those who want to splash the cash, what does Flashpoint bring? Well, first and foremost would be the Flashpoint missions themselves. These are late game content that come in the form of missions linked together by small stories, that also feature decisions for the player to make which can change the overall missions and the rewards. Some of the missions will restrict the player in some way, while others may whisk the player off into another mission immediately without any chance to repair. They can be challenging and are pretty good fun, especially for fans of the BattleTech as they build the lore of the universe, fleshing it out yet further and allowing the player to invest even more.

But the real problem here is that all of this cool content will not be available until the player is a long way into the game, and so some players whose interest wanes will not even get to see a Flashpoint mission. Endgame content is great and all, but these missions are a good idea that could have been threaded all through the game.

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Another aspect of the expansion that players won’t be able to appreciate fully until later in the game, are the new Mechs. These are the bling of the game, so more variety is most certainly welcome. Here we get the Cyclops, a medium class Crab, and the very exciting Hatchetman. I mean, who wouldn’t want a Mech with a giant axe attached to its arm, hurtling into melee? The new Crab and the Cyclops are good too, but don’t really bring anything new to the show, leaving Hatchetman as the star.

Flashpoint also brings a new mission type with Target Acquisition, which is much more aimed at the lighter and more mobile Mechs, which makes a nice change. The final addition comes from the new Tropical biome, giving players somewhere new to do battle, with corrosive spore clouds to worry about, or use to your advantage, and faster cooling for those overheating Mechs.

There are some nice additions in Flashpoint, and length of the game could be extended by as much as 30 hours. But it is very much geared towards players who have already sunk the hours in and are hanging around in the end game. Add this to the rather high cost of the expansion, and it doesn’t feel like something players should rush out to buy. Flashpoint will add plenty of enjoyment for those hardcore players, but for newcomers or the more casual fans, the expansion is in no way essential, especially as the new free patch has added some cool new stuff to keep players entertained.

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The Flashpoint expansion is not something that will encourage veteran gamers start a new game, and doesn’t really bring anything new for those starting out. However, new content is always welcome, and this has some nice new content. I just wish it had been spread out a bit more. Still, fans of BattleTech will rush out to buy the Flashpoint expansion, and why not, because new content is new content. BattleTech is a great game that is improving over time, and while Flashpoint is a little disappointing, I am still looking forward to seeing what Harebrained Schemes come up with next.




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