How Will Harebrained Schemes’ New Battletech Game Use Tabletop Lore?

The Shadowrun Returns developer is kickstarting a new Battletech/Mechwarrior game. Let’s explore its possibilities.

Yesterday, Harebrained Schemes announced that its new game after Shadowrun: Hong Kong will be a Battletech game. This is good news, especially because the company’s founder Jordan Weisman was one of the co-creators of Battletech. We’re also excited because the company’s last release, Shadowrun: Dragonfall, was an exceptional old school RPG.

What is Battletech?

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Battletech is kind of like a sci-fi Game of Thrones… only with mechs fighting the battles instead of armies. Taking place a thousand years from now when humans have colonized space, civilization is divided up into Westeros-esque houses that fight for power using subterfuge, politics, alliances, and military action.

Also, did we mention that military action has giant freaking robots in it?

And to bring the Game of Thrones analogy home, Battletech has Dothraki-like factions called the Clans. Except in this story, the Dothraki actually invaded Westeros and it’s awesome.

So, what will the game be like?

The game is said to have a “mercenary-style” campaign, which means the story will be open ended with you picking your own missions, where to travel, and hopefully your own allegiances. Mechwarrior 2: Mercenaries and Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries are beloved titles, so hopefully Battletech will borrow their style of campaign.

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If you’ve played any of the new Shadowrun games, we suspect the new Battletech in a mercenary-style game will be similar. The combat missions with mechs will be turn based affairs where each mech’s loadout will determine their weapons and abilities. You’ll probably have a stable of pilots to choose from or recruit  (if you have the c-bills) that you can use on missions or talk to at your base.

Hopefully, in between mech drops there will be RPG elements with dialogue, choices, and leveling up your character. An RPG in the Battletech universe is something fans have been dreaming of for years.

What mechs will be in the game?

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Judging by the silhouettes on the official site, at the very least we will have access to the Griffin, the Atlas, the Locust, and the Catapult. Apparently the game will also be using the art assets from Mechwarrior Online to ensure a continuity of aesthetics for the brand.

When in Battletech lore will the game take place?

Obviously, we don’t know much right now. However, when the kickstarter rolls around this fall it’s very likely we’ll get more information. Based on the information we do have, however, we’re guessing that the game could take place before the Clan Invasion in 3049. If that’s the case, we imagine it would be during one of the Succession Wars between the great houses of the Inner Sphere.

When will we know more?

Most likely when the kickstarter hits in fall of this year. Obviously, they need to roll out Shadowrun: Hong Kong first before putting together the package for Battletech. We can’t wait to see what they’re working on.

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