Windows - 1999
Description of MechWarrior 3
It's Mechwarrior, Jim
MechWarrior 3 is, of course, the eagerly awaited third installment in the MechWarrior series. If you've played MechWarrior 2 and its siblings to death, and thrashed the demo until your hard-drive started smoking, you'll probably want to skip to the next section of this review.
OK, what we have here is yet another giant robot game, right? Well, not quite. You see, as any Mecha nut will tell you, there are giant robots, and then there are giant robots. Your average punter may well be puzzling over the difference between Heavy Gears, Starseige 's Hercs and MechWarrior 's BattleMechs. They've all got lots of armour, modular weapons and feet don't they? What it all comes down to is the feel. Heavy Gear fits snugly under the first-person-giant-robot-shooter label (anyone for genre-name overkill?)-- MechWarrior 3 definitely does not, and curiously, Starseige actually sits fairly nicely in between.
So what's different about BattleMechs (AKA 'Mechs)? Mechs are massive lumbering war machines, which crap on mere tanks from a great height, and not just because of their long legs. They can stomp buildings (and infantry when the need arises), destroy vehicles and pummel the scenery with ease. In fact, the only thing that can stop a BattleMech is, of course, another BattleMech. If heavy-handed acts of random destructive overkill is your thing, then MechWarrior 3 was made for you.
... but not as we know it.
So, how does the latest instalment in the Mechwarrior series stand up?
Well, very nicely indeed. After taking the franchise back from Activision (who, after slightly missing a beat with Heavy Gear, are back on track with Heavy Gear 2), FASA Interactive gave the task of turning out the next MechWarrior games to Zipper Interactive, whose only previous major game was Recoil (which, by the way, is a damn fine arcade tank game). Zipper aren't neophytes in the coding business though. In their previous life they worked on sims for the military... and it shows. The in-game interface is nothing short of excellent. The HUD is slick and uncluttered. Weapons can be selected and regrouped, targets acquired and your Mech piloted, all with a minimum of fuss. Even a simple keyboard/mouse combination feels unhindered and easy to use, although using a force-feedback joystick is the clear winner for preferred input device. Assigning orders to lancemates or support crews can also be carried out swiftly. Despite the fact that MechWarrior 3 is very much a sim, the necessary controls are easy to learn and the quick-reference card can safely be put away after a short time at the helm.
The scenery is also very nice to look at, with carefully modelled houses, military complexes, and even fishing boats. The planet that the campaign takes place on is somewhat barren, so you won't see much in the way of grass or trees, but there's just enough 'terrain boogers' to make the view believable. Despite that, there are nicely textured desert, wilderness, arctic and volcanic arenas to play in. Water is well drawn and nicely transparent, and appears in almost every campaign map. This has significant implications when considering strategies for taking on the enemy, as I'll explain later. One of the things that really made me wince when playing MechWarrior 2 was the way static objects blew up. The entire model, or at least large parts of it, would rotate in a graceful, Elite -ish kind of way for a few seconds, sweeping in and out of the earth it was sitting on with impunity... then disappear with a token explosion. Despite the fact that modelling the disintegration of large objects under the influence of gravity is still essentially impossible with today's processors, Zipper have greatly improved the illusion of such events in MechWarrior 3. Although there's still a certain degree of 'sinking', buildings break up into a much more convincing mess of bits and pieces; in general it's much more satisfying watching buildings crumple into the ground. The Mech models are the best I have seen in a game. Each model is animated with a realism that suggests the use of motion capture technology. Whether the Mechs are getting up, getting down or just walking along, their movement is fluid and impressive to watch. Each model has a level of detail and texturing which will make sure you never go back to a MechWarrior 2 game again.
Of course, the crucial part of any combat-sim is the weapons, and Mechwarrior 3 's got plenty. The usual assortment of lasers, autocannons and missiles are present, as well as a few toys like the Artemis IV FCS and the Anti-Missile System. The game handles each of them very well indeed. Autocannons spew shells (and cause your Mech to recoil, sometimes quite a bit), lasers cast a glow over their targets and missiles hang around in flocks, smoking and looking suspicious. Despite all this fireworks, even the lighter Mechs can take a pounding before they come down with a bad case of dead, so you'll have plenty of time to ogle the pretty graphics.
But wait, there's more!
MechWarrior 3 's multiplayer game is as fun as it might sound. Grab you Mech, throw a bunch of big weapons in, and kill your friends! If that's not enough, you can select infinite ammo and respawning for a BattleMech deathmatch. If you want a more thoughtful experience, you can team up with some others, throw in a Mobile Field Base for each team and play a much more involved tactical game. Both options are great fun.
