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The Mechwarrior games are a wonderful franchise and for good reason - who wouldn't like stomping around in giant battlesuits frying your enemies with lasers?! Mechwarrior Mercenaries brought a new twist to the series by taking the action into the wilder realm of the mercenary.
It is not too different to the previous game (where there is a great balance between action and tactical thought), but there are upgrades to the mechanics of the game and the graphics. It still retains a fairly polygon-ish look compared to later Mech titles, but it's still quite watchable just make sure you are running it on full detail. The physics engine tends to work reasonably well when it comes to the Mechs themselves but little attention has been paid to the buildings or other in-game items.
An interesting new introcution is the concept of tournament battles, where you compete in an arena for cash. This is quite a lively set of missions to play as you are chucked in with a number of Mechs and provides a nice balance to some of the more strategic missions in the main gameline.
The most negative aspect of the game however is the plot line. Whilst the Mercenary setting is great for generating all sorts of interesting and unusual mission ideas it does lead the overarching story to be somewhat poorly explained and disorganised.