Piranha Games reveals a new single-player MechWarrior

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.

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    • Sargent Duck
    • 3 years ago

    Ahhh, reliving the good ‘ol days. I missed on MW and MW2, but I sank many, many hours into MW3 and 4 as well as MechCommander.

    As long as this game lets me modify the gun layout, I’ll be happy. If you’re stuck with the base loadout… : (

      • CuttinHobo
      • 3 years ago

      Totally. I played some MW3 and 4, but I spent many an hour on Mech Commander. There were times I spent longer tweaking the weapon loadout than I spent in the mission. 😀

    • albundy
    • 3 years ago

    trials of position!!! In the years that follow, my life with Clan Wolf was marked with constant challenges and blinkered trials. Each challenger made me stronger, and unwittingly contributed to the record of my deeds. I was fully indoctrinated in the Clan ways, and eager to restart the drive on Terra, and eager to make them all pay. Little did we know that a storm was rising on Terra that would sweep all before it, a storm terrible in its passing.

    this brought a tear to my eye. real mechwarrior, with a real story, not some lame pay to win MMO boring world.

      • NTMBK
      • 3 years ago

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who played [i<]way[/i<] too much MW4:M 😀 Though I usually went for the Davion ending.

    • atcrank
    • 3 years ago

    My son (5) has gone off to childcare today clutching the game manual for Mechcommander for show and tell. I read from it for half an hour last night as his bed-time reading. The Battle Tech universe has still got some pull.

    • Generic
    • 3 years ago

    I’m pretty sure Blockbuster made their money back on the SNES Mechwarrior from my rentals alone. 🙂

    • Meadows
    • 3 years ago

    The last time I played a “mech” game was Earthsiege 2 back when my age was barely in the double digits. On my – not entirely up to date – Pentium MMX with a Voodoo.

    Loved the combat novelty back then but my interests have slowly shifted to superpowered humans instead. Blame Remedy Entertainment and various Marvel media, I guess.

      • alloyD
      • 3 years ago

      ES2 was fantastic! I spent more time on MW4, though.

      • DoomGuy64
      • 3 years ago

      Starsiege was equally good. The first person aspect added a lot to the atmosphere, as did the soundtrack.

    • juzz86
    • 3 years ago

    “Piranha Games faced some heat from fans…”

    A coolant flush would’ve fixed that.

    On a less cringeworthy note, best news I’ve had all week. I hope this one sees the light of day. I’ve just refinished MW3 on the old PIII rig, what a blast!

    • Geonerd
    • 3 years ago

    At 2:08, the most complicated elevator controls ever! 😉

    • odizzido
    • 3 years ago

    You know with all of the vr hype they tried to drive what they needed were games like this. No gimmicky controls, no on rail fpsing, just you able to look around the cockpit like you’d be able to if you were actually piloting one of these.

      • GrimDanfango
      • 3 years ago

      Indeed. If this is actually good, it could be the difference between VR succeeding and not. It’s pretty much the definitive VR killer-app.

      It would only be fitting if it happened this way too… Mechwarrior 2 supported VR over 20 years ago, but the tech just wasn’t ready back then 🙂

    • SnowboardingTobi
    • 3 years ago

    oh heck yes!! do want. but 2018?!? soooo far away….

    • Neutronbeam
    • 3 years ago

    Oh, and the Kickstarted strategy game is supposed to come out next year… [url<]http://battletechgame.com/[/url<]

    • Mat3
    • 3 years ago

    Nice, and overdue. Online multiplayer only is garbage.

    • vargis14
    • 3 years ago

    I would like this:) Single player …Nice

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 3 years ago

    I’ll be honest. Any Mech game that honors the legacy of the universe is a good game in my book.

    • EndlessWaves
    • 3 years ago

    I hope they improve the sounds before release, they were definitely a bit lightweight in the video.

    It looks like they’re keeping MWO’s mouselook. It was understandable in a competitive online game but I hope they tweak the controls for the single player version to make it a bit more… mechanical.

    And I hope to see it on gog or some other advert-free platform.

      • DPete27
      • 3 years ago

      The audio will be fine when they finish the 30GB uncompressed audio package.

        • DoomGuy64
        • 3 years ago

        Getting tired of all the uncompressed funny business. New games seem to sporting giant don’t buy me signs with the DLC cash ins, and insane space requirements. I don’t have google fiber or a 6TB hdd, so that stuff just screams to be boycotted.

        The whole argument about CPU is ridiculous and completely unbelievable since games in the 90’s use compressed audio along with hrtf on single core cpu’s. Maybe it could be partially blamed on Microsoft, but even if that was true you could still use OpenAL or something.