MechWarrior 3 's campaign game is also outstanding. For a start, the entire campaign is played out on adjoining maps, giving the game a very strong sense of continuity. Enhancing that feel is the Mobile Field Base. As a commando dropped onto a hostile planet, you have no fixed base. What you do have are three (very) large vehicles, comprising the Mobile Field Base. The MFB acts as a mobile repair facility (very useful) and a storage warehouse for the salvage you choose to take with you along the way. If you leave something behind, it's gone for good, and the MFB's capacity is quite finite. If any of the MFB's get destroyed, you lose it and everything it was carrying, and you won't necessarily get a replacement for it. Some salvage is granted automatically when certain objectives are achieved, but 95% of the spare armour, weapons and Mechs you'll need to complete the game come from battlefield salvage. You get this by destroying a Mech... well, almost. You're assured lots of salvage if you take its head off. If your target loses a leg, your chances are 50/50. The only other way to remove a Mech from combat is to take out its centre torso, destroying it completely--which brings me to my only real complaints about MechWarrior 3.
... and now the bad news
It's just too easy to kill your enemies with a handful of big lasers. Although autocannons recoil, and missiles aren't direct-fire, lasers hit exactly where you aim them, every time. There's no randomness at all. If you're using the keyboard/mouse combination, and you're piloting a Mech with two or three ER Large Lasers, you can pick off the limb of your choice out to one kilometre, so long as you can see what you're shooting at. If you've got a targeting computer, even that restriction becomes moot. Unless you willingly charge in to combat, this can easily reduce a mission to a protracted bout of sniping. Adding even a touch of randomness (perhaps weighted according to the laser's nominal range) would make combat much more exciting, forcing the player to close with the enemy more often, and call in help from the all-too-often idle lancemates.
Another design flaw in the game is the implementation of the cooling bonus for standing in water. Although the board-game has rules for an slightly increased rate of cooling when your Mech is standing in water, MechWarrior 3 appears to triple the rate, regardless of how shallow the water is. This means that it's all too easy to load your Mech up with lasers, plop it in some water and blaze away, oblivious to your heat build-up. This 'feature' excessively increases the effectiveness of the larger energy weapons, whose only real penalty otherwise is their prodigious heat output.
The only other problem I had with this game actually serves to highlight these problems. Throughout the campaign, enemy Mechs remained unresponsive to being shot at. Within a certain range, they would turn around and close with you, but too often you could plink away at a Mech patrolling 950m away and it would happily walk back and forth until its leg disappeared out from under it. This reluctance to switch from 'patrol' to 'engage' took some of the shine off the campaign mode.
These flaws could easily be fixed in a patch, and if they ever get addressed, this game would be a gold medal contender for certain. Having said that, MechWarrior 3 is an otherwise flawlessly realised game, and if you've enjoyed any other mecha simulation, you'll love it--warts and all.
Review By GamesDomain
MechWarrior 3 has an addon available: MechWarrior 3: Pirate's Moon, don't miss it!
Comments and reviews
Turrican 2021-06-17 0 point
How I got past the Error 111:
I extracted installation files from ISO to a folder and then ran setup.exe from there.
dragoncurse4 2021-02-19 1 point
sadly for the iso version, autorun.exe is not starting for me :(
dragonmastercj 2020-09-29 0 point
just asking because most youtubers had problems with this mode but how do you disable full screen mode on this game?
Point 2020-08-15 1 point
Following info was gleaned from R****t.
1) If you're getting error 0xc0000022 on Win10 then you need to enable DirectPlay. This issue can occur regardless of how you install MW3. Fix:
Use search bar to open Control Panel -- Programs -- under Programs and Features select "Turn Windows Features On or Off" -- click the empty box next to "Legacy Components" which will select it and subsection "DirectPlay" -- click OK and wait for it to enable. Game should run without that error.
2) Another issue: music.
If you use the no-cd fix you'll get no soundtrack because the game apparently reads the disk like it would a music CD. The same thing happens if you mount the provided ISO Version, but you can convert it to BIN+CUE format (search "convert iso to bin"). Do that and mount the CUE file to D:\ virtual drive and the music should play. This fix doesn't work with the RIP Version.
3) As a general install & issues guide I highly recommend NIGHT THASTUS' site posted earlier in the comments. The mod he recommends works and certainly spices things up, even if it's not without its issues (backup the "zbd" folder and the "Mech3Msg.dll" file before you install).
