MechWarrior 3 featured an all new 3D accelerated graphics engine. The game contained over 20 missions, with access to 18 different 'Mechs.
The story opens with a short briefing of the Inner Sphere's Operation: Bulldog, a daring plan to eliminate the most hostile and vicious clan in the Inner Sphere: Clan Smoke Jaguar, led by Anastasius Focht and Victor Steiner-Davion. Operation Bulldog and Task Force Serpent have already completed their objectives, but there is one last operation left—the one with which the player is tasked—a final clean-up of the Smoke Jaguar forces remaining in the Inner Sphere, and the elimination of the last ranking Jaguar officer. This mission (codename: Damocles) is to destroy key Smoke Jaguar installations on the planet Tranquil, including a 'Mech Factory, a starport, a geothermal power plant, and finally to eliminate the Smoke Jaguar forces and leadership on the planet.
Two dropships are deployed to release the BattleMech force to destroy these installations. However, while in orbit above Tranquil, a dropship is attacked by massive naval laser fire. The Blackhammer is shot down and the remaining dropship, the Eclipse, retreats to safety. The player was already deployed from the dropship, which had been slightly off target before it was destroyed. The Mobile Field Bases (MFB), which were deployed at the same time as the player, land on target. The player's first mission is to rendezvous with the MFBs and secure the area from hostile forces.
Less than half of the total 'Mechs are deployed, with the rest either shot down during the drop or still on board the Eclipse. Despite this setback, the player must continue with his objectives and hope to link up with the forces that survived, and eventually secure a landing zone so the dropship can return to evacuate them.
Pirate's Moon (expansion pack)
MechWarrior 3: Pirate's Moon is the only expansion pack for MechWarrior 3, with an all new storyline and 20 new missions, plus six new 'Mech and a number of weapons. The player has the choice to play as either a pirate (attacker) or as 'Lance Leader' (defender) for the Eridani Light Horse.