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Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries

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Okay, so been on a big battletech kick lately....who can blame me. Mostly been playing MWO when I have some time. A buddy of mine on steam has been diving back into MW5. It was quite a while ago that I played it...and it was pretty cool...but I had always wanted to do a co-op campaign with friends...but the timing never seemed to fall into place and the game fell to the wayside. Well since my friend has been in it...I loaded it up last night. Also, to be clear, I've been buying the DLC for it even though I wasn't playing it....I'm dumb like that, I know.

I had started a new campaign with the hopes of getting friends to play, so I had gotten up a full lance of mechs and then put it all on hold. Well with no co-op in sight, I just decided to continue. And wow, so glad I have. The game is a much slower pace than MWO, which is great in my opinion. Many of the stock mech designs in Battletech do not work in MWO due to the meta. But in MW5, having a variety of weapons plays really well. In MWO, you'd never have a single LRM 5 on a mech, but in MW5, it has many uses, making it a welcome addition to a mech's arsenal. 

The recent DLCs and patches have also opened up a lot into the game. Lots more weapons and equipment options, as well as mech designs and even general gameplay options. One major one is punching. You can now do physical attacks with mechs. No kicks or DFAs...but you can actually buy melee weapons for mechs that use tonnage but also increases melee attack damage. 

The game tops you off at running a lance, where you control one mech and AI pilots handle the other three. But its fairly easy to give them quick commands during the missions to get stuff done. The AI enemies also aren't the most ruthless (well at least what I have run into so far). But that doesn't mean I don't get hammered..or that my lancemates are living their best lives. I had a lance wipe in one game that had me wondering where it all went wrong. Thankfully, the game auto-saves at several key points so it was easy to reload and try again.

Since launch, they have also added some really cool features. You can now find salvage in random places on maps. Just walk close enough to a building and you might get rewarded with a supply cache that you can grab. Also, they added two new mission sources. At some planets, you can get extra side jobs that you can complete in missions. Collecting the items, or performing the kills can earn you gear, cbills and special mech perks that you can then add to any  mech you have. Pretty sweet. It also adds to your faction popularity too. The second source for missions is now bounty hunting. There is a chance that you can have a run in with other mercenary units while on a mission. Depending on who they are aligned with, they will either help you or hinder you. When they hinder you, if you fight them, you can then turn that into rewards from a bounty hunter. These are much more random in occurrence and only happen if you take a mission within a merc unit's zone (clearly marked on the star map). I had it happen one time so far and the mission was already tough and most of my  mechs were severely damaged, so instead of fighting them, I took off for the drop ship. It was after that mission that I heard from the bounty hunter and got the option to gain rewards for taking on rival merc units.

And all of the normal cool gameplay is there, flying around the universe, taking on jobs, salvaging mechs, building up my pool of pilots....etc. Having a blast.

Oh, I will say that the mech customization is much more restricted in MW5 than like MWO. There is no loading up a mech with the best meta gear or whatever. They have very strict hard points. So an arm might have a small laser slot...that means only the lightest of laser weapons can go there. Or a medium missile slot...so the game really limits what you can put on a mech. I love it. I don't want to sit there and field a unit of best meta. But I'm a MW purist 🙂

Anyways, the game is great, you can find it on several platforms. And while I own all of the DLC, I haven't even experienced any of it other than the new mechs and equipment. None of the campaign stuff that they bring. Looking forward to putting lots more hours into this game.

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I just wish it had better co-op support.  Coming to play for you is a pretty boring proposition for any other pilot because they can't get any skills, can't get any salvage (or other rewards) and can't even bring their own mechs.  They basically become a glorified AI for you.

It's also worth noting that as sad as it is, MW5 teaches you nothing but bad habits for MWO.  They are fundamentally different games with different base code and so hit-reg and everything is completely different and as a result the skills that benefit you in MW5 hurt you in MWO.  This is very unfortunate if you want to jump back and forth to get your fix at any given time.


That said, I agree with the rest of the review.  Great game if you are not worried about co-op or retaining skills for MWO.

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