          • morphine
          • 3 years ago

          $.02: Makes it harder to pirate games.

          … for a few hours until the rippers figure out a way to compress the audio and feed it to the game.

          • RAGEPRO
          • 3 years ago

          HRTF was done by dedicated audio processors (i.e. Aureal) back in the day. The CPU usage argument is valid, you’re just not realizing that it’s not your CPU they’re worried about. It’s those dinky little 1.6 GHz Jaguars in the consoles. 🙂

            • derFunkenstein
            • 3 years ago

            And that still doesn’t make sense, because just one of those cores is as fast as the 1GHz Duron I was using to play UT99, which used OGG-formatted audio.

            • kuraegomon
            • 3 years ago

            Yeah, but their CPU budget isn’t one of those cores, it’s more like 1/10th of one of those cores…

            • synthtel2
            • 3 years ago

            So was UT99’s.

            I’m decoding 128 kbit AAC right now for about a quarter of a percent of a Haswell core at 4.3. Higher bitrate streams (MP3, vorbis, or AAC) look to take more like a third of a percent. If a console core is 1/5th as fast (pessimistic, I think), that can still decode six to eight streams at once on 1/10th of a core.

            • Rza79
            • 3 years ago

            [quote<] If a console core is 1/5th as fast (pessimistic, I think)[/quote<] Not pessimistic at all because they are like 6 to 8 times slower than your 4.3Ghz Haswell core.

            • synthtel2
            • 3 years ago

            On looking at TR’s numbers for Jaguar again, I see about 1/5th to 1/6th (I had been thinking 1/4th to 1/5th).

            • Rza79
            • 3 years ago

            Your processor has close to 3x the clock advantage and its IPC is 2x to 3x faster. Do the math.

            • synthtel2
            • 3 years ago

            Your math is off. 😉 Clock is 2.7x and IPC hangs close to 2x. For the most direct comparisons I see in TR’s data, check x264 performance [url=https://techreport.com/review/24856/amd-a4-5000-kabini-apu-reviewed/5<]here[/url<] and [url=https://techreport.com/review/26735/overclocking-intel-pentium-g3258-anniversary-edition-processor/3<]here[/url<] (1.6 fps/core/GHz Jaguar, 3.3 fps/core/GHz Haswell) and single-thread cinebench performance [url=https://techreport.com/news/24886/haswell-compared-to-everything<]here[/url<] (0.2 score/GHz Bobcat, 0.45 score/GHz Haswell, various factors in Haswell's favor).

            • Rza79
            • 3 years ago

            The main difference being that x264 and Cinebench stress the FPU (which is pretty strong on Jaguar) while audio and game processing stress the integer units (which is weaker on Jaguar in comparison to its FPU). That’s why, since we are discussing gaming and audio processing, I mentioned my numbers.
            Also, most of the time, performance doesn’t scale with frequency. So the way you’re doing the math (eg. results / mhz) doesn’t work and shouldn’t be done.

            [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/1224?vs=1260[/url<] <5x slower in FPU benchmarks >5x slower in integer benchmarks

            • synthtel2
            • 3 years ago

            If you have that big a problem with separating IPC and frequency, why did you do it in the first place? I’m fine with just using performance if you are, but that would be a good story to get straight (and it doesn’t usually have so much effect on things as you’re saying).

            Gaming is a good mix of int and FP. Audio is more on the int side, but there are plenty of reasons to use floats at some points in it. (I don’t know enough details about the compression to know how much FP is actually in there.)

            I’ll use Anandtech’s figures, since you’ve got them up. The Athlon 5150 is a good reference point on that side, but the 4670K would be better on the Intel side for multithreaded tests (I don’t have HT) or just the G3258 for single-threaded ones. I’ll correct upwards by 1/3rd for my OC when looking at G3258 stuff (we’re not waiting on I/O here, I’ve got an uncore OC too, and I’m probably using faster RAM than they are, so the gain with frequency will be pretty linear) and 1/4th when looking at 4670K stuff.

            Multi-threaded (vs 4670K * 1.25) tests show 3.71x, 5.79x, 4.85x, 4.48x – average 4.71x.

            Single-threaded (vs G3258 * 1.33) tests show 7.20x, 4.71x, 3.39x, 4.58x, 5.48x, 4.12x, 4.91x, 3.92x, 5.10x, 4.40x – average 4.78x. Games and other GPU-bound workloads were ignored, as were TrueCrypt and FastStone because I don’t know if they’re multithreaded or not (if not, they’d disagree with your theory anyway).

