MechWarrior 3050 was developed by Tiburon (best known for the 3D incarnations of the long-running Madden football series) and published in the US for the SNES by Activision in 1995. The game (as of this noding) is fairly easily acquired anywhere that used SNES games are sold. The ROM is readily available and complete, giving you multiple ways to play this game in all its mediocre glory. The cover art is almost exactly the same as MechWarrior 2, with a Timber Wolf 'mech with Clan Wolf markings silhouetted against a firey explosion.
MechWarrior 3050 is another video game set in Wiz Kids'/Microsoft's (formerly FASA's) Battletech setting, this time in 3050, in the heart of the Clan Incursion into the Inner Sphere, piloting a Timber Wolf in the Clan Wolf spearhead. As is usual in such games, the player is handed the story fairly dryly, interacting with people only with high-powered weapons or through terse briefings.
The gameplay itself, however, is a massive departure from the MechWarrior formula. Rather than being a flight sim with a giant battlesuit, the player instead has an isometric view, with an observation point, controls, objectives much like the Desert Strike series. Rather than a variety of highly customizable 'mechs to choose from, the player can only pilot a Timber Wolf1, and can only choose three of nine total weapons. Even heat management is gone, replaced with a yellow "heat" bar appended to the red damage bar. Taking hits builds up heat and causes damage, and once heat plus damage fill up the life bar, you're done for. (Heat fades away over time, but damage does not.)
Most of the missions are strictly "Go and blow up the defense lasers. Now destroy the widget factory. Now rescue our agent in the field. Now go blow up Widgetopolis. Etc. etc. etc." The best way to deal with the objectives without getting blown away or running out of ammo is to plot a path around the thickest part of the defenses, avoiding enemy 'mechs and the (strangely undersized) tanks and Elementals.
Even the weapons are similar to Desert Strike. Mirroring that games missiles/guns/rockets armament, the player chooses a heavy weapon, rapid-fire weapon, and misc. weapon.
- The heavy weapons are all powerful weapons with very little ammo and low rates of fire.
- Gauss Rifle - The Gauss Rifle comes with 10 shots, and can be fired over walls. The weapon can be charged up, but will explode if overcharged.
- PPC - The PPC comes with 20 shots, and, like the Gauss Rifle, can also be charged up for stronger attacks, but will explode if overcharged.
- Arrow IV - The Arrow IV comes with 10 shots, and fires enemy-seeking rounds that can go over walls.
- The rapid fire weapons are all...well, rapid fire.
- Large Laser - The Large Laser comes with 150 shots, and is the strongest.
- Autocannon 5 - The AC/5 comes with 250 shots, and is the best balance between ammo and power.
- Machine Gun - The machine gun has 350 shots, and is the weakest of the three.
- The misc. weapons are ballistic weapons that round out the set.
- Long Range Missiles -The LRMs have 40 rounds of general purpose destruction.
- Inferno Missiles - The 70 Inferno Missile shots are perfect for destroying enemy 'mechs.
- Thunder Mines - You start armed with 50 Thunder Mines, but they're pretty much useless.
Again departing from the Mechwarrior formula, the game has powerups, hidden in buildings or recieved when destroying enemies. They are limited to coolant, which, inexplicably, repairs all your damage as well as eliminating all of the built-up heat, and ammo reloads. They can be found on your map, so again, the game is filled with tedious trips from ammo and coolant to whereever you actually need to be.
MechWarrior 3050 could have been a good game, but the control and framerate(!) are so terrible that the game approaches being completely unplayable. It was an interesting experiment, but, unfortunately, it's strictly another mid-90's Strike clone.
1 - I lied. The player can actually pilot any of the opposing 'mechs in the game by pressing Down, A, X at the "Tiburon Entertainment" screen, then entering the password "XTRM3K" at the password screen, bringing up a secret screen to change 'mechs. These 'mechs have very minor differences in speed and durability, negligable in most cases. Just bear in mind that using the Wasp is an incredible handicap due to low durability, that the Wolverine is too slow to stomp on Elementals, and that if you use the code to use the Mad Cat, well, why did you even bother? The 'mechs available are: