EarthSiege II was HUGE when it was released in 1996, garnering mostly scores in the top ten percentile. The gameplay is pretty much unchanged from the first game but boy did it look sublime. Publisher Sierra On-Line was mostly a company that catered for consumers with computers of a variety of specifications supporting DOS when most had long since left it behind. But EarhSiege II was their first high profile game made exclusively for Windows '95. I wouldn't be surprised if it was the cause of many an upgrade to the new operating system.
The downside to this is that it's a pain in the ass to get working on modern systems. For Windows 7 users, I recommend finding a copy complete with CD audio and follow the instructions on the Sierra Help Pages. Their installer rips the audio to mp3 and allows for the complete experience with CD-less play. I played EarthSiege II this way for the longest time in those halcyon days pre-Windows 10 and even intended to include it on this site, but alas it doesn't work on Micro$oft's latest wonder/blunder. Worse than that, it crashes the entire system forcing you into a hard reset!
I ummed and erred about whether to include that version or not but instead, I went with DOSBox and the powerful (if a little unstable) Windows '95 emulation. It works brilliantly on both systems too, although there's unfortunately no support for CD audio (NOTE - the new CC update has the full game complete with CD audio working for all systems thanks to some masterful DOSBox trickery). The lack of music doesn't dampen the gameplay at all, which is essentially a refined and superior continuation of the first game. It still suffers from an overly complex control scheme that just about manages to be logical once you take the time to get used to it. And walking remains as slow and tedious as an asthmatic at the London marathon, but EarthSiege II is still one of the all-time classic games ever to grace the home computer.
I played the hell out of it just under 20 years ago (I got the budget re-release) and I found myself getting back into it quite nicely. It's so superior that playing the first game is such a big step backwards that there's no real need to ever play it again. In fact, were it not for the roman numerals in the title, one would be forgiven for thinking this an upgraded remake. The landscapes have improved and the story has changed but that's never been this series' strongest point especially when compared to the FASA branding of Mechwarrior.
There are many other games in the Metaltech universe including the direct sequel StarSiege and its spin-off Tribes, but I have yet to play them. The current copyright holder of the entire Metaltech series has recently released their entire back catalogue for free, which is nice. It doesn't include info on how to get them working on modern systems (that's what this site's for) but it's nevertheless very much appreciated. I'll get around to playing the later games someday, but in the meantime I'm gonna pretend like it's 1996, get back in my Raptor II HERC and destroy some enemy Cybrids.
To download the game, follow the link below. This exclusive installer uses the DOSBox Daum build of DOSBox 0.74 running Windows '95. Reference Card included. Tested on Windows 10.
23.04.207 - Version 2 - Added working CD audio
File Size: 316 Mb. Install Size: 628 Mb. Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ
Metaltech: EarthSiege II is © Dynamix / Sierra On-Line
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me