Battletech by Harebrained Schemes (Shadowrun Returns)


No. That wasn’t it at all. This is where I disagree with your opinion completely.




Well let’s face it, the UI sucks and the inexplicable unskippable cut scene that runs whenever you travel anywhere is pointless and extremely annoying. This last feature is indeed disrespectful because it wastes the player’s time for no reason and offers nothing in return.

That said it’s still a fun game, but the cut-scene decision seems like it’s meant to add play time, which is a grossly improper thing to put into a game without providing some kind of compensation in terms of gameplay or story or something.


I find it hard to believe that the game devs said lets think of things to annoy our customers. I know let’s have them view a cut-scene over and over again. More than likely they did not anticipate the success of their game and that people would play it nonstop, which is the main reason that it hurts so much.


But all you have to do is play the game for a single hour before it gets annoying. And it’s annoying the first time you see it in a new game session too. This is not something they could have overlooked in casual gameplay testing. So it has to have been a deliberate decision, and increasing play-time is the only reason I can come up with offhand.


I’m fortunate in that I’m not easily annoyed by UI and stuff when playing a game I’m enjoying a lot. This happens to be one of those times.

However, if a game in terms of its core game design mechanics is bugging me already, then the UI etc can become among the many things that cumulatively pushes me over the edge.

I’m at 100 hours and still really enjoying jumping in every night to run a couple missions, see what new mechs I can track down, heck, I’m even headed back towards the next story mission from across the galaxy, going to take me months to get there, but when I do, I’m actually going to play the next story mission after Argo.



Early on, before I made a few changes, the UI delays were annoying me precisely b/c they were delaying and/or interrupting the game play, which I was enjoying intensely. After some editing, the debug console, and now the new patch which improved the memory leak moderately for me, the delays no longer get in the way of the game.

I will give HBS some credit for at least partially addressing the memory leak late game slowdown fairly quickly. Now if they could add some combat speed options, and give us a way to toggle off the jumpship animations, I would be happy to play the game unmodded.

The game itself, is extremely good for all the reasons mentioned here. One more thing I want to add is that although the Mechwarrior universe is a complete mess of sloppy backgrounding and ridiculous history, it’s a glorious mess, which allows some epic tales to be told and creates a setup for some epic set pieces. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the campaign in this game, and the character of Lady Arano. In the words of Lady Arano: “When they see what we’re piloting, they’ll wish they’d stayed home.”


I love the game and even enjoy the travel cutscenes. I love watching my ship fly and jump. Gives a great sense of distance and scale. It is like a short reprieve, a time to take a deep breath before jumping into a 4.5 Skull mission. I don’t need the barrage of mission after mission back to back. I wish there was more to do during the time and I of course also think options are good. Make them skippable. I wager though they use them for a specific purpose like purging memory or loading assets or something like that. The UI can definitely be improved.


I have to say, this is pure hyperbole. Yes, the transit scenes go on too long, and more importantly, are repetitive. But to say it’s “disrespectful” is, IMO, way over the top. Leaving aside my dislike of the entire “respect/disrespect” thing that serves as a stand-in for every other type of human interaction these days, the transit scenes are one way of dealing with transitions that allows random events and the monitoring of the timeline. Is it the best way? For many, maybe most gamers, perhaps not, but it definitely does give you a sense of the passage of time, and an incentive to upgrade your drives, if nothing else. I think with more events, more visual variety, and, yes, an option to simply skip from each task to the next in the timeline, it would be fine for most folks.

As to why it wasn’t done differently, I like the idea that the developer simply did not realize how intensely and for such long periods of continuous time we’d play the damn thing. Unlike the issues with hoarding, which IMO they should have foreseen, this one is a lot more understandable, to me.


Completely agree. The transit scenes do not bother me at all. I typically do 2-3 missions for each system I visit, so the transit scenes are a minuscule portion of my playtime. I don’t really understand how they can be such a big deal.


The only trashing happening here is you on me.

I bought it again because I want to like it, because it has all the ingredients of something good.

The UI is not very good, that’s not trashing, that’s an opinion based on having played many games with many UIs.

No auto refit of mechs? Fitting a mech out is an involving business. If I want to customise it then yeah, that is fun, and desirable, but the mechs do come in stock configurations, why not let me reset to stock configuration? How hard would that be to program? That’s a genuine question because I’m not a programmer, but it seems to me that all the requisites are there, and it’d be just another button.

As for “disrespecting” players, I stand by what i said. You choose to interpret it as a trashing of the game, but there are alot of needless pauses. It says something when Rock Paper Scissors decides to run an article teaching people to remove the extraneous pauses.

People seem to think disrespect in this sense is a super strong term, imho it isn’t. Many games do this (inventory management in nearly every rpg springs to mind.) If you can all suggest an alternative terminolgy to describe this, perhaps “failing to take into consideration how the player spends his time, and focussing on the pleasurable aspects instead of gating them behind unpleasurable intractions,” would indeed be more accurate. Feel free to substitute “disrespect” for the above if that stops you crying @Lohengrin.

Read the article - it’s not difficult to remove the annoying bits, which begs the question of why they were there in the first place. Plus it appears they are going to officially add in more speed options, so suck it @Lohengrin.

Plus there’s the unskippable cutscene. I’m working around that by making my tea/coffee but how in this dya and age, unskippable cut scenes are, imho, not acceptable. They are, that word again, disrespectful of my time. I want to get into the meat of the game, i want t blow shit up, I want to make thos einterestinjg tactical decisions about where to put my mech and why, which mech to use first, which weapon, how to handle the overheating, to see if my theory crafting of this pilot with this mech fitted out in this way makes sense or is a bust.

But no…got to watch a cut scene. And it’s not very interesting either! I don’t know why they added that, but I’m going to be generous and assume it’s because they thought it’d be better than making the player watch the clock run down until their mechs/pilots are ready for the next fight.

@Lohengrin read the replies after your post. These guys get what I’m talking about.

Lastly, and this last is something very subjective, the game crashes alot for me. And it crashes at the end of the missions. At the end.

Which means I have to save it constantly, or risk losing progress…I just lost the most recent misison Iwas playing. It’s doubly aggravating because I played it just right and got some lucky rolls, at one point my light mech one shotted an enemy locust. That hasn’t happened before, and won;t again most likely when I replay the mission.

And I will replay it.

@Lohengrin I hope you enjoy my opinion of your opinion of my opinion, because I certainly didn’t enjoy yours.


It’s a cumulative effect ontop of dead time between mech actions etc.

Infact, I think “dead time,” expresses the concept well. Time where the player is still in the game but not actually doing anything.

I don’t like dead time in games, they’re a major downer for me. That said there are many games with dead time, that i still like.

Age of Wonders 3 has dead time, at least in multiplayer, and it is annoying!




I’ll simplify it for you, as apparently you can’t, or won’t, read long things…:?

I like the game, but there are niggles and it crashes quite regularly. Said niggles are annoying and seem likem low hanging fruit, ergo imho should be addressed soon/should have been addressed beforehand.


Interesting meta comment in a discussion about cut scenes that take up too much time.

In the interest of having some real content on this post I will say that I don’t find the UI all that bad nor do I mind the time spent on anything but the cut scenes. If we could just have the short leave orbit scene, the normal flying with clock running, and the enter orbit scenes I’d be happy


I’m getting used to the cut scene. I don’t even mind it all that much.

I do wish there was a way to speed the clock up. Games that have a real time with pause element (which the clock is) have options to speed things along, such as Crusader Kings and Stellaris, ironically both also under the Paradox umbrella (yeah HBS is a seperate developer, I know, I saw them and listened in on their chats. Cool guys. The CEO of Haemimont games - Surviving Mars iirc- now that guys likes to party!) and also games like Battle Brothers.

That inclines me to think it isn’t challenging to program in, and really has no detrimental effect other than dev time.

That also means it’s probably low priority.

