I am sorry if this review disturbs anyone who worked on it. I am sure you are reading this thinking I am overly critical. If so, I apologize. But if you had maintained the integrity of the product, or even tried to follow its predecessor more, I would be happy. Sadly, I just paid $29.99 for something I must wait for new supplements to use.
And as for Mongoose, the Babylon 5 RPG line was well done. Because of that, the only reason I can see for 2300AD to be so pathetic is that it was done so to make you buy the next book, and in this case, it is blatant.
I have been a fan of 2300AD since its very first inception as Traveller 2300AD. When it just became 2300AD, it was much improved. I have followed the 2300AD fan base, and it has been kept alive by the Etranger site. That being said, I feel I can give a good review of Mongoose 2300AD.
First off, this is not the 2300AD I grew up with and have remained a fan of for 25 years; it is boring, it is minimal in its focus, and it does not have the feel of 2300AD.
I am disappointed with it for many reasons. 2300AD is one of my favorite settings. I expected a product produced over 25 years after the original to surpass it: This does not. It is less than the original and for absolutely no reason other than the one many publishers pull now: MINIMAL USEFUL INFO FOR THE GM TO ENSURE SALES OF THE FUTURE PRODUCTS IN THE LINE. This game focuses on Earth and the nations there. There is no space exploration. Worst of all, it is visually boring! Where is all the art???? Perhaps I am spoiled by the product printed 25 years ago before computers dominated the industry, and expected that, with all of the resources produced in 25 years, this one would rock, and it does not even try.
I am not sure how the system itself will work for 2300AD. Mongoose Traveller is a good and simple system, so I will not rate it.
Original 2300AD books were visually interesting. There are lots of charts for such things as what language a nation speaks, where a planet or star system is, and many charts for star ship design.
The written material here is good. Cybernetics and DNA mods are covered well. These are things which were not deeply covered in the original products. Earth/Cybertech did some, but not much. I have the original books, so this part supplements them in this department.
The chief protagonist race of 2300AD are the Kafer. This product glosses over them: you receive no stats for GM usage, no ships, no equipment, and one small blurry picture. You will not be using the French Foreign Legion to fight the Kafers on Aurora in this game until a supplement is published.
As for weapons, the original 2300AD had tons of stats and pics of the weapons. Not this one. You have a few of each type.
I feel that the intention here is to focus on human versus human, and wait for the Alien Supplement to come out. This is very disappointing. A $29.99 pdf should have more depth. It seems to me that you are expected to play Cyberpunk 2300AD, as opposed to exploring the frontiers of space, whereas the original product focused on the frontier, with the Kafer War and The Aurora Source book.
Buy this if you have no other reference to 2300AD, or if you have all of the old books, in which case I am sure you can convert things. This book will not give you a feel for 2300AD.