MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries
Piranha Games Inc. / Sold Out
The setting for MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries is turbulent, to say the least. In the year 3015, humanity has already made it out among the stars but even as our technology advanced, the basic impulse to quarrel with one another hasn’t. Having devolved into a feudal political system called the Inner Sphere, five Great Houses duke it out for supremacy. However, instead of using their own massive military forces, they employ mercenary companies to settle things via proxy wars.
You’ll step into the boots of the son of Nikolai Mason, a man who owned his own mercenary company but was killed by a group of rival MechWarriors. Your first order of business is to get your father’s mercenary company (now yours) back to peak fighting efficiency and then find out who the mysterious folks who killed your father are and exact revenge upon them.
What does this mean, gameplay-wise? Traveling to planets, taking on different types of contracts, engage in lots of violence with your ‘Mechs, get paid, repair said ‘Mech, and then bounce to the next planet – rinse and repeat. This gameplay loop has been more or less the same for the decades-old MechWarrior franchise, but Piranha Games has learned quite a bit from their title, MechWarrior Online, and infused it into this latest title.
They’ve definitely utilized the advances in modern PC technology. Now, instead of your ‘Mechs bouncing off of building walls or being halted by flimsy trees, your ‘Mech can breach through buildings, and not only stomp down trees but light them on fire with bursts of your laser weapons. Needless to say, this makes controlling and fighting with ‘Mechs much more immersive and atmospheric.
Likewise, ‘Mechs now feel as if they’re truly massive, robotic killing machines. Their giant torsos whine and squeak with metallic tones as you swivel them around in search of targets, and their footfalls thunder and echo throughout whatever environments you find yourself in. Piloting a ‘Mech has never felt more impressive and indicative of their imposing nature. And see that eight-story building over there blocking your view from some gunships? Bring your weapons to bear on it and make it collapse – case solved.
Unfortunately, some of the enemy’s AI pathing and other behaviors aren’t as advanced as the human mind. Enemy ‘Mechs routinely don’t utilize cover to their advantage and gunships typically fly to one location and just sort of hover there, waiting to be shot down. Some of the smaller ‘Mechs can be challenging, however, since they can run circles around you if you’re not careful.
One of the things that really impressed me about MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries is for the first time in the venerable franchise’s history, you can walk around in your pilot’s first-person view during the game’s ‘Mech Bay sequences. Not only that, but you can stand right next to your metal behemoths and marvel at their gigantic fuselages with dread-filled wonder.
With the exception of a few odd mechanics, MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries is a fun and immersive giant stompy robot simulator, and propels the series forward in new and unique ways. And the icing on the cake is that you can play both the base game, as well as the new Heroes of the Inner Sphere DLC, with up to four co-op friends and tackles their many missions together. In most respects, this is simply a mech-lover’s dream come true.
MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries has some great graphics so you’ll need a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. Therefore, you may just want to invest in a superior gaming rig:
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