It's a similar story with Heavy Gear, which is in many ways akin to watching Phil Collins perform Swan Lake in full power armour: just switch to the outside view and watch your Mech (sorry Gear) as he engages his shopping trolley turbo wheels, sidesteps a la Gene Kelly and pirouettes his way into battle. You just want to shout at the screen: "Oi Gaylord! No!"
It isn't MechWarrior 3
Heavy Gear is set in the badlands of Terra Nova, where the Confederated Northern City States and the Allied Southern Territories are having more than a little bit of a domestic over alleged border incursions by the South. All the usual training and multi-player missions are in place, as well as the obligatory choose-a-side style assignments; additionally, there's a story-led cinematic campaign where you play Ranger Scott, a top Gear (ho-ho) pilot on board the landship Vigilance. Players must progress through a series of missions lightly peppered with cut-scenes, create new Gears as new weapons and chassis become available and eventually fire some genuinely groovy weapons.
It isn't GearWarrior
Like many people I enjoyed the Mech Warrior games, but I never managed to complete them. Although the missions were very samey, they had the right balance of action and simulation; they were games for people who could navigate contentedly in any flight sim without cheating, except when it came to landing. Heavy Gear happily still has the same feel of its forefathers, but the little nips and tucks that have been made aren't nearly enough to shout long and loud about. The crouching and sidestepping are welcome, but the key fumbling negates any possible tactical advantage. Gears may be smaller than Mechs, but the sense of scale of the previous games is lost, and though the landscapes are more undulating than before they're still rather empty. The biggest problem is that the missions are the same old mix of following waypoints, finding enemy units and eliminating them. Apart from the improved construction side and the storyline there isn't really much else that we haven't seen before.
It ain't heavy
Call me Mr Negative, but it would've been nice to kick off a new series of games with some new features. Why can't we manage the landship and have an updated version of the classic Carrier Command tacked on the side? We could have flown planes, driven about in whopping great tanks and minced about provocatively in more Gears. In terms of graphics and sound Heavy Gear tram pies all over the previous mech games, but gameplay-wise it sadly fails to offer anything particularly new or innovative to the genre.
Download Heavy Gear
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode