Fans of the Battletech franchise have something new to look forward to after today’s surprise at Piranha Game’s Mech-Con. PGI president and CEO Russ Bullock took to the stage, announcing MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, which is due in 2018. This is the first single-player MechWarrior game in 15 years, and already has fans of giant robots buzzing with anticipation. Details about the game are scarce, though footage from the alpha version shown at Mech-Con is on YouTube.
Call me crazy, but that sounds a lot like Jonathan Banks voicing the technician. Carole Ruggier, the computer voice in earlier MechWarrior games, definitely seems to be reprising her role.
The game’s official website contains a little more information. MechWarrior 5 is set in the year 3015, where BattleMechs are rare and valued heirlooms (the Shadow Hawk in the video is 500 years old), and five major noble houses clash for control over the galaxy. Between this and a “career-based Mercenary campaign driven by player choice,” MW5 has a lot in common to Hairbrained Schemes’ turn-based Battletech adaptation, which is due next year. Both games follow a mercenary outfit in the 31st century, and will let players get their fill of customising, maneuvering, and fighting giant war machines.
Like Hairbrained Schemes’ take on the franchise, MW5 will not use Cryengine. PGI is using Unreal Engine 4, and has confirmed this won’t take development resources from MechWarrior Online. This represents a second take at moving away from Cryengine after the announcement (and swift cancellation) of Transverse. It is currently unknown if PGI intends to crowdfund MW5 like Transverse or Battletech.
PGI have previously released a trailer for a single-player MechWarrior, which never materialised, so fans may be understandably skeptical about this the second time around. However, while that may not have come to fruition, it did bring us MWO. Between MWO and the resurrection of MechWarrior Living Legends, it’s never been easier to get your multiplayer giant robot fix. 2017’s turn-based Battletech game looks promising, and if PGI can deliver on MW5, then 2018 looks set to be even more exciting.
Whether new to the franchise or returning player, all anyone can do now is wait for the next move from PGI. We will keep you updated with any news as we get it