MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries
|MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries|
|First published||10 December 2019|
|Era||Succession Wars era|
|Timeline||3015 - 3049|
|Series||MechWarrior (video games)|
|Preceded by||MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries|
Developed on the back of the Free to Play Online Multiplayer MechWarrior Online, MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries (MW5) is a BattleTech-themed single-player simulation developed by Piranha Games. Originally developed as the first single player PC MechWarrior game in seventeen years, PGI would later initiate development for the XBox Series X|S, XBox One, PlayStation 4 and Playstation 5 consoles, making it the first console BattleTech game since MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf in 2004 and the first console MechWarrior game since 1997's MechWarrior 2: Arcade Combat Edition.
MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries was originally released for the PC on 10 December 2019 as an Epic Games Store exclusive title, with an enhanced version for PC via Steam, GoG and Microsoft Game Store for PC and the XBox consoles released on May 27th 2021 alongside it's MechWarrior 5: Heroes of the Inner Sphere Expansion Pack. PGI later announced PlayStation 4 and 5 releases of the enhanced version and which came out alongside the Legend of the Kestrel Lancers Expansion Pack DLC on 23 September 2021.
- 1 Teaser Text
- 2 Gameplay
- 3 Plot
- 4 Trailers
- 5 Community Editions and Preorders
- 5.1 MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries - Privateer Standard Edition ($49.99USD)
- 5.2 MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries - Warrior Collector's Community Edition ($79.99USD)
- 5.3 MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries - Mercenary Ultimate Community Edition ($119.99USD)
- 5.4 MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries - Standard Edition ($49.99USD)
- 5.5 MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries - Deluxe Edition ($59.99USD)
- 6 MechWarrior 5: Heroes of the Inner Sphere Expansion Pack
- 7 MechWarrior 5: Legend of the Kestrel Lancers Expansion Pack
- 8 Resources
- 9 References
- 10 External Links
|“||The year is 3015. Humanity has expanded to the stars, colonizing a vast region of space known as the Inner Sphere. Where the Star League once ruled in relative stability, generations of countless wars, alliances, and betrayals have divided the Inner Sphere into five distinct Successor States. These states, also known as the Great Houses, have fought and quarreled for centuries over the remnants of the Star League and control of the Inner Sphere. They are now in the midst of a Third Succession War, one which has been raging for almost 150 years.
While the battlefields of the Inner Sphere burn with an array of devastating weaponry, none is more formidable than the BattleMech. These immense fighting machines, piloted by elite fighters known as MechWarriors, dominate the wars of the future with enough firepower to annihilate entire cities.
In MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries you will adopt the role of a rookie MechWarrior pilot thrust into combat as the Third Succession War continues to fracture the Inner Sphere. Take contracts from the factions of your choosing and engage in tactical, first-person, PvE 'Mech combat through an immersive, career-based Mercenary campaign driven by player choice. Victory, prestige, and profit will not only require skill on the battlefield, but in the acquisition, maintenance, and enhancement of your BattleMechs.
Like the previous entries in MechWarrior series, MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries is a single player PVE BattleMech simulator game with the player piloting their own 'Mech and commanding the rest of their lance. The game does have the option of co-op play, with three friends of the host able to take the place of the AI pilots and assist the host progress the campaign or play instant action sessions. MechWarrrior 5 features no PVP aspects, with PGI specifically citing during development that PVP is well catered for in MechWarrior Online.
In the single player campaign, the player under takes mercenary contracts to earn C-Bills and salvage and to enhance their Reputation, the higher the Reputation the better the rewards and further into the storyline the player can progress. Contracts take the form of an infinite number of procedurally generated missions, minor side quests with higher rewards and the campaign missions which deal with the progression of the story. The player's unit is primarily employed by the various Great Houses though contracts for other smaller factions such as corporate entities and individuals are also offered on occasion. The player's unit has a Standing with every faction in the game, fighting for a faction gains Standing with them, against resulting in losing Standing, high level of Standing provides bonuses when negotiating with them or using their markets, poor Standing instead results in penalties. Each faction also consists of different units with 'Mechs common in one faction being rarely available if at all in another, reflected in both selection of buyable 'Mechs in their borders as well as the opposition encountered in missions.
