After a nearly 20-year wait, a new singleplayer Mechwarrior game is finally about to happen. Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries is set to drop onto the Epic Games Store on December 10, and ahead of that developer Piranha Games has released a four-minute gameplay video that provides an overview the starmap, salvage and resource management, mech customization options, and hot combat in what looks to be pleasingly crunchy environments.
I was watching a Mechwarrior 2 gameplay stream on Twitch last night, which brought back some great memories but also really emphasized how far things have come. Buildings in MW2 urban missions are featureless, monolithic blocks, and running into them—even with a 75-ton Timber Wolf at full throttle—results in nothing more than a metallic clang. It's very different in Mechwarrior 5: Buildings crumble as though they're constructed from toilet paper and hope, and mechs seem to barely slow down while walking through some of them.
It's undeniably pretty, and the combat looks flashy and intense. I just hope it's not too fast and furious: One of my favorite things about the old Mechwarrior games is that they're relatively slow, deliberate experiences—80-ton Battlemechs don't flit around in ballet slippers, you know—and I very much hope that feeling of mass and inertia carries over into the new game.
Ahead of the launch of Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries, Piranha is putting out a free eight-part novella that sets up the story of Nik's Cavaliers, the mercenary unit players will command in the game. It's free for everyone at mw5mercs.com.