Scooter 2020-03-31 -1 point
I have been reading through the comments. I downloaded the iOS and all the patches and fixes can anybody help me with a step by instuctions on how to use them and make it work on my alienware lap top. Thank u. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
AndrewVashTS 2019-10-06 0 point
And just to be clear:
On steps 7-13, I have already tried setting it to Windows 98, and 95 respectively. Same window pops up detailed in step 9 of my process.
What, then, am I doing wrong, or not doing at all? Please help.
AndrewVashTS 2019-10-06 2 points
Okay....so I've attempted this many times now. I've been trying to get the game to run on my version of WIndows 10, and it just seems to not be working. I will detail the steps I take, and the errors I get below. Maybe one of you can help me? That would be awesome to have a step-by-step guide on how to install onto Windows 10 1809.
Here is my process in a step-by-step showcase below:
1) DL the .iso
2) Extract .iso to separate folder in drive C: (which I have aptly named "Anfauglith")
3) Mount .iso to drive H:
4) Double click mounted drive H:, get error: 111 message stating that there isn't enough memory to setup the software, in so many words
5) OPEN the mounted drive H: image
6) Right-click AUTORUN mech image
7) Set compatibility mode to Windows XP or earlier
8) Right-click AUTORUN mech image again, and click Run as Administrator
9) Get told, in a window that pops up, that Mechwarrior 3 requires Win95/98
10) Click 'Ok' in that window
11) Window disappears
12) Nothing else happens
13) I die inside a little...
Can someone please help me?
GuyFawkes 2019-05-09 1 point
I didn't realize this until now but the archive of the site with the 1.2 maps for Gold doesn't have them in that particular revision of the page, seams they removed it later. Go to revision Dec 18, 2007 to find it.
GuyFawkes 2019-05-09 3 points
I figured out what the Radeon patch is. Here's a video of an ATI card without the patch for those who are curious: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEdPhetwLEc
Unfortunately nobody seams to remember who created it. I also found out that EOP's full name was Eater of Pies and his res fix was once called Mech3Loader.
GuyFawkes 2019-05-08 1 point
I did a analysis of the no-cd here with HxD and it appears to incorporate EOP res fix. I'm curious where the Radeon fix comes from. Anyways I've found an official Map Pack (or so it claims, not sure if it was really endorsed or not so more analysis may be needed) here: https://www.gamefront.com/games/mechwarrior-3/file/mechwarrior-3-official-map-pack
The problem is it does a checksum on the exe file to determine the version of the game you have installed (requires 1.2) and it doesn't like the no-cd exe.
Also, doing some digging, I found that 1.2 added 2 new maps to the game but the devs forgot about them in Gold/deluxe version (whatever the version that included Pirate's Moon with the base game was called). An unofficial patch to add the missing maps is available here: https://web.archive.org/web/20090214023739/rhttp://www.mechwarrior3.org/wordpress/?page_id=35
Not really needed for these rips sure, but someone might be grateful to find it.
Night Thastus 2019-03-09 2 points
I have a guide on how to run Mechwarrior 3 and Mechwarrior 3: Pirate's Moon on modern PC's that you can find here:
I've gotten both running excellently on modern Win10 machines. If you need any help, there's contact info in the guide. As well, you can help contribute to the project by making pull requests or issues to improve the guide.
Confused 2019-02-03 -32 points
What is the difference between the RIP and ISO and how do I install these games on Windows 10?
StoneWall 2019-01-28 4 points
We have a Discord Community of old fans of MechWarrior 3 here:
Apollo 2019-01-17 2 points
Only getting 64kbs download is there a mirror for this title anywhere? Not going to spend two or more hours for a 500mB file...
yuo263 2018-10-26 1 point
one of the best games ever. i remember playing this with microsoft sidewidewinder joystick with force feedback... WICKED !!!!...
John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmitt 2018-10-01 0 point
One of the greatness games in the history of mankind. The all time most requested game of all time on gog.com and probably on other game download sites. For a very good reason.
nick 2018-08-01 0 point
Hi, I tried to put the patch in but it says insert cd, i put the patch installer into the c folder, that did not change the response.
The no cd patch just wont start, i moved it to the c folder and same thing.
MrJingles 2018-06-25 -2 points
MW3 and XP are in my opinion the last best Mech titles that ever were and ever will be. Everything after it has been a drop dead replacement, at this point your cloning zombies its dead leave it buried and move on.