            The tests that come up >5x are Dolphin, Kraken, and Cinebench. I don’t know enough about Kraken to say anything on it, Cinebench is FP (as you were just pointing out), and I don’t know precisely what’s involved in Dolphin (7.2x), but it’s well known to not be a normal workload.

            Unless you think I’m getting more than linear gains from my OC or are only looking at Dolphin, I don’t know how you can say it’s >6x with a straight face.

            • Rza79
            • 3 years ago

            When you mentioned your Haswell, I assumed an i7. So I took the added performance of HT into account (under gaming for a single core).
            Gaming is really not a good mix of int and FP. It’s mostly int (80/20) and audio is mainly int.
            When I made my first comment, I was working from my memory and I remembered an audio benchmark where Jaguar was >6x slower but I can’t find it anymore.

            But even if we put that aside and assume 5x slower and with 7 cores available to games that means that it barely has the power of a dual core CPU by modern day standards. The power of a dual core CPU spread over 7 cores and two separate cache domains, adding more latency.

            Modern games with complex physics, AI, … , I think they have zero processing power to spare on these consoles.

            • synthtel2
            • 3 years ago

            Ah, apparently I didn’t mention that a G3258 is what I’m using. That might explain a few things, yeah.

            80/20 int/FP in a game is within the normal range, but it’s pretty far on the int-heavy side of that range. It’s probably only going to happen in a game that’s very heavy on mechanics and light on graphics. Source: I am a game dev.

            The OSes of the consoles steal two cores, not just one, so devs really only get six (though those two OS cores do things that are useful to games). Yeah, they’re pretty pokey, but not insurmountably so. The CPU power available is similar to that of a lower-end laptop Sandy/Ivy/Haswell (2-point-low GHz w/ HT), and if you’ve got a good low-level graphics API with only one target and are only going for 30 fps, that starts to not sound so bad. 60 fps or more complex games? Yeah, that can get interesting. Things are definitely powerful enough to give audio a budget, though (if only a tiny one sometimes).

            • DoomGuy64
            • 3 years ago

            HRTF isn’t compression. The CPU still handled compressed audio, not to mention basic HRTF could still be done on the CPU. Unreal supported multiple audio API’s, including a software mode which didn’t kill the CPU. The original Unreal could run on a 300 mhz pentium 2, so I’d say the CPU argument is a little far fetched.

            The only 3d sound api that slowed down computers was A3d 3.0, because Aureal never got around to releasing 3.0 accelerated hardware, and their 2.0 hardware did 3.0 partially in software. Performance depended on how well it was optimized, and unoptimized 3.0 titles slowed down but not to the point of being unplayable either.

            EAX was never that hardware intensive, as shown by Xonar and Creative’s own separate EAX software. That said, I don’t think EAX 5 was ever fully ported to software, but the alternative OpenAl_Soft doesn’t run bad either.

    • Voldenuit
    • 3 years ago

    I’ve really gotten a kick out of playing [i<][url=http://store.steampowered.com/app/274500/<]Brigador[/url<][/i<]. It's the isometric Mechwarrior-style game I've always wanted. There's no plodding narrative or tedious cut-scenes that the AAA industry thinks is necessary, and minimal hand-holding. The controls are responsive while still giving a sense of weightiness to the mechs, and the game is challenging while being accessible. I'm frankly less excited by Mechwarrior 5, as the franchise is a bit tied down by the "clunkiness" of FASA's mechs; we won't see any Armored Core-style shenanigans here.

    • Neutronbeam
    • 3 years ago

    Best news of the weekend!

    MW:4 and my force feedback joystick and headphones were a joy for several years, and it was my first introduction to multiplayer. Can’t wait and now have another reason to get a new Pascal + Kaby Lake rig next year. Beware my Warhammer and poor reflexes!

    • DragonDaddyBear
    • 3 years ago

    I’m not a BattleTech guru, but my friend is. It’s a very interesting story line from what he has told me. I think an entire new generation of gamers (and some of older ones) could be introduced to MechWarrior. Here’s to hoping they do it right. MechWarrior has been treated so poorly as a franchise over the years that I’ve learned to not get my hopes too high.

    • NTMBK
    • 3 years ago

    So excited! I still install Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries every so often. I never really got into MW:O- I don’t have enough time to devote to a single online shooter to “git gud”.

      • tay
      • 3 years ago

      I’m excited for this as well.
      I played the shit out of MW:O and it’s fun, but you’re right it takes a lot of time to git gud at online shooters. MWO is more about optimizing your builds and killing robots. No good persistent world (as they’d promised) or story.

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