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MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries revives a series that’s been dormant for 16 years

by Ron Duwell | December 5, 2016December 5, 2016 7:00 pm PDT

The legendary robot pilot simulator series MechWarrior has been confirmed for a relaunch in 2018.

Online games, mobile spin-offs, and sub-franchises have dominated its namesake for the last 17 years, but MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries will bring it all back to where it started with a dedicated, single-player campaign.

In MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries you will adopt the role of a rookie MechWarrior pilot thrust into combat as the Third Succession War continues to fracture the Inner Sphere. Take contracts from the factions of your choosing and engage in tactical, first-person, PvE ‘Mech combat through an immersive, career-based Mercenary campaign driven by player choice. Victory, prestige, and profit will not only require skill on the battlefield, but in the acquisition, maintenance, and enhancement of your BattleMechs.

This is a genuine entry in the series, and it’s the first one to receive a number since MechWarrior 4: Vengeance back in the year 2000.

MechWarrior is the TIE-Fighter of the robot world

I have to admit, I don’t know too much about the MechWarrior games. I remember watching cousins play MechWarrior 2 on their home computers way back when the series was cutting edge, and I just couldn’t wrap my brain around it. The whole idea just seemed too big and impossible.

First-person gaming? 3D worlds? You mean, I can climb inside a giant robot and pilot it around like the real thing? No way, I can’t handle this. I was still gaming on a Super Nintendo in 1995, so it’s pretty obvious why something as technically advanced as MechWarrior 2 would blow my nine-year-old mind.

When MechAssault came to the original Xbox way back in 2002, that was simple enough to get, but it’s a far more simplistic game. MechWarrior has always been more about the simulation aspect of its action, trying to make a giant robot tank seem as real as possible. It’s more like piloting a TIE-Fighter in TIE-Fighter than in Star Wars: Battlefront. So many buttons, so many controls, so many meters to manage. It’s something only a professional could handle.

Now that technology is so far ahead, MechWarrior isn’t going to be able to shatter that barrier anymore. The only way this game will be a success is to play up the complicated controls. Selling itself as a complicated simulator in the face of Titanfall and other accessible mech games is the only way to go.

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries will be released in 2018.

Kotaku

Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...

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