MechWarrior 5 Brings the Series Its First Numbered Entry in 16 Years

MechWarrior Online's development will also continue.

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Now Playing: MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries - PreAlpha Footage

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MechWarrior has not been entirely dormant over the last decade-plus, but those hoping for a single-player numbered sequel have been waiting an awfully long time. With most of this weekend's attention directed toward PlayStation Experience, the first-ever MechCon 2016 was home to the announcement of MechWarrior 5.

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries is the full title, and it's in development at Piranha Games, the same studio responsible for MechWarrior Online. However, Piranha says a separate team will handle the development of Mercenaries while the Online team will continue its development of that game.

"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," said Piranha president Russ Bullock.

"Along with the release of MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries in 2018, we're going to continue supporting our existing MechWarrior Online game and its fanbase with new updates and regular content releases. MWO is now in its fifth year of development and operation, and there's still a lot of really cool stuff planned for it."

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Mercenaries runs on Unreal Engine 4 and promises to offer an "immersive, career-based Mercenary campaign driven by player choice." Here's how Piranha briefly sets up the story, which starts out in the year 3015: "[P]layers will adopt the role of a green MechWarrior mercenary thrust into combat as the Third Succession War continues to fracture the Inner Sphere; the vast region of colonized space surrounding Earth. Victory, prestige, and profit will not only require skill on the battlefield, but in the maintenance and enhancement of your BattleMechs."

You can check out the first gameplay demo in the video above along with a handful of screenshots. It's due out in 2018 for PC--no other platforms were mentioned.

The last time a MechWarrior game carried a new number was MechWarrior 4: Vengeance in 2000; it saw a standalone-follow-up, MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries, in 2002.

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