PSX 2016 may have dominated the weekends gaming headlines but MechWarrior fans gathered in their droves in Vancouver on Saturday to celebrate the first ever Mech_Con - a celebration of the MechWarrior franchise and the wider BattleTech universe hosted by Piranha Games. During the festivities came the announcement of the first single-player entry in the series for more than 15 years, titled MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries. The game was revealed in a live demo during the keynote speech from Piranha Games President Russ Bullock. You can see the full speech in Piranha Games' Twitch archive here or just watch the gameplay trailer below.
MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries will be a single player only experience with a career based progression. Players will take on the role of an inexperienced mercenary who finds themselves thrust into the midst of the Third Succession War. Pirhana Games' President said in his speech,
Our main goal with MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries is to provide fans with a standalone, story driven single player experience that allows for a great amount of flexibility in terms of player choice, built on a foundation of the intense, tactical ‘Mech combat the franchise is known for.
The player choice that Bullock refers to presumably comes from the ability to take on missions from any of the five warring factions involved in the Succession War, as described in further details found on the game's official site. In keeping with the lore of the BattleTech universe, five great houses-come-nation states vie over territory known as the Inner Sphere in a war that has raged for 150 years. Gameplay is based on the explosive, first-person, mech combat you would expect and it is suggested that players will be able to acquire and upgrade new mechs as they progress. Built on Unreal Engine 4, the game is set for release sometime in 2018.
Fans of MechWarrior Online who might be worried that this signals the end of the free to play MMO can rest easy, Bullock confirmed that MechWarrior 5 is in separate development at Piranha Games and they will continue to support MWO with regular updates and content for some time to come. The first ever Mech_Con also played host to the first-ever MechWarrior Online World Championship Final, where two teams of eight competed for a prize pool worth a total of $143,000. You can see the full stream from the conference, including the World Championship match, here.
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Are you hyped for the first single player MechWarrior of the millennium? Did you go to Mech_Con 16? Veteran MWO player or greenhorn? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.