MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries stomping towards 2018

Those rock ’em sock ’em rompin’ stompin’ MechWarriors will return in 2018 with an actual proper MechWarrior game what does the good stuff I want. MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries [official site] will be a singleplayer game with a campaign mode about fighting robots for money. It’s being made by Piranha Games, the folks behind the free-to-play multiplayer MechWarrior Online. They announced the game over the weekend and have also shared a smidgen of gameplay footage, which includes a rude chickenbot and roboeggs raining from the skies. Watch:

Here’s the story-o-deetblast blurb from Piranha:

“MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries will feature intense PvE ‘Mech combat in an immersive, career-based Mercenary campaign driven by player choice. Featuring an advancing timeline starting in the year 3015, players will adopt the role of a green MechWarrior mercenary thrust into combat as the Third Succession War continues to fracture the Inner Sphere; the vast region of colonized space surrounding Earth. Victory, prestige, and profit will not only require skill on the battlefield, but in the maintenance and enhancement of your BattleMechs.”

You might remember that Piranha planned to make a campaign-based MechWarrior when they first got the license, years before they announced MechWarrior Online. I’m glad they’re finally making it. If you’ve any fanciful ideas about them building this upon MWO, nah, MW5 will use Unreal Engine 4 rather than CryEngine. Piranha say they plan to keep working on MWO too.

MechWarrior 2 and its Mercenaries expandalone were probably the last MW games I played loads of. I was still struggling with the idea of mouse as a control mechanism (it was the ’90s, dear) but hugely enjoyed building my own stompy deathbots and mercenary group. In my memory, the abstractness of the low-poly graphics (and especially the starkness of the city in that mission to escort a limousine) have pushed them into that dreamy sci-fi book cover space for me. Ah, I suppose I’m willing to pull them back into reality if I get to blow up bots again. 2018 it is.


  1. Grizzly says:

    I still distinctly remember the MW2 mission where you get to play with the massive 100-ton Dire Wolf for the first time, which involved escorting one of Clan Wolf’s leaders to the Opera. It had the best soundtrack, too:

    • CdrJameson says:

      All the PC MW2 soundtracks are still favourites on my playlist, and have been since I realised you could put the game CD in a CD player and just listen to them (from track 2 on).

      I have a worrying suspicion that was twenty years ago.

  2. rustybroomhandle says:

    Not quite related, but there was a great Battletech developer video released a few months back. I’d have thought folks at RPS would have gone gaga over it (Adam?), but it did not even get a mention.

  3. Harlander says:

    Ooh, I’d forgotten how much I’d been waiting for a singleplayer mech fightin’ game.

    Anyone got any thoughts on how well it works with a HOTAS?

    • jontaro says:

      Well, i have played MWO with HOTAS and i prefer mouse for aiming, joystick for turning and speed.

  4. Ghostwise says:

    … all systems nominal.

    I squeeeeed. :)

    • JarinArenos says:

      Seriously. That line should not still be able to send chills down my spine this many years later… but here we are.

  5. amblingalong says:

    Interesting comparing this to the trailer they released seven years ago for MW5: link to

    Gotta say, while I realize that likely contained very little to know real gameplay, hard to be impressed when the 2016 version looks less exciting (and less attractive) than the 2009 version.

    • amblingalong says:

      No* real gameplay

    • gwop_the_derailer says:

      I like how the pilot just misses an earth-shaking 15 meter tall mech lumbering towards him (at around 0:57) until the two are almost kissing.

    • jontaro says:

      That is actually MWO reveal trailer, that someone has renamed for whatever reason.

      • HothMonster says:

        No. This was the Mechwarrior reveal trailer for a game that never got made but production was shifted to MWO. Before MWO was a thing they were hoping to make a single player game. This was their proof of concept video for that to get investors and hype generated. I forget why that fizzled out and turned into MWO but when this trailer was released they were planning to make “Mechwarrior” a SP reboot to the franchise.

        link to Here is a news article from when the trailer launched

    • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

      The 2009 version was a completely scripted cutscene, even if it was in-engine. The new video is live and ready to play; while this footage isn’t it, somewhere in this mess of a twitch stream ( link to ) you can see it being played live and ready to go, which means it’s actually a real game instead of a pretty movie. Sure, it looks a bit rough around the edges, but I will take an honest trailer over some Ubisoft-style dishonesty any day.

  6. Ansob says:

    Both the Shadowhawk and Raven pilots in the trailer are rubbish. Who stands and fights in a Raven, and why is the Shadowhawk pilot not trying to leg the Raven?!

    • turnopia says:

      Also, why the Shadowhawk is showing its back at close range twice?

      • JagdFlanker says:

        the president of PGI Russ Bullock was the one playing the demo, but he has very little experience actually playing MWO so that shines through in the demo play attempt lol

        i will also add that i played MWO pretty much every day for over 3 years, and over that span it became very clear that PGI was incapable of adding meaningful content to the game so i wouldn’t hold my breath if you have hope for this new game. i hope they do a great job, but i don’t expect it

  7. gwop_the_derailer says:

    That Shadowhawk has some really hot nipples.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      Yeah, good thing the exhaust wasn’t placed in the butt, that would have been silly. Almost as silly as making tanks huge humanoids so they become easy targets, slow, and prone to toppling over.