SinfuLsoulzzZ 2018-05-11 1 point
I download the 119mb file and nothing happens, doesn't go to my C drive, no compressed file to extract what gives? I was able to download the 119mb version of MechCommander with no issue, however music and video files are missing, is the 500mb more complete?
i miss the nostalgic days of MW3 and pirates moon add on
Feckingwrecked 2018-05-08 0 point
is anyone else having trouble with the MFB's not repairing your mech? the game runs fine but for some reason it wont let me repair my mech, yet I can have them repair my allies mech...
Kairie 2018-04-19 0 point
Couldnt figure out the mw4:m download so here i am, grabbing this, and pirates moon for nostalgias sake.
Gjammer 2018-04-03 1 point
This site is great! This is the third game I've downloaded and successfully installed from here on my Windows 7 PC. I'm running it in XP compatibility mode. I remember the fuss people made about Mechwarrior games when they first came out. I didn't try them out back then but now I'm making up for lost time.
sajad.sn 2018-01-09 -1 point
every time that i ran this game,thought my pc is fucked!
OMG! it was a video game!!!!! :O
CsabaZz 2017-12-03 -1 point
Anyone who has problem with the mission 2, I just installed this app and locked the FPS to 30 and I just successfully completed it without any issue:
???? 2017-09-24 -2 points
So you unzipped the folder and then do what now? I need instructions windows 10.
Strider 2017-08-09 1 point
I have no idea how to even begin to make this work. I unzipped it. Now what? Running Windows 7.
StoneWall 2017-07-17 0 point
Here's how you fix bouncing MFBs, graphic glitches, jump jet bugs, etc.
TLDR: cap your frames to 30, don't use a No CD patch, don't use compat mode
RAHANZIE 2017-05-30 0 point
WINDOWS XP GLITCHES CAN EASILY BE FIXED BY RUNNING GAME EXECUTABLE IN WINDOWS 95 COMPATIBILITY MODE.
enferno 2017-05-25 0 point
Ill try to install the radeon patch later. but I don't have time for that right now cuz im using some old amd radeon gpu
enferno 2017-05-25 -1 point
I have a problem. I installed it on my win xp pc cuz it probably had some compatibility issues on my w10 pc and the game ran smoothly but in the campaign the enemy mech was walking underground, shooting me , the apcs were bouncing around like stupid. and the screen kept flickering white approx. every 15 sec even outside missions. instant action worked well but still kept flickering. the tutorial I tried once but I couldn't quit the mission in the end for some reason , I haven't tried to run the tutorial again but I don't need training cuz im used to MW games. also I have the patch installed but the fix I couldn't install cuz some error always kept popping up. I used the ISO installation
MechWarrior 2016-12-28 4 points
For those of you missing MSVCP50.dll, you can find a clean copy of it (I just ripped it, myself, from an XP installer disc) here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ioszyzd87dgxz1a/AAB8UjPZyPAzg-SQiEMR5L6Fa?dl=1
Copy that to your installation folder. If you play more games from the 90s that use that dll, you can place it in \Windows\system32.
If Op 1 M2's turret isn't spawning, force enable v-sync and make sure you have your frame rate limited to 30 FPS (with RivaTuner or EVGA PrecisionX or... whatever your preference is).
Cascarus 2016-10-09 -2 points
I have a problem, when i was playing the op2, mission 1 the game stop working i always pass in the same part, other thing is that some enemies start to jump and disappear of the game, some one can help me with these problems??
tmoonswarrior 2016-08-25 0 point
MSVCP50.dll is missing??
plis fix this
E:\mechwarrior-3_windows_0cff.zip: Checksum error in E:\Mechwarrior 3.iso. The file is corrupt
E:\mechwarrior-3_windows_0cff.zip: The archive is corrupt
help 2016-07-21 -1 point
any one know how to get the cut scenes to work everything runs fine but the cut scenes are skipped.
Javelin 2016-07-09 0 point
the radeon fix doesn't work for windows 10 and my gcard is a AMD Radeon HD 8470
RedPhx 2016-05-28 2 points
Haven't played this one in a long time. Mechwarrior (1) I just got and would need to learn the controls before saying what I think. Number 2 and 4 I haven't played yet. As for MWO as long as you don't mind having horrible teams for about 90% of the pug games its a good game but its frustrating to try and buy a new mech or improve the skill on the ones you have if after you get a good score your team loses cutting your gain in half.
Zero Senki 2016-05-25 0 point
I love Mechwarrior 2 a lot, but it seems I left myself out of a possible gem here. Mechwarrior 4 had some good gameplay in my opinion. Athough I respect the opinions of Surivirus, I liked Mechwarrior Online.
SuriViruS 2016-03-18 0 point
thnx for sharing. MWO is still pretty....half-baked. And don't mention MW4 - pah
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