MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries will have four-player co-op and full mod support

MechWarrior 5

This time last year Piranha Games announced MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries would release in 2018, but we haven’t heard much about the game since. Until now. At last weekend’s Mech_Con, developer Piranha Games revealed MechWarrior 5 will feature four-player co-op as well as full modding and Steam Workshop support. They also revealed MW5 is due to launch in December 2018. Only a full year to wait!

The newly announced four-player co-op allows players to add up to three friends into their campaign universe, from there you can can embark on missions as a mean-machine unit of savage mercenaries – and probably Dave from accounting.

Pairing co-op with full mod support means you and your merry band of savages can customise your own missions, contracts, planetary systems and biomes, among other things.

Add this to the sneaky peek of new gameplay footage we’ve already seen, courtesy of Polygon, and MechWarrior 5 is shaping up to be one heck of a boomfest.

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries will be the first standalone singleplayer MechWarrior game in 15 years and it looks like it was worth the wait, returning to an original action-sim with player choice playing a huge role in the career-centred campaign.

According to Piranha:

“MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries features 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 new MechWarrior mercenary thrust into leadership of a mercenary squad as the Third Succession War continues to fracture the Inner Sphere; the vast region of colonised space surrounding Earth. Victory, prestige, and profit will not only require skill on the battlefield, but in the maintenance and enhancement of your BattleMechs.”

If 2017 is anything to go by, I’ll be looking forward to blowing up some stuff by the end of 2018.


  1. automatic says:

    Dead parent: “Everything we built is meant for you. Our legacy will guide you…” *Screaming stabbed skull banner unfolds*
    Because piracy is all about the family.

  2. vorador says:

    Dave of accounting?

    I’d rather try my luck with the mercenaries.

  3. Synesthesia says:

    I’m sorry, but this doesn’t look too god. Kinda like an early 2000’s game? The buildings are low poly, the animation is deplorable, and good god, the special effects are something out of a youtube tutorial.

    • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

      Really? You think it looks like an early 2000s game? You think it barely looks better than this: link to ? Because that’s a game that came out in 2000, and maybe you can’t tell the difference but I sure can.

      I agree the trailer could look better, but A) it’s a game in development and B) it’s a small studio with no publisher, so of course they’re not going to have Ubisoft-style bullshots where they spend a ton of work making a demo look way better than the real game.

      • automatic says:

        Quake 3 came out in 1999 and had graphics way better than this screenshot you showed. You can see by the high res textures and engine that Piranha has the tech but they do not have the taste. The maps look real bad. Look at those plain gray streets with sharp angle edges. 2000 stuff indeed. Honestly it seems to me their work quality only degraded since MWO came out. Seems like they hired a lot of great designers and fired everyone once the initial work was done. Look at early MWO screenshots and check out actual mech designs. The difference is huge. Ironically they are using only mechs designs from the first MWO version on the teaser. I wonder why.

        • Replikant says:

          Who cares about AAA graphics anyway?
          If that game has solid gameplay and robust co-op with passable graphics, I am sold.

          • Anti-Skub says:

            Graphics obviously aren’t the be all and end all, but when a game looks as ropey, visually, as this, it seems unlikely it’s going to be great.

            Basically this looks very low budget, and low budget doesn’t just affect graphics. If they can’t afford the decent artists and coders required to make the game look like it’s not already 5 years old, then they likely can’t afford decent writers, or actors, or level designers, or the multitude of other people required to make a game.

            If they are happy with the quality of those animations and those building models, do you really think the bar is going to be set much higher for other aspects of the games design?

            It still might turn out to have great gameplay and a gripping story, it does occasionally happen…but after seeing how it looks, I’m going to be reigning in my expectations. You probably should to.

        • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

          MWO’s graphics degraded slowly over time, sacrificed on the altar of optimization. They made a great-looking game that nobody could run well, or at least not enough people to sustain a f2p game, which is why it looks so bad now. I don’t think it has to deal with a mass hiring/firing.

          • automatic says:

            It’s not just optimization. You can work this out with different settings. The problem is with the design itself. Check early mech designs like the Catapult and compare with latter mechs like the Nova Cat. The difference on details on both design and animation is huge. Same thing with the maps. Take latter maps like Polar Highlands or the recent Rubellite Oasis and compare them with earlier River City or Forest Colony. Sure they changed a lot in name of gameplay but still, the design quality drop is noticeable.

        • Teek says:

          I think I understand what your saying, but you do realize you just criticized city streets for being grey and having “sharp” edges… you know, like most city streets already are…

          To me, the map has a retro feel. From the layout of the whole area to the architecture of the buildings, it reminds me a lot of Mechwarrior 4. Maybe they could push maybe design from a 2002 video game, but I appreciate them staying with source material. Personally, I feel that the maps look a bit odd compared to, say, an actual city, but at the same time an actual city would be an awful place for a mech battle. Most streets wouldn’t even be able to fit a mech, let alone provide a fun and interesting area to fight in.
          Maps are going to be mostly procedural generated, so I doubt you’ll get the level of style that you’re looking for, but for me it’s not that impactful. It’s like complaining about the detail in buildings in a flight simulator, sure there are basic levels that you should expect, but it’s not really going to impact gameplay and has diminishing returns the more detail you go into. In the end, it’s one map, and there’s a lot more going on in the game that I like than what I don’t like, so I’m looking forward to it so far.

