Heavy Gear II
Windows - 1999
Also available on: Linux
Description of Heavy Gear II
In the future, all wars will be fought in big giant robot things. At least they will if you take any notice of games like Mechwarrior 2, Heavy Gear, and the fair few robot orientated board games floating about. Giant mechanoids will stride across the land, laser blasts will scorch the earth, and missiles will scream through the sky, as these metal titans engage each other. At least, that's the theory. Presumably, the people who write these games have never seen the rather sub-par Robot Wars on BBC2. This program, a watered down version of the somewhat superior US robot combat tournaments, hosted by a variety of shouty presenters--and Phillipa Forester. This program showcases a somewhat different view of robot on robot combat, consisting of various home-made and somewhat less-than-giant robots, running around obstacle courses, getting stuck on small spikes, and being nudged around by the blatantly more powerful house robots. If in the future all robots are like this, then regular soldiers won't exactly have much to worry about. It'd be less a case of "Run! If that giant stomping robot steps on us, we'll be history" and more "Hey... look! I can flip this one over with my foot! Look! It's flailing around on its back and it can't get up!." Future warfare will never be the same again.
The robots in Heavy Gear 2, Activision's latest robot combat game, are a little more impressive than those in that rubbish BBC2 series, but they're not as massive as those featured in Mechwarrior 2. In terms of destructive power, they come somewhere between Gordon Freeman from Half Life and the giant mechs in Mechwarrior 2. In fact, the game itself comes across as a sort of cross-breed--the result of a drunken liason between Quake 2 and Mechwarrior 2. But first things first--you can't have a big scrap between heavily armed robots without there being some sort of underlying reason, even if it is just because one clan leader spilt the other clan leader's pint. The premise behind Heavy Gear 2 is that a long time ago, a group of colonists settled on a planet known as Terra Nova. Time passed, they grew in numbers and strength and eventually declared independence. However, the Earth forces became somewhat narked with this and have been unofficially at war with the Terra Novans ever since. Most recently, they planted a bomb which blew up a central Terra Novan city. This, understandably, has not pleased the Terra Novans; they resolve to strike back and defend Terra Nova, and this is where you come in.
You play a Terra Novan squad leader given the task of following the trail of terrorist and terran activity that leads away from the bombing, tracking down the culprits, making sure that Earth ceases its anti-Terra-Novan activity and generally kicking enemy arse. In order to do this, you're provided with a 'gear', one of the aformentioned fighting robots, which you pilot round a variety of missions blowing things up with a variety of weapons. These gears are not only smaller than those featured in Mechwarrior 2, but also more maneuverable, and able to use their fists and hand-held blades in additition to the standard array of ranged weaponry. On top of this, you can crawl and bend down on one knee, jump, strafe from left to right and generally do all sorts of things you can't do in the Mechwarrior games. In fact, whereas the robots in Mechwarrior are effectively tanks on legs, the gears are more like people in robot suits. But while the gears are fast, they're also less well endowed in the weapons and armour department than Mechwarrior 's mechs. The gears can only fire two weapons at a time at most, and also can't take as much of a battering as mechs. But fortunately, since this game is set firmly in the Heavy Gear universe and not the Mechwarrior universe, you'll mainly be running into other gears, each with similar advantages and disadvantages--a piece of good luck, that.
Fire and forget
Given the size of your gear, and its special abilities, there's another factor that comes into play in Heavy Gear 2 --one that can be used to your advantage--stealth. Displayed in the bottom right hand part of your HUD is a small green meter with a line in it. The stealthier you are, the further to the right this line goes. Your stealth rating goes up if you edge your way along on your knees, and goes up even more if you crawl, or use the passive radar mode (which is less effective at detecting enemies than active radar). Conversely, your stealth rating goes down if you use active radar, walk straight into a battlefield, or use tank track mode which lets you zoom around using the wheels on your gear's feet. When you come into range of an enemy, your stealth bar turns partially red. The further the red bar is along, the more sensitive your enemy is to other presences. Should the red bar go over the green line, in other words, should the enemy's awareness rating be higher than your current stealth rating then you'll be spotted. If you do manage to make it in closer without being seen, you can usually lob in some missiles or laser blasts (which is a lot simpler if you have a sniper facility on your gear), and gain a considerable advantage in combat. Somewhat unusually, and this is the only flaw in the otherwise well done stealth system, the amount of ground cover you have does not appear to affect your stealth rating. Therefore you have as much chance of being seen crawling along behind a ridge as you do crawling over open ground.
Combat itself is a heated affair, as you'd expect. At least it is when your enemies see you. As in the Mechwarrior games, you can twist your torso to keep your weapons aimed at baddies, as well as look up and down, jump and, if you're equipped with jump jets, you can zoom into the air and blast at your opponent from above, though you don't really have enough control to come crashing down on his head. Your gear is equipped with a fair amount of armour, which protects you from major damage--but it's depleted whenever you get hit. Also, if you take enough damage in one go, you'll recieve a critical hit, which could mean losing part of your gear, or at the very least, some of its functionality. It's not uncommon to see enemy gears dragging their legs after you hit them hard, or to find that after a hit, you suddenly move rather slowly. The weapons you employ in both single and multiplayer mode are entirely down to you; before each mission you arm your gear (in single player mode you can't change gear after your choice at the start of the campaign but you can reconfigure it), adding bits and bats such as extra armour and extra weaponry, until you reach the threat limit set for that mission. The threat total is similar in some respects to Mechwarrior's tonnage system; each item adds a certain amount to your threat potential, and once you reach the mission allowance you can't go any further. The 'threat' system works well in multiplayer mode but is a bit strange in single player mode--why shouldn't you carry all the weapons you can? Unless of course the leaders of each side rung each other up before hand and agreed on a certain threat... all in the name of honour, don't you know...