Once the tutorial is completed the player has access to the Starmap encompassing the entire Inner Sphere, able to visit any world as they wish allowing for time and cost. Overlaid on the Starmap is regions with red outlines which reflect Conflict Zones where missions can be found, these are most prevalent on the borders between the Great Houses but may also be located in the interior regions. Each Conflict Zone has an indicated Reputation level as a sign of the level of reward and difficulty for the contracts within. Repairs and modifications both take longer and are more costly in these regions, with Conflict Zones also having greatly reduced selection of badly damaged 'Mechs and equipment to purchase and no pilots are available to hire. Outside of Conflict Zones are various industrial hubs, strings of worlds that feature better selections in the Market and pilots as well as less onerous repair times and costs. Worlds with rare items, such as LosTech equipment, a 'Mech uncommon to the faction or even Hero 'Mechs, are highlighted on the Starmap.
When viewing a Contract the player can see who the mission is for and against, weather and terrain, the expected opposition and difficulty. Contracts allow the player the negotiate for an increase on the base contract payout amount, a greater proportion of salvage, higher levels of damage insurance coverage, or even the ability to call in airstrikes a limited number of times during an operation. The base contract reward and the amount of negotiation points available is determined by both their overall Reputation and specific Standing with the faction offering the contract. Aside from the death of Commander Mason which instantly fails the missions, contracts can be aborted but will result in drop in both Standing and Reputation. Faction Standing also influences store prices, with factions that view the player favourably granting a discount on all purchases, whilst factions that dislike (or even hate) the player making items more expensive.
As one would expect, the game also attempts to adhere to canon in terms of technology and 'Mech releases, and availability, with in-game news updates often foreshadowing the appearance of certain units or items in markets and on the battlefield. For instance, there are sightings of a mysterious "bird-like" 'Mech along the Liao-Davion border in 3024, shortly after which the experimental models of the Raven may be encountered. Likewise, Streak Missile Launchers are only available after 3035 (and even then only in SSRM-2 variants for some time thereafter). To a similar degree, certain mechs and weapons are easier to find in certain systems than others; the Victor is more common in Federated Suns territories, for example.
One notable difference from previous games is the addition of "Tiers" of quality for weapons, ranging all the way from Tier 0 (the most basic) to Tier 5 (the most advanced); the Tier of an item loosely represents the quality of its manufacture, with the manufacturer being specified in the weapon's info-card. Whilst tonnage is not reduced, higher tier weapons deal more damage, reload faster, generate less heat per firing cycle, fire more accurately at longer ranges, and have higher velocity projectiles. Equipment does not use this tier system, though certain items (such as Jump Jets) are split into multiple Classes to cover certain 'Mech weight bands; 'Mechs under 35t use Class V jumpjets, 40-55 ton 'Mechs use Class IV jumpjets, and so on.
Mission types available in both MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries base game and DLC are:
Assassination - Assassination missions see the player hired to destroy a specific individual target or a series of targets such as a commander and the rest of his lance. Such targets generally are highly skilled and feature powerful 'Mechs in good repair compared to both the player and the rest of the defending enemies. Once the required target or targets is defeated, the player must to head to their DropShip for extraction.
Battlefield - DLC Exclusive - An enhanced variation of Warzone exclusive to the Legend of the Kestral Lancers expansion, Battlefield sees the player charged with assisting the defenders of a specific nav point hold off effectively infinite waves of enemy attackers to earn bonus money or withdraw once a set minimum is reached. Unlike Warzone where these defenders are often in heavily damaged 'Mechs, those of Battlefield are in good condition, providing additional aid in holding back the progressively stronger attackers.
Beachhead - DLC Exclusive - Beachhead missions require the player's mercenary lance to act as a spearhead inserted by drop pod to secure a landing zone for a larger invasion force. Capture of an orbital defense facility is accomplished by staying within the marked area whilst also keeping enemy units out of the capture zone. Optional objectives include destroying the enemy orbital defense sensors and enemy artillery batteries, the former allowing additional reinforcements from the employer to land, and the latter of which will actively shell the player's lance unless they are destroyed. Successful completion of the primary objectives sees several Union-class dropships from the employer's faction performing final landing approach, carrying a full planetary invasion force, as the player's mission ends. This mission type is only available with the Heroes of the Inner Sphere expansion/addon content pack.
Defense - Defense missions see the player and their lance defending a facility against multiple waves of attacking enemies, with bonuses offered for preserving as much as the target as possible. Notably even unintentional damage inflicted by the player and his lance also impact the objective's health condition. The defense objective varies from one mission to another, from military bases and industrial complexes, to towns or urban cities with skyscrapers. Defense missions conclude as soon as the final wave of attacking enemies is defeated.
Demolition - The flip-side of Defense, Demolition missions see the player hired to destroy a target facility, normally defended by a mixture of 'Mechs and vehicles. Again, the objective varies and may be industrial factories, warehouses, military installations, or urban complexes. Defeating defending forces is technically not strictly necessary for successful completion of the mission. Once the sufficient damage has been inflicted to the target facilities, the player must reach their DropShip for extraction.
Garrison Duty - DLC Exclusive - An enhanced variation of Defense exclusive to the Legend of the Kestral Lancers expansion, Garrison Duty features additional defending 'Mech and tank forces in good condition to weather a much higher tempo attack against the location to be protected.
Objective Raid - DLC Exclusive - A variation of Raid exclusive to the Legend of the Kestral Lancers expansion, rather than destroying the individual targets Objective Raid see the player enlisted to recover specific salvage crates at them instead, the player then needing to head to their DropShip for extraction.
Raid - Raid missions see the player tasked with destroying specific structures such as fuel tanks or sensor towers located in small bases spread across the map. Each location will feature its own defense forces tasked purely to that target, though as with Demolition missions, defeating the defenders is not strictly necessary to accomplish the mission. Once all the raid targets are destroyed the player can head to towards the DropShip for extraction.
Scorched Earth - DLC Exclusive - An enhanced variation of Demolition exclusive to the Legend of the Kestral Lancers expansion, Scorched Earth see the player's lance target a more heavily defended location that must be destroyed, with a much higher tempo of additional forces, especially once the target has been leveled and the player has to withdraw to their DropShip for extraction.
Targeted Kill - DLC Exclusive - An enhanced variation of Assassination exclusive to the Legend of the Kestral Lancers expansion, Targeted Kill the player charged with downing the much more heavily defended primary target and recovering a salvage crate from their remains before withdrawing for extraction.
Warzone - Warzone missions represent participation in a larger battle spread over a wide area. The player is hired to head to a specific nav point and destroy enemy forces that enter the area, encountering effectively infinite waves of enemies, each successive wave stronger than the last. Once the minimum required number of enemies have been defeated, the player is free to head to their LZ and call in their DropShip for extraction, but they can stay to continue destroying additional targets to earn bonus money, though at the risk of suffering increasing damage.
Multiple Mission Operation - Special contracts that require you to complete more than one of the mission consecutively (each mission is drawn from the types listed above) in the same system, without the ability to wait and heal injured pilots or repair damaged 'Mechs, though this can be mitigated by maintaining a roster of both additional 'Mechs and pilots to rotate between missions. While difficult, such contracts offer dramatic increases on both Reputation and Standing gain with the faction offering the contract, as well significantly increased cash bonuses and salvage rights. However, aborting any mission in the sequence will fail the entire contract outright, and impose a severe Reputation and Standing penalty.
High Reward Quest - Unique, pre-scripted contracts based off the missions listed above, occasionally single missions but often multiple contracts, unlike Multiple Mission Operations these contracts do not need to be completed consecutively (time can be taken to repair and recuperate) and generally will take place across multiple systems. Aside from increased C-Bill and Reputation rewards compared to standard contracts, many will additionally offer specific items such as sizable amounts of rare items and equipment, pristine 'Mechs, or even highly skilled pilots upon completion. The mission transmissions include backstory from the employer faction, and individual missions also often include scripted scenarios taking place on unique map layouts, that may also include voiced dialogue in the form of radio communications that flesh out the situation as it develops. Several unique "Hero 'Mechs" can only be obtained via the corresponding High Reward quest chain, usually representing salvage captured from an enemy character defeated in the final battle, or as a reward given from the benefactor that hired the player's unit.
Campaign Mission - One-shot missions that advance the main campaign storyline. While superficially resembling the standard missions, they are usually full of pre-scripted sequences of events taking place on enhanced unique map layouts with large amounts of voiced radio communication dialogue. The opposition on these missions is typically also much heavier, with much more difficult opposition to defeat, especially when facing named antagonist characters. Unlike standard contracts, Campaign missions cannot be aborted, attempting to do so results in game over.
The player takes the role of a "Commander Mason", the only son of Nikolai Mason, commanding officer of Nik's Cavaliers, a small mercenary outfit whose home base is on the Federated Suns world of De Berry circa 3015. Having come of age and taking a rebuilt Centurion through its paces with his father, this training mission is interrupted by a surprise attack by a mysterious mercenary unit demanding information from Nikolai. Refusing to divulge the coordinates they seek, Nikolai orders his son to return to base and flee aboard the unit's Leopard-class DropShip, sacrificing his life to ensure their escape.
Reduced to just two Mechs, Mason and the survivors of the Cavaliers (Operations Officer Ryana Campbell and Chief Tech Fahad Arazad) reach out to Sebastian Spears, a high level agent of Interstellar Expeditions and a long-term friend of his father who provides assistance in escaping the system. Armed with a reused mercenary registration number to mask their origins, Commander Mason must rebuild his command to locate and defeat his enemies and avenge his father, against a mystery mercenary company that killed him.
Original Trailer for Mechwarrior: 3015
In 2009, Smith and Tinker and Piranha Games Interactive banded together to relaunch the Mechwarrior series after Microsoft had not done anything with the IP since cancelling FASA Studios' Mechwarrior 5 in 2003. Smith & Tinker and Piranha Games Interactive released an in-engine visual slice trailer for MechWarrior: 3015 in the hope of garnering interest among video game publishers to fund the development of the game. The trailer featured mech combat between an Atlas, Locust, and a Warhammer in 3015 on the planet Deshler. While pitching this vertical slice to publishers, PGI and Smith & Tinker were not successful in getting funding. The IP contractual obligations with Microsoft stated that the game could only be released on Xbox and PC, so that automatically excluded the Playstation userbase and therefore limited the potential return of investment for third-party publishers. These conditions were worsened by the fact that the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009 had hit the games industry and forced publishers to slim down while third-party developers were facing hardships with finding funding. This meant that there weren't really any publishers willing to fund the project. More info here
Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries is a different game and different project than what Mechwarrior: 3015 was supposed to be.
Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries was first unveiled in December 2016 as a proof-of-concept alpha version developed in Unreal Engine 4. The trailer was a live demonstration of gameplay played in real-time by Piranha Games Interactive's Russ Bullock. It featured scripted scenarios and HUYD mock-ups, first showing the perspective of a mechwarrior boarding a Shadow Hawk in a mech hangar, then the piloting of the Shadowhawk exiting the hangar and defending the base against incoming invaders in the form of an AI-controlled Raven. After Bullock defeated the Raven, a dropship is entering the sky with a warning of invasion and outbidding whoever hired the mechwarrior to defend the planet.
The second trailer was teased during Mech_Con 2017. Showing what would be the dropship hanger and some gameplay., alongside the game's narrative premise of taking over the management of Chloe's Cavaliers with voice-over by both the father and what was supposed to be Chloe (the mother of who you play as in Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries), but the character and voice over were ultimately cut.
"We've taken you as far as we can. Death comes for us all, but for you; not today. High among the stars, rebuild and avenge us!"
- Voice from the trailer.
On December 5th, 2019, the launch trailer was released on Youtube.
Steam / Xbox / GOG Launch Trailer
PC Gaming Show Marketing
In June 2021, Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries saw a big marketing push at the annual PC Gaming Show, where the hosts performed the entire show from a Battletech/Mechwarrior-themed dropship and catapult using the assets from the game.
Playstation Announce Trailer
On September 8th, 2021, a new Playstation trailer was released that announced that Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries would be coming to Playstation, the first time in over 25 years that the series had been on the Playstation consoel.
Community Editions and Preorders
Prior to signing with Epic Games, Piranha Games offered preorders for MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries from the MW5 website. Running from 1st January 2019 to 30th April 2019, these three Community Editions were primary focused on existing MechWarrior Online players and included steadily increasing volume of MWO content. As extra incentive to MWO Founders, the amount of MC provided at each tier was doubled. Towards the end of the Community Preorder as an extra incentive PGI offered additional MWO 'Mechs, pre-order before April 9th received the CPLT-C2 (S) Catapult, WHM-9D (S) Warhammer, MAD- 9M (S) Marauder, KGC-001 (S) King Crab, before received April 16th received the WHM-9D (S), MAD- 9M (S), KGC-001 (S), before April 23rd received the MAD- 9M (S), KGC-001 (S) and before April 30th to receive the KGC-001 (S).
MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries - Privateer Standard Edition ($49.99USD)
MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Content
- Digital copy of MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries
- Digital Game Manual
- "Instant Action" Closed Beta/Demo Access with Co-Op support
- Digital Soundtrack
- Access to the Official MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Discord Server for discussion, MW5 mod making and bi-monthly AMAs with PGI
MechWarrior Online Content
- Marauder II Standard Edition Pre-Order Pack
- 12,000 MC - Founders received 24,000 MC
- 30 days Active MWO Premium Time
- 72,800 GXP & 4.1 Million C-Bills
- MW5-themed Title, Badge, Decal, Cockpit standing Item, Warhorn item, Hanging Cockpit Item
MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries - Warrior Collector's Community Edition ($79.99USD)
MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Content Same content as Standard Edition plus:
- Exclusive MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries "Chloe's Cavaliers" Legendary Pattern
- MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Desktop Pack
MechWarrior Online Content
- Marauder II Collector's Edition Pre-Order Pack
- 20,000 MC - Founders received 40,000 MC
- 60 days Active MWO Premium Time
- 145,600 GXP & 8.2 Million C-Bills
- 2 MW5-themed Titles, Badges, Decals, Cockpit standing Items, Warhorn items, Hanging Cockpit Items
MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries - Mercenary Ultimate Community Edition ($119.99USD)
MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Content Same content as Collector's Edition plus:
- Exclusive MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries "Interstellar Expeditions" Legendary Pattern
- Digital Technical BattleMech Manual
MechWarrior Online Content
- Marauder II Ultimate Edition Pre-Order Pack
- 30,000 MC - Founders received 60,000 MC
- 90 days Active MWO Premium Time
- 291,200 GXP & 16.4 Million C-Bills
- 3 MW5-themed Titles, Badges, Decals and 9 Cockpit Standing Items, Warhorn items and Hanging Cockpit Items
After conclusion of the Community Edition preorder and becoming an Epic Games Store exclusive title, two pre-order options were offered, providing exclusively MW5 content only.
MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries - Standard Edition ($49.99USD)
- Digital copy of MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries
- Digital Game Manual
MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries - Deluxe Edition ($59.99USD)
- Digital copy of MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries
- Digital Game Manual
- Digital Soundtrack
- MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Desktop Pack
MechWarrior 5: Heroes of the Inner Sphere Expansion Pack
Officially announced on 16 April 2020, Heroes of the Inner Sphere is the first DLC for MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries. The release date of the game's DLC has repeatedly slipped, originally being forecast for release in April 2020 immediately following the game's initial release in December 2019 before receiving a 10 December 2020 release date and eventually Spring 2021 following the announcement of the Xbox versions.
The main significant addition with Heroes of the Inner Sphere is the inclusion of the new Career Mode. Rather than following the Campaign path, Career Mode allows the player to align with one of the five Successor States (Kurita, Davion, Liao, Marik, Steiner) and the Free Rasalhague Republic, with a starting point and a selection of four free 'Mechs unique to that House or the ability to import a pre-existing Campaign save. While the campaign missions are included, the Expanded Inner Sphere starmap includes an additional eighteen new Conflict Zones and eleven new High Reward Quests. As well, the DLC adds in seven Hero 'Mech quests which see the player undertake a series of missions to locate and hunt down seven Hero 'Mechs to salvage for themselves.
Also introduced in both Career and Campaign modes is the concept of Career Paths, with the player able to visit Cantinas scattered across the Inner Sphere to find Jobs, with employers seeking the completion of specific tasks ranging from locating a specific 'Mech variant or weapon type, destroying a set number of a specific vehicle or finding a unique piece of salvage seeded in one of the missions in a conflict zone. Completion of Jobs earns progress in one of the five Career Reputations (Equipment Collector, 'Mech Collector, 'Mech Hunter, Treasure Hunter and War Dog) which unlocks quirks that enhance the abilities of your 'Mechs such enhanced sensor range, boosted speed and faster weapon cooldown/reloading.
Heroes of the Inner Sphere adds many features to the base game including a new extrasolar moon biome and a new mission type called Beachhead which sees the player tasked to clear the landing zone for a full planetary invasion while disrupting communications and avoiding artillery strikes. Air-strikes and artillery strikes are also now available to the player with the volume of them to be negotiated during the contract stage. 55 new 'Mech variants are added including seven new chassis (Charger, Hatamoto-Chi, Champion, Marauder II, Dervish, Corsair, Vulcan). A selection of new weapons and equipment is also added including Chemical Lasers, Short Burst Lasers, 'Mech Rifles, Stream fire SRMs, BAP, ECM and EWECM, MASC and Superchargers.
MechWarrior 5: Legend of the Kestrel Lancers Expansion Pack
First announced 16 September, 2021 alongside the start of GenCon Indy '21, the Legend of the Kestrel Lancers pack was released 23 September, 2021 on the same day as the Playstation release of MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries. The centerpiece of the DLC is the time-limited linear campaign featuring the Second Crucis Lancers aka Kestrel Lancers for their battles during the Fourth Succession War, with players able to play through it as part of a new campaign assuming they have not exceeded the year 3028 or can start a new career mode starting point to get right into the action. At its base this new campaign is a series of multiple mission operations with extensively scripted events and unique map layouts on a exceedingly tight timetable. As the game itself warns, the player must maintain a stable of multiple pilots and 'Mechs with gaps between missions only long enough for minimal armor repairs or light injuries to be healed. Aside from the longer gaps when travelling between systems, extensive repairs or refits and lengthy pilot recovery can sideline a significant portion of your strength for multiple missions, requiring careful management of resources.
The new campaign includes ten new "battle" scenarios, three new biomes (Megacity, Tourmaline Desert, Jungle) as well as five new mission variants (Scorched Earth, Objective Raid, Targeted Kill, Guard Duty, and Battlefield) which are also available in procedural generated contracts. The Kestrel Lancers expansions include 23 new 'Mech variants and a new number of unique new paint schemes including that of the Crucis Lancers. A free update offered alongside this release introduced Melee combat (a first for a MechWarrior video game) and the ability to switch active control to an AI lancemate.
Reflecting its Fourth Succession War focus, the Kestrel Lancer DLC introduces two additional factions to the Inner Sphere starmap - Tikonov Free Republic and St. Ives Compact - which appear (and disappear) as the years progress up to the game's 3049 timeline "end-point". Seven additional High Reward Quests are added and available in Campaign and Career Modes, including quests involving factions that previously had none such as the Magistracy of Canopus, Taurian Concordat, Free Rasalhague Republic and St. Ives Compact.
- MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries website - "'Mech the Fourth be with You announcement"
- MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, Legend of the Kestrel Lancers