          • automatic says:

            Compare these “retro” streets of MW5 with the ones from Hawken, another mech game, and you will understand what I mean:
            link to
            Btw, feeding on nostalgia is no excuse for poor quality. MW4 design was limited by the tech from that time, so designers worked around what could look great within those limitations. The same is true for any good designed games. Making low poly buildings and bland maps on a game with high res lighting and textures is an awful design choice. I understand though this is early design and a lot of this may change in the future. Hopefully.

      • Anti-Skub says:

        Maybe not early 2000s, but definitely 2000s. The super low poly buildings, the flat lighting, the muddy textures, the awful rubble, those animations, low quality models, the featureless terrain.

        it wouldn’t look particularly impressive if you were shown this trailer 10 years ago, and that’s not great.

    • oyog says:

      Maybe you’d be happier with MW:LL.

      • Luiz Paulo Santos Cruz says:

        I am itching for the next chaos march myself.

    • Teek says:

      Dude, most buildings are giant flat-sided boxes. This isn’t the Statue of David we’re talking about.

      • Anti-Skub says:

        Most buildings are flat sided, so clearly that means that the buildings in this are as good as any other game…like say The Division or GTA V. Those buildings are just giant flat sided boxes and therefor look no better than this right?

        Don’t be ridiculous.

    • Herring says:

      It seems most / all of the buildings are destructable? That would account for the simplified look.

  4. JarinArenos says:

    Everything I hear about this game makes me more interested (co-op AND mods? It must be my birthday). I can see some complaints about the graphics, but honestly, considering I’ve thoroughly enjoyed going back and playing MW3 in recent years, I can survive a bit lower fidelity. Especially if it means I don’t have to upgrade my PC yet.

  5. Kurtismayfield says:

    Remember to take anything PGI says with a grain of salt. Still waiting for a good CW model in MWO.. and don’t forget

    link to


    link to

    Don’t give PGI a cent until the game is functioning.

  6. that_guy_strife says:

    This is extremely disappointing. This trailer looks fancy, but the looking at the latest gameplay videos is extremely different.

    The UI design in particular really bogs things down. And from what weapons I’ve seen, there isn’t much impact to anything. Absolutely no physics, with some limited destruction. Someone above mentionned reigning in expectations – strongly agree.

  7. Buuurr says:

    Game looks very bland… weapons are just not what you expect and look terrible. It does not make you feel like you are wading into war in a massive walker. Not at all. I know it is in development but they will have to do a hell of a lot to make it not act or look that way at this point. MWO looked great (lasers and cannon shots) and this is for sure a step back. It just looks sterile.

  8. Red_Fox says:

    Milton: “If.. If they take my Atlas one more time, I… I.. I’ll set the dropship on fire….”

  9. Premium User Badge

    Harlander says:

    Wasn’t Mechwarrior 4 also subtitled Mercenaries?

    • grimdanfango says:

      No, Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries was.

      As was Mechwarrior 2: Mercenaries :-P

      The difference this time is that they’re skipping past the Clan-oriented original game, and skipping straight to the spin-off.

  10. grimdanfango says:

    Yeesh, I was giving Piranha Games the benefit of the doubt until now, but it’s really not a good sign when I’m bored witless half way through the first 10-minutes of gameplay I’ve seen.

    We’re in a world with monumentally greater computing power, and massively capable physics simulation software, yet somehow they’ve managed to combine a half-baked nostalgic tribute to the mechanics of MW2, with an even blander lack of atmosphere than the mechanically satisfying but relentlessly beige and soulless MW3.
    We should be several orders of magnitude beyond both by now, but I would gladly settle for someone just taking the *good* aspects of both those ancient games and combining them. Seems even that is too much to ask for.

    I know hope springs eternal, and people will point out this is only alpha footage… but how much can a game really change between now and release? This is clearly lacking even the vague ambition to create something half as good as a 22-year-old game.

    Can someone just faithfully remaster MW2:Mercs, and add modern VR support?

    • Holderist says:

      Words from my head.

      It’s just a plain bad video – graphics aside. The pilot is aimlessly shooting things, and there’s little exposition on what the goal is for a singleplayer mission. There’s also a horrible absence of sound effects, music or voices. The only obvious sound is the 4 sound effects of the lasers, missiles, foot stomps, and gauss cannon(?).

      • Sound says:

        There is, seemingly, a dubstep cannon that keeps getting fired. So there’s that sound. *sigh*

    • KastaRules says:

      I play pretty much every Sim out there in VR, the simple thought of a MechWarrior sim-game in virtual reality is enough to make me salivating. At least a man can dream…

  11. Sound says:

    I don’t understand this.
    Couldn’t this have been made shortly after MWO was released? Why did this have to take so long? Why does it reek of being outdated? What is the selling feature here, that sets this title apart from any other robot-stompy or MW game? How has this improved on MWO? I don’t see a clear answer to these questions, and I don’t understand why.

  12. Red_Fox says:

    If this game turns out to suck, there’s always “Living Legends”.