BattleTech fans, ready your sticks and throttles. Piranha Games (the developers of MechWarrior Online) took the opportunity afforded by Saturday's Mech Con event to announce MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, powered by Unreal Engine 4. This primarily single-player-focused title is set for release in 2018, and Piranha Games says a dedicated team is hard at work on the project. The company also showed off some pre-alpha footage, and it sure does look like MechWarrior. See for yourself:
There are still a few things to comment on in the trailer, though. An on-foot segment where the mute pilot gets into the mech takes up fully a third of the seven-minute video. The pilot enters an SHD-2H Shadow Hawk mech while being informed by their operator that they have no long-range missiles loaded because the mercenary company is out of money. That takes us back to the prior Mercenaries games in the series, and tells us that managing the finances of your mercenary company will be a major component of the game.
The standard SHD-2H configuration of the mech appears in part because this game is set in the year 3015. That pre-dates even the original BattleTech setting of 3025, well before the Clan invasion in 3049. As a result, it seems likely that the game will (at least initially) focus on the Succession Wars between the great houses of the Inner Sphere. The trailer ends with a small legion of spheroid dropships besieging the player's planet of residence.
Of course, this isn't the first time we've seen a potentially new single-player MechWarrior. Piranha Games faced some heat from fans surrounding an earlier MechWarrior game prototype shown back in 2009. Whether because of legal or financial issues, that game never materialized. Instead the company released the free-to-play MechWarrior Online, which, despite its rocky launch, has gone on to garner praise from mech fans. Piranha says the PvP-focused mech shooter will continue to be actively developed and supported even after MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries releases. For now, we're cautiously optimistic about the prospects of another single-player MechWarrior adventure.