EDIT: moving back onto more positive stuff, I unlocked my first Panther. I like it much more than the Spider. I know it’ early days, but I love this aspect so far.


This game is, of course, not perfect. BattleTech itself is, um, a hot mess, really, a glorious hot mess, but still a mess. Any game trying to do it justice on any significant level is going to be messy. I do agree there are a lot of quality of life things that can (and might well be in the future) fixed, and a few that leave me scratching my head as to how they got through design reviews or QA, but in the whole, it’s a great, fun, game.

It’s also a great foundation for future stuff. I’d dearly love to see this core system expanded so that we get not only more “stuff,” but more situations and contexts. And of course, Clan invasions…


The clan invasion! That sounds like madness.

I would love to citytech added.

Also, someone suggested a prequel, setting during the Glory days of the civil war.


They could do first succession war. You start with a full lance of assault mechs and copious supplies, and at the end of the campaign you have 4 light mechs each missing vital components.


Weird issues in the refit screen; I keep getting items seemingly “stuck” on screen while dragging them over (this is display only) and occasionally when stuck, the item from the list becomes unselectable. I need to dump my changes and start again.

Anyway; it’s a great game, and sort of reminds me of chess with mechs. Okay, maybe checkers, but still great fun!

I had an assassination mission in the highlands, and I got a map where my target was up toward the top of a hill. “Oh, I’ve done this one before - I think it was a Shadowhawk and then a couple of Hunchbacks came lumbering up as reinforcements. It’s only 2 1/2 skulls, so probably a replay of that with maybe a little variety.”

I swung left and started going up a road on the side. There were some trees and some big boulders I knew I could use for cover by the time I got within contact range. First surprise; it wasn’t a 55 ton Shadowhawk, but rather a 75 ton Orion-V. “Oh, no worries; alpha strike a leg a couple times and then take out the other leg while it’s down.” But a second mech showed up as well; a Locust. I almost laugh and ignore it in favor of focus-firing on my main target. I mean, c’mon - that’s all you’ve got? Puh-lease. The Orion goes down as planned, and the Locust had already fired off it’s wimpy medium laser and MG’s with predictable results and scampered off to a more defensible position.

Then comes the rain of LRMs. Not one, not two, but THREE freaking LRM carriers from out of view using the Locust as a spotter. I’d brought my mechs out of their defensive positions to finish off my main target, leaving them exposed. One of my own Orions falls under the staggering flurry of missiles and another is destabalized. In a fit of rage on my next turn, I chase down and alpha strike the Locust. It goes up in a pretty burst of flame and metal bits. I apparently knocked off its arms and legs, earning me the “Let’s call it a draw” Steam achievement. I chuckled a bit at that, reminding me of how the developers seem to “get” my sense of humor and the kind of game which can keep me engaged. It’s worth the bill for repairing my Orion and waiting on the pilot to heal up (Medusa). Without a spotter, the LRM carriers are dangerous but not nearly as deadly. They have really low initiative, so I just have to approach carefully and pop them as they appear before they can get off another volley or spot for their teammates.

Then the second wave of mechs comes in, and I realize this mission was NOT a true 2 1/2 skull rating. I’m going to have some words with a certain someone when I get back to the ship. With a smirk, I notice the mechs appearing are a Shadowhawk and Hunchback - my originally anticipated opponents. Another mech stumbles and falls thanks primarily to their autocannons. Behemoth will be in the sickbay again, although her mech is at least operable. Then the rain of LRMs comes again.

I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. I light up the Hunchback, knocking it down and then finishing its second leg. The remaining Shadowhawk means more LRM’s, and they don’t disappoint. Or miss. Behemoth’s mech goes down for the count, and the rest go after a thankfully bulwarked mech and it manages to stay standing with somewhat shredded armor. My remaining forces knock out the Shadowhawk the next round and I then slowly, deliberately hunt down those #$%^ing LRM carriers with Sensor Lock paired with my own missiles and eventually finish off the mission.

But that surprise? Love it.