You're not entirely alone in single player mode as you roam around the various battle areas, killing gears, defending bases, taking out enemy targets, taking over space-ships. Yep, there's even a few missions set in zero gravity. In some missions, you can pick squadmates, arm them up, and then command them to aid you in your endeavours. They're reasonably intelligent too, and will mostly obey your orders while also reacting to any enemies they bump into, who themselves are no thickies. But for real intelligence, there's nothing like real human players. Well, mostly, anyway--there are one or two exceptions. So it's handy that Heavy Gear 2 features a Gamespy style game search facility, so you can track down games on the Internet. There are several types of games you can play, including capture the flag, duel, and all out deathmatch. When I tried logging on, I found a couple of players on the UK server (this was about 7:00 in the evening), and so was able to get a decent game going. I tried the highly populated US server but that was so lagged the gears popped about like the cast of Chorlton and the Wheelies. Multiplayer Heavy Gear 2 is surprisingly entertaining. Given the fact that the gears are less durable than Mechwarrior's mechs, multiplayer combat is generally swift, though not compared to Quake 2 ; conflicts are often over in a couple of minutes or so. And watching your enemy smoking, trying to get up from the floor while you blast him with your machine gun is disturbingly satisfying.
Overall, Heavy Gear 2 is highly playable and rather entertaining. It's an interesting game to play, albeit one that may not be to everyone's tastes. If you're a Mechwarrior fan you may find the smaller size of the gears a bit off-putting at first. However, if you perservere, or if you're just a general arcade fan then you'll find that Heavy Gear 2 has a fair bit to offer--especially in multiplayer mode. Heavy Gear 2 is a fun and strangely addictive game that just goes to prove that small can be beautiful - in a blowing someone's mechanical face off with a rocket kind of way.
Review By GamesDomain
Comments and reviews
HG2 Player 2021-04-27 1 point Windows version
I can confirm what Cambeiu said - This works flawlessly on PCEM v17 running Windows 98 and Voodoo 3 emulation.
Multiplayer works as well. You must use Kail.net and use IPX protocol with in win98 on PCEM. I plan on getting some old players in a good 5k CTF again.
Legion 2021-03-20 1 point Windows version
Salutations! I've compiled a guide for all the fixes, current issues, etc... on google docs, hopefully will be uploaded on a more permanent website later (a link will obviously be provided in the document.) i hope this at least helps some of you guys with running it. (And major credits to C15OUTCAST for the culling fix guide)
Also a discord server where this guide has been set up and is being tested further:
cambeiu 2020-12-05 0 point
This works flawlessly on PCEM v17 running Windows 98 and Voodoo 3 emulation.
inobscurity 2020-06-07 -1 point Windows version
Use winbin2iso to convert to an iso file... GIYF...
Rezup 2020-06-06 0 point Windows version
I downloaded the iso and only got 2 files. A cue file and a bin file which i can do nothing with. Solutions?
Nancok 2020-04-18 1 point Windows version
The installer doesn't run, it just does nothing when executing it, not even an error message
gun cursor 2019-11-23 -1 point Windows version
0xc000005 application error i have windows 7 64bit please help
C150utcast 2019-08-16 1 point Windows version
if any of you guys are wondering what @AIX QAG3 means by an "installation bat" file, he's referring to this: https://community.pcgamingwiki.com/files/file/355-heavy-gear-ii-culling-fix/
I was having errors with the game where it would just say "Fatal Error" or something and just close before the game actually truly launched. Just extract all the files in that zip into your root installation folder (the spot where Heavy Gear 2 is installed) and double click on the installation bat file. It'll automatically fix whatever is missing and have the game running on modern hardware. for context, i'm using a Windows 10 laptop and am having a blast playing this classic.
Ok, so now for those of you who didn't even get far enough to encounter that problem and are new to installing it, and are confused what the .bin and .cue files are for; the .bin has all the data and the .cue kinda tldrs it for the computer. Download something to mount the .cue file with like Daemon tools lite and run installation. if it tells you that you're missing Direct X 6.1, allow it to install it as the game needs this to run. When the option comes up to register with some sort of activision online thing, you don't have to as not only is it optional, but the services are most likely not working anymore. Let the game install.
Ok so now you're done installing and (hopefully) restarting your computer to play the game. Before you double click on the Heavy Gears 2 exe to play, search for the original .bin file you used for installing and mount it again using Daemon tools light. This essentially acts as if you had the irl DVD copy in an irl DVD drive, and allows you to play the Single Player, Historic Scenario mode that has scenarios based in the Game's lore, and the Instant Action mode for goofing around either alone or with a squad of badass mecha pilots vs waves of enemy mechas. If you don't have the original .bin file, the game will not allow you to play any of the single player content, and only give you access to the multiplayer and options menu.
Alrighty, i hope this clears some things out for those of you who want to play this game with a new rig or a new Windows version. Go out there and blow up some big f@cking mecha!
DWe1 2019-02-05 0 point Windows version
@Zeether: Running the setup in windows 98 Compatibility worked for me.
hammer hand 2018-09-06 1 point
espero poder jogar esse classico dos pcs dos anos 90,tive o original.
aix qag3 2018-07-13 3 points Windows version
There seemed to be some sort of permissioning issue with the file called by the installation bat. I probably just needed to run the batch as administrator.
What I actually ended up doing was renaming the shell.dll in C:\Program Files (x86)\Activision\Heavy Gear 2, then copying the shell.dll file that was downloaded as a part of the fix to that folder, and finally it worked.
trigun 2018-07-13 0 point Windows version
ISO and fix files seem okay to use. no malware detected. check yourself to be sure.
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