      Just teasing, mech fans. It does look fun to stomp around in that.

  8. YogSo says:

    So it’ll be MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries 3, then?

    • felis says:

      Only if it was Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries 2.

      • YogSo says:

        You’re right, that would make too much sense, and we can’t have that in the game industry. Better rebrand it to MechWarrior: Mercenaries instead – numbers are so passé anyway.

  9. Pravin Lal's Nuclear Arsenal says:

    There you go, Piranha! That wasn’t so hard, was it?
    Now, let me remind you how this works: in your hand there’s a copy of the game. In mine, I have some cash. You give me the game, I’ll give you the cash. Simple, right? There, good lads, enjoy your shiny money. In the meantime, I’ll vent some overheating and try to figure out how to fit this salvaged Clan HL on a Jenner.

    • sneetch says:

      You can fit it the same way I do: duct tape and swearing. Lots of both. You’re welcome.

      • Pravin Lal's Nuclear Arsenal says:

        Duct tape?! LUXURY! What am I, some kind of fancy ass Lyran banker?

        *Sigh* fine. I guess I can suspend the development of that software that asks: “Are you really sure you’re not wasting ammunition?” every time a pilot tries to use an Autocannon.

    • JarinArenos says:

      I recall actually doing that once in MW3. Dang thing shut down every time it fired, but it did hilarious things to other superlight mechs.

  10. Von Uber says:

    This is HQ to Alpha assault- what is your situation?

  11. zarthrag says:

    *sniff*….am I the only one with fond memories of MW3? All I hear are stories of MW2 (ever so slightly before my time, and MW4 – which honestly wasn’t as fun as 3, to me.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      MW3 is far and away my favourite in the series, for me it just nailed the FEEL of the ‘mechs better than any other. Weighty, clumsy and terrifying to both the pilot and his target.

    • DudeshootMankill says:

      I agree with you. MW3’s mechs felt just right.

    • JarinArenos says:

      Absolutely. And the MW3 campaign was great too. I honestly had a TON more fun with MW3 campaign than I ever did with Mercenaries.

  12. Vedharta says:

    Can i be that one person to say they will be missing the Clans :'(

    • Teek says:

      Don’t you worry. The devs have said they plan on making the game cover 3015 – 3049. Very specific year, which hopefully means an expansion pack (i guess kids call it DLC these days) which I would be totally fine with. Might even be free, the developers have said they don’t really want to do microtransaction stuff.

      • HothMonster says:

        I’m cautious about that. They sure love big ticket macrotransactions for MWO. Hopefully that was all so they could eventually fund this game they wanted to make like 7 years ago and they won’t make this a cash grab too but I’m not too optimistic at this point.

  13. Teek says:

    I’m thrilled, this is the best news I’ve heard in a while. I got extremely excited by the first MW5 announcment way back, but I’ve never been particularly thrilled by MWO.

    One thing I’d love to experiment with is whether or not it could work in VR. Doubtful it would have as much of an impact as say playing DCS World in VR (which, for me, was incredible) but I think a slower moving, cockpit based mech game could work in it.

    • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

      Piranha have said that MWO works fantastically in VR but they front end and HUD would have to be rewritten entirely for it to be a viable release, and they’re not going to invest that much time and money into supporting hardware not many people have.

      But UE4 has native VR support unlike MWO’s old version of Cryengine, and MW5 can be built from the ground up to have VR support instead of having to hack it in later. I can’t imagine that they’ll omit it.

  14. Nauallis says:

    Not impressed. This looks like a clunky Armored Core: Battletech 40,000 edition knock-off. C’mon Piranha, get out of the 90’s already. Think I’ll wait for a steam sale.


    • dashausdiefrau says:

      This looks like Battletech, or rather the old Mechwarrior games. If it was Armored Core, it was way faster, and I cannot really put wh40k in context here, that has very different state imho.

      I think it looks good for Mechwarrior-fans, but yeah, I could imagine dozens of cool things on how to bring the old formula to the XXIst century. Also, I wish they could get rid of the old constraints of Battletech, and I could launch rockets from my Catapult to kilometers away, and I could also use my PPCs for a few kilometers, instead of the usual 600 yard or so.

      I can imagine engaging gameplay with real combat distances, too bad developers cannot.

      • Nauallis says:

        Yep, you pretty much address what I [seriously] dislike about it – it’s slow and clunky and the weapons… just don’t make sense. It’s the future, right? So why then are we limited to LOS weapon systems? That only makes sense for lasers. Why don’t we have one-shot kill weapons, like KEP/LRP sabot systems? The whole point of a ground superiority weapon is to eliminate anything else as quickly as possible, and to deter other things from attempting combat! The OpFor mech in that video took 4 hits from a weapon styled “Sudden Death” (not to mention other weapon systems). Riiiiiiggghhhht.

        When I hear fans talk about why they like the MechWarrior series as opposed to AC, Battletech, Front Mission, or miniatures games, inevitably “realism” comes up. LOL.

        • magogjack says:

          I think in this instance people want internally consistant logic rather then realism. Easier to suspend belief but is often more “fun.”

  15. KastaRules says: