Watch ten minutes of Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries gameplay

I was a big fan of Mechwarrior back in the Activision days, and so the new Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries gameplay video that comes to us courtesy of Polygon hit me like a big ol' wave of nostalgia. It's ten minutes of stomping through a small outpost, blowing up everything in sight with lasers, rockets, and an AC5—and it looks just like the game I remember. 

That's not to say that it looks like a 20-year-old game, which obviously isn't the case. But the style is almost dead-on: Blocky, non-interactive buildings assembled in the midst of a remote desert, nobody around to accidentally (or, you know, not) step on, explosions galore, and of course a soothing voice telling you that everything is going to be OK, because all systems are nominal. 

Nostalgia aside, it's fair to say that there's not actually a whole lot going on in the video. The level is basically a punching bag for Stompy McGunhands, and the mech-on-mech action doesn't start until about the halfway point. And the guys driving the opposing mechs aren't exactly ELH elites, either. Obviously I hope (and expect) that the final product will offer significantly greater depth and detail that what we see here. Even so—and bearing in mind that this is obviously still in a very pre-release state—I think it looks really good. I was very disappointed when Mechwarrior Online arrived without a campaign, and so you better believe that I'm looking forward to this one. 

Mechwarrior 5 won't be out until late in 2018, but a playable demo will be available at MechCon, which will take place on December 9 in Vancouver, BC. We've also got a hands-on look at the game that you can dive into here.   

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.