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by Activision
You are a Mechwarrior of the Clan Ghost Bear. Ghost Bear now stands foremost among the remaining clans after the bitter and destructive war between Clans Wolf and Jade Falcon weakened both clans severely. But, in the midst of Ghost Bear's newfound position, a vial act of treachery has occurred. Draconis Combine mechs have raided your genetic facility which housed the DNA material of Jorgenson and Tseng, the great founders of your clan. The mechs captured the genetic material and fled to an unknown location. Such an act dishonors Ghost Bear greatly and must be avenged! The material must be found and those responsible punished with extreme prejudice.

Thus, you and your unit embark on a chase across the stars as you solve the mystery and track down the freebirth swine who dare strike against the Ghost Bear. The time for reservation is over, now you must strike with all of the lethal fury of the Ghost Bear and return that which was dishonorably taken from you!

The Review:
I am a BattleTech fan right from the get-go and so was more than happy to review this expansion module to the basic Mechwarrior 2. And sometimes, perhaps I get into such themes a little too much. I currently play Galaxy Commander Lobo Sinclair of the Clan Steel Viper of the BattleTech 3056 MUSE

(telnet address from UNIX: 3056). And so am eagerly awaiting a Clan Steel Viper expansion pack. But since I am not too fond of Clan Wolf, Ghost Bear's Legacy was a nice theme.

OK, with that said, Ghost Bear's Legacy is a wonderful extension of Mechwarrior 2. First of all, the theme is definitely more along the lines of what the FASA corp. specified in all of their literature about BattleTech. The trials are now like they are in the BattleTech novels. You begin by facing 3 mechs, kill one and you are a Mechwarrior, two and you are a Star Commander, or kill all three to achieve Star Captain. You are assigned a mech and that is yours. They do, however, give you a chance to choose a new mech every few missions to keep things new. Then you are assigned a unit, and you stick with that unit throughout your career, no more mysteriously jumping from unit to unit to fight historical Clan Wolf or Jade Falcon battles. And, the briefings are better, there is a cinema and sound clip for every mission briefing, with extra details if you are interested. Your commander, dropship, etc. also talk to you in your cockpit during missions.

Secondly, there are new mechs to choose from and to face. You face now a variety of Innersphere mechs such as the Atlas, Raven, and Victor. New Clan mechs include the Stone Rhino, Linebacker, and Ghost Bear Kodiak, and Grizzly. In addition, you have some new weapon systems to configure your mechs with such as Arrow IV artillery and Narc missile beacons. These give you some interesting new surprises for your unsuspecting enemies.

And finally, there is some cool new terrains to fight in. There are now missions on your Jumpship in space, in a swamp that is heavily wooded, in large underground caverns, and underwater, where armor breaches spell bad new for you and your enemies. All in all, some great new twists to Mechwarrior.

The only gripes I have about Ghost Bear's Legacy are the graphics and mission difficulties. The graphics are wonderful, however, I have a 486 DX4-100 with 12 megs of ram, and it is still kind of jerky at times, even on the lowest resolution. This makes those with really kickin' systems the only ones who can really get this game to move like it should, which is kind of a shame, because Mechwarrior 2 was taxing enough. In addition, there are a few missions which are just next to impossible to finish. There should always be some hard missions, but there are one or two that take it to an extreme, and get extraordinarily frustrating. But, other than those, I found all of the rest of the missions to be fun, exciting and very playable.

--Brent Hegarty