Game review: MechWarrior 5 Mercenaries:
A new singleplayer-only MechWarrior is coming in 2018. That’s a long ways off, but I sat down with Piranha Games president Russ Bullock to talk about their plans for bringing MechWarrior back to its roots and what shape that will take. Bullock is quick to stress that, outside from the live demo that prefaced the announcement, MechWarrior 5 is still very early in development and that many of its features are still being pieced together. “One thing we’ve learned over is just to be cautious with expectations with our playerbase,” he says. “We want to make sure we’re really certain about things before they go out.”
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While the nitty-gritty details will have to wait until MechWarrior 5 is further along in development, what we do know is that Piranha Games is working to evoke the unfettered sense of scale and freedom of the first MechWarrior game released in 1989. Players will take charge of a struggling mercenary outfit in the Inner Sphere, the massive region of space surrounding Earth. While there will be a loose story and some pivotal story moments during the campaign, MechWarrior 5 is first and foremost a sandbox-esque game where players have the freedom to choose where to go, which houses to fight for, and how to equip their soldiers.
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MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries is completely standalone and won’t have any microtransactions, Bullock tells me. Instead, the game will be a “you pay full price, you get the game, you’re done” kind of deal. Developed in Unreal 4, MechWarrior 5 is being made by a separate team than the one working on MechWarrior Online at Piranha, which has been publicly available since late 2012. It will be self-published, and there is no plan to utilize a platform like Steam’s Early Access to release the game in an unfinished state. “I can’t really see anyway that will work for this game,” Bullock says.
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NEED TO KNOW
Release date 2018 Developer Piranha Games Publisher Piranha Games Engine Unreal 4 Key details SP-only; minimum 24 mechs in combat; level generation; no microtransactions