Earlier in the month Harebrained Schemes and Paradox Interactive released the new BattleTech DLC, Urban Warfare. It features new mechs, an urban biome, a new flashpoint type, and a new encounter type. New features launched with the Urban Warfare DLC like the ability to deliver and receive stray shots and more planets have been added to the starmap. We’ll take a look at this DLC more closely in this review.
New Mechs and Biome
The first of the new mechs is the Raven that is outfitted with an ECM – displayed as a dome which shields mechs from the enemy. The second mech made available to players is the Javelin, a fairly light weight mech that packs a large punch. Additionally, there are three new vehicles, a Gallant Urban Assault Tank which can be outfitted with any range of weapon, the Packrat that works as a support vehicle which is equipped with a version of an ECM, and finally, the Rotunda that operates as a reconnaissance vehicle outfitted with an active probe.
In one of the new urban maps I used both the Raven and the Javelin in my lance. I wanted to try them both and I found that using the Raven’s ECM ability to hide the location of my lance extremely useful in various missions. As mentioned previously, the ECM appears as a dome overtop of the mech that is equipped with it and shields other mechs underneath. As such, any mech that is not situated inside the dome is discoverable by the enemy lance – which might be a good way to bait mechs out of position. Obviously, once the Raven is revealed, the ECM ceases to function due to sensor locking capabilities and line of sight.
The Javelin is definitely a heavy hitting mech in practice. It packs a meaty punch and I thoroughly enjoyed using it in tandem with the Raven. Between the two mechs and the new biome (described below), I had a blast playing on the new urban maps with the new mechs.
The new Urban biome in Battletech is a lot of fun because it allows for a lot of cover and ensures players will have better strategic positioning against the enemy lance.
In the matches I played on the urban maps, I managed to have the upper hand for most of the duration until a few things happened. Some stray shots caused enough damage to certain buildings that plummeted a mech of mine to the ground. The building collapsed and I lost my height advantage. Of course, it was downhill from there as the enemy lance managed to slide into a better tactical position against my once well placed mechs. In the end, the enemy lance slaughtered most of my team. (Honestly, I blame the lasers which never actually hit a target when I want them to.) However, I can’t fully blame my loss on the stray shots because, there was one point during the mission that I accidentally targeted a building instead of the mech using it for line of sight. In taking out that building, I lost cover for two of my mechs and as a result, lost them fairly quickly afterwards. By then, I wasn’t even mad because my downfall was just amusing. I know when I’ve screwed up…
New Encounter and Flashpoint
There is a new encounter called attack and defense. In this mission type, the lance must destroy an enemies base while a steady stream of forces try to knock out your base. It is a mission that will prove your skills and test your limits as a commander. Frankly, this mission type is ideal for players who are interested in having more of a challenge.
The new flashpoints for Urban Warfare are relative to the other Flashpoints released. The big thing to note here is that players don’t need Flashpoint to play Urban Warfare for the new encounters. As in, the flashpoints will still appear on the starmap regardless of the previous DLC content. This provides accessibility to players who might want to experience certain content and not other content.
Other Changes to Urban Warfare
BattleTech’s starmap now has fifty more planets to travel to when looking around the galaxy for missions. Also included in this DLC are new filters to find missions of a particular difficulty more easily. There are filters in a drop down box at the top right of the starmap and it is a handy feature for me because nothing is more frustrating than finding missions you know you can’t handle.
Just before this DLC launched, BattleTech pushed out the 1.6 update that added a few new UI changes, bug fixes, and the stray shot and collateral damage features. This means that players and enemies can take additional damage if a stray shot careens off a building. Essentially, this adds another layer of strategy to the game, which I appreciate – even though it was part of the reason I failed a mission.
More information about the update can be found here along with a list of new variant mechs.
Overall, I think Urban Warfare has included some excellent features, a challenging mission type, and new mechs to satisfy fans of BattleTech. Even though each mission I played ended in a pathetic defeat, I had a great time playing in the new biome and with the new mechs – specifically the Raven.
I give the Urban Warfare DLC a 9 out of 10 because I feel like enough features were added to make the game more challenging. As a core turn based strategy player, I’m extremely happy with the new additions even though I was not successful in any of the missions I played.