I'm including the review script below if you don't feel like watching the video.
Now, you might thinking "Why would anyone buy a HGN for real money?" and I completely agree with you. But I was thinking out loud on my unit's forums and someone decided to gift one to me for science and I thought I'd make a review out of it.
Now let's take a look at the 'Mech and see where it stands in the Highlander family. Hardpoint wise, the 732b is essentially a Heavy Metal with different hardpoint distribution. It keeps the dual ballistic hardpoints arm of the Heavy Metal, but the 3E hardpoints are moved to its right torso, just like a 732. The missile hardpoints are separated between its left torso and left arm, which is not very ideal due to convergence problems. Unfortunately it cannot mount an AC20 in that arm due to the lower arm actuator.
One interesting result of this hardpoint layout is that unlike the HM which has to expose itself to be able to use its ballistics and energy weapons, there's a lot of side-peeking potential with right sided builds. You have 2B and 3E on the right side and you can do pretty scary builds utilizing these.
The 'Mech can only equip 3 hoverjets and frankly, all you need is a single one to get around. They're not worth the investment in tonnage right now.
QuirksWhen we take a look at the quirks, the main appeal of this 'Mech is immediately clear. First, it gets some nice mobility quirks. It has the best acceleration quirks of the Highlanders at 10%, but no deceleration bonuses. S key is for losers anyway, right? Surprisingly it also gets a unique 10% torso twist rate bonus, no other highlander has this. On the other hand, it doesn't get the +5% speed quirk every other highlander gets.
Then we come to the protection quirks and we see that this 'Mech gets a lot of additional armor to its torso just like the Zeus. Unlike the Zeus, the HGN isn't cursed by being a non-JJ 80 tonner and has decent hitboxes. So to compare, these quirks take a soldier in body armor and put him in a freaking Iron Man suit. At least on paper.
It also gets some weapon quirks, but they're very mild and nothing special. The only one worth mentioning is the SRM/LRM spread bonus. Overall, the quirks are geared towards making the 732b the most responsive and the toughest of the Highlanders. It seems perfect for brawling. At last on paper.
BuildsLooking at the build possibilities, one immediately leans towards right-sided builds with a shield left side. You can make pretty impressive builds such as dual AC5s and triple Large Lasers, Gauss and triple Large Pulses. After some experimenting I settled on Gauss as my go-to ballistic on this 'Mech. The reason is simple, the dual AC5 forces you to stare at your opponent and this 'Mech hates staring at opponents, but more on that later. You can also make brawly builds with SRMs and medium lasers, but doing so you sacrifice a lot of range and heat efficiency. Being hot and slow are the two things you don't want in a brawler. I personally settled on the Gauss and triple large pulse build. It has decent range and the best of all, very little face time so you can make the best of your armor by twisting in-between.
GameplaySo we have the heaviest armored 'Mech in this game with the ability to do shield-side builds. To be honest, the armor is the selling point of this 'Mech for me. For example, if you can live with only 5 rear armor, you can have 140 front CT and 90 ST armor, which is absolutely insane. To compare, an Atlas caps out at 119 front CT armor with the same rear armor amount.
The question is, does the extra armor pull the 732B from the pits of mediocrity and make it a good 'Mech? Well, not quite. Yes, the extra armor helps a lot in certain situations but the Highlander's problems go deeper than just protection. First of all, this is still a Highlander. Meaning it's slow, unresponsive and runs hot due to the low engine cap. The jumpjets barely work and they produce tons of heat to add an insult to the injury.
Did I say this thing runs hot? As soon as you're pressured, you quickly hit the heat cap and it. just. won't. cool off! I don't remember dying to overheating so much in any other 'Mech. After eliting it gets better, but if you want to have proper firepower, you have to run hot in this 'Mech. This is also why I like the Gauss on this 'Mech, having a heat-neutral weapon helps a lot in these situations.
It's also a slow mech. If you want some firepower and heatsinks, a standard 300 will be your mainstay engine in this 'Mech. That gives you about 60KPH speed which is average for an assault 'Mech. Expect to be left behind and you will also have a tough time being in the right place in the right time with this thing.
On the other hand, extra armor is very nice. When you're fighting something one versus one, the increase in durability is very noticable. I tanked dakka Whales, laser vomits, multiple enemy 'Mechs and this thing just endures. But it still doesn't make a better push 'Mech than an Atlas. The Atlas tends to take damage in its side torsos first due to its narrow CT strip. The HGN on the other hand has more balanced frontal hitbox profile and that makes it easy for your opponents to focus them. It's not unusual to have your torsos clean cut despite intensive torso twisting, which is a bit disappointing.
Still, when you get a nice place to side-peek, the damage you can output is pretty good. With the jump jets you can take positions non-JJ assaults can't, and you can get into pretty awesome places. Your armor will soak whatever puny damage your opponents throw at you. Even though it may seem like you're losing your trades, keep in mind that you can afford to be hit more than any other opponent. When the stars align, you can pull off pretty impressive scores with this thing. Just don't expect to do it repeatedly.
For those curious about its brawling potential, it's decent, but the lack of speed, range and heat capacity makes it a very tedious 'Mech to brawl with.