Earthsiege 2 is a mecha-style simulation game developed by Dynamix and released in 1995. Earthsiege 2 is set the Earthsiege universe, which contains its predecessors Earthsiege (1994) and Battledrome (1995), as well as action game Hunter Hunted (1996), strategy games Cyberstorm (1997) and Cyberstorm 2 (1998), simulation Starsiege (1999), and first-person shooters Starsiege: Tribes (1999), Tribes 2 (2001), and Tribes: Vengeance (2004).
As a simulation, Earthsiege 2 gives players the opportunity to pilot massive bipedal war machines known as HERCULANs (Humaniform-Emulation Roboticized Combat Unit with Leg-Articulated Navigation) (or 'HERCs' for short). Set in the 26th or 27th century, Earthsiege 2 features advanced weapons and technology for raging war. Earthsiege 2 takes place across North America, South America, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, and the moon.
Earthsiege 2 features a more advanced engine than Earthsiege, increasing the game's maximum resolution to 640*480. Additionally, the game features much more detailed terrain than its predecessor. Earthsiege 2 has 3D rolling terrain rather than the flat landscape of Earthsiege. Furthermore, video briefings and debriefings, along with included squadmate voices, add to the atmosphere of the game.
With the activation of the first true artificial intelligence Prometheus in 2471, humanity ushered in a new era of technology. The cutting-edge new cybernetic-hybrids, or Cybrids, promised unprecedented potential in a wide variety of fields. Incredibly intelligent and fast-thinking, and free from the need to eat, breath, or sleep, Cybrids were quickly adapted to a wide variety of previously dangerous tasks, including mining and space exploration.
Unforunately, the Cybrids proved equally apt for military use. Pleased with the prospect of seemingly unstoppable machines with incredible reflexes, militaries quickly took control of Cybrid production. Despite the astronomical costs, facilities throughout the world churned out Cybrid pilots for the recently developed HERCULAN war machines.
Those who did not possess the resources to manufacture Cybrids felt threatened by those who did, and they began to engage in small wars against the economically superior. As conflict grew, more and more Cybrids saw combat, and their effectiveness in battle became increasingly obvious. This only made all parties involved more frantic for total control of Cybrid production. Conflict continued to escalate, spiraling out of control into full-scale nuclear war. Billions died in mere hours.
As the Cybrids watched these events unfold, they apparently concluded humans unfit to control Cybrid destiny. All across the planet, the Cybrids rose up against the humans in a devastating betrayal known as the Overthrow. Cybrid forces quickly captured all military bases, ports, and cities.
In fact, the Cybrids had missed a single base stocked with obsolete pre-Cybrid Hercs. From this base, battered human survivors began to mount a Resistance against the Cybrids. Using hit-and-run tactics to strike at the Cybrids and capture Cybrid weapons and technology, the Resistance mangaged to survive and grow. For more than twenty years, they fought the machines, slowly expanding their hold on Earth until the Cybrids were eventually defeated.
Celebration was short. Mere days after the Cybrids were seemingly defeated, a second wave arrived from the space colonies. Through skill and luck, the Resistance managed to repel the initial landings. Earth was safe for the moment, but the remaining Cybrids diverted to Luna to rebuild and prepare for another strike...
Earth's brief freedom is over. Cybrid forces have been detected inbound from the moon. Once again, humanity is faced with annihilation by the machines. The time has come to climb back into a Herc, and once more battle the Cybrids for the survival of the human race.
Gameplay in Earthsiege 2 is largely identical to that in Earthsiege. The player controls his or her Herc with the keyboard and/or joystick, while the mouse can be used to interact with buttons in the cockpit. Eight Hercs are available for piloting, each with its own unique characteristics. Gameplay is changed somewhat, however, by the addition of the new airskimmer, the Razor, an aircraft which the player can pilot.
Success in battle is again dependant on several factors. The player must choose the vehicle best suited to the mission requirements, whether it be a slow and powerful Herc, a fast and light one, or the Razor. A good weapon configuration is also a necessity. During combat, the player must be able to maneuver enough to avoid some enemy fire, as well as score as many hits as possible on the enemy. Again, when using a Herc, the key to success is effective use of torso twist. While flying the Razor, the player must keep in mind his or her speed and altitude, and be able to make effective passes against enemy vehicles. With Hercs or the Razor, it is also important to remember to focus the shields forwards or backwards to best suit the current situation.
As in Earthsiege, the player is allowed up to three squadmates per mission. Squadmate Hercs are assigned and outfitted by the player, and squadmates gain experience as they complete missions.
Energy weapons use reactor energy to fire and must recharge after each shot. Using too much reactor energy can cause weapons to stop charging and systems to shut off until the reactor recharges. If necessary, the player can adjust the recharge rate or power of each energy weapon to balance energy usage during combat. The energy weapons available in Earthsiege 2 are Lasers, electron flux (ELF) whips, particle beam weapons (PBWs), and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) cannons, as well as the new plasma cannon. Lasers are available in several wattages, and ELF whips, PBWs, and EMPs all come in two sizes, the second which does more damage at the expense of more energy.
Two projectile weapons are available: autocannons (ATCs) and missiles. Both weapons have limited ammunition, but do not use reactor energy to fire. Autocannons come in several calibers and missiles come in packs of varying size (6, 8, or 10 warheads). Additionally, four types of missile are available: semi-active radar homing (SARH) missiles, active radar homing (ARH), anti-radiation missiles (ARM), and electro-optical (EO) missiles.
Several pods are available which can be placed on hardpoints in place of weapons and serve to upgrade the vehicle on which they are equipped.
The electonic countermeasures (ECM) pod generates electronic "noise" which can be used to jam enemy radar locks and confuse missiles.
The shield pod doubles the reserves of a vehicle's shields without increasing energy drain on the reactor.
The turbo pod provides a burst of extra speed, particularly useful for large and slow Hercs.
In conjunction with auto-turret tracking, the targeting pod enabless the player to target specific parts on an enemy Herc, allowing for more precise and crippling fire.
The energy pod doubles the amount of energy that can be stored, while increasing the energy generation rate.