Despite the weakness of the AI, MechWarrior 5 is shaping up as the Mech game I’ve always wanted

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries is deeply obsessed with the fantasy of piloting a giant suit of 100 tons of mechanized armor. It not only delights with the noisy blows while short-range missile downloads catch you in the shoulder, but all the little details that make MechWarrior a universe in which you want to immerse yourself. Each mission begins with a long scene since your mech is slowly brought online and ready for battle. It is a contemplative prelude to the chaos that will explode the moment I leave my dropship and on the battlefield. I love.

It's that fantasy that draws hundreds of people to Vancouver each year for the annual MechCon of Piranha Games. It's a celebration of everything mech, with the board game MechWarrior Online and brother games like BattleTech of Harebrained Scheme under one roof. While the MechCon main event is usually the MechWarrior Online World Championship, this year Piranha also shows a playable demo of MechWarrior 5. It's a much more developed version than the one I played in 19459007 in June . and it's very fun

Rock & # 39; em, sock & # 39;

The first time I took my hand on MW5 this summer, it was mostly to check the construction of a proof of concept and talk to Russ Bullock, president of Piranha Games, about how the game will one day look Playing now is much more complete. It's great to see how close it is to the initial vision Bullock had. MechWarrior 5 is forming very well.

Like my first experience with MW5, this version still focused mainly on combat instead of corporate management, the other side of the mercenary currency. My mercenary company was limited to a single solar system with four different planets to fight and a single type of mission, murder. I also did not have a spear of AI partners to back me up, so it was MechWarrior 5 in its most basic version. Despite that, stomping through the woods while weaving through the SRM shots the fire was still exciting.

While the mission type was the same among the planets, the way in which it addressed that mission changed drastically Generation of random maps of MW5. While my main objective was sometimes right next to my launch zone, other times I was at the other end of the map, safe behind several secondary posts that were looking to splash me with automatic cannon fire.

There is so much more than enemy mechs that I had to worry about. Manticore and Scorpion tanks were a constant threat while the sky was full of attack helicopters that took off my armor every time they had a clear shot. At one point, my HUD was full of targets that sought to destroy me.

At first, it seemed to me that the addition of combined armored forces was a bit annoying as they are targets so small to hit and they are constantly harbading me. But once I was able behind the controls, it was fun to have so many things to shoot. Being able to move forward with the soldiers while landing consistently on small enemies really reinforced the fantasy of being in the badpit of a formidable war machine.

Explosions and bullet impacts with explosive shoving, at the same time making you feel powerful and extremely vulnerable. 19659010] Of course, it would be a bading MechWarrior game if all they killed were tiny tanks. My murder objective was always protected by two mechs that quickly closed the distance and hired me. The Mech combat is as exciting as ever, especially with the stellar audio design of MechWarrior 5. Explosions and the impact of firearms with explosive explosions, at the same time make you feel powerful and extremely vulnerable.

That vulnerability was really driven home once I completed my final goal. Almost immediately, they warned me that reinforcements were coming to avenge me and I needed to evacuate back to the dropship. While I was hurrying, an enemy landing craft slowly descended from orbit and unleashed a trio of enemy mechs.

At this point my poor Shadowhunter had already received so much damage that I knew I would never have a chance, but as the dropship approached me, I felt there was a hint of hope. At 100 meters away, a laser burst from a light enemy mech destroyed my leg, severely caching my movement speed. A second later, a SRM discharge took me out of my misery. Despite losing, it was an exciting conclusion.

If I have a concern after my time with MechWarrior 5, it's with the enemy AI. Being an early demo version, it is obvious that the AI ​​is nowhere close to being the final version that we would expect to see at the launch. Attack helicopters, for example, frequently flew each other and exploded. The enemy mechs sometimes stopped completely still or exposed their backs to me. It made the fact that, with careful planning, I could soon win that three-on-one escape fight. There is a lot of work to be done in MechWarrior 5, particularly with artificial intelligence, and I am a bit nervous because I feel that the game will live or die because of how credible and challenging their fighters are.

I'm still very optimistic. With only a 15 minute mission to play, you'd think I'd get bored after half an hour or so, but I ended up playing for almost two hours. The generation of random levels and heavy combat made me come back, even if the enemies were a bit stupid. I can only imagine how the attractive MechWarrior 5 will become once the whole aspect of business simulation opens up and have a whole galaxy of (thankfully) smarter opponents to fight and sell my mercenary services.

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