Community Review: Mechwarrior 5

Community Review: Mechwarrior 5

Probably the last major PC release of the year – and the last Epic exclusive – is the return of big, hulking mechs.

Mechwarrior 5 finally dropped late last week, offering the first-person dose of juggling lasers, tank controls and positioning that’s been missing for a while. Mechwarrior Online has been kicking around for years, of course, but it’s not the same as a curated, proper single-player experience, which Mechwarrior 5 promises. And if you like the duality of a first-person tank game with a management sim, much like BattleTech, then the elevator pitch sounds pretty good.

I’ve played a few hours of MechWarrior 5 so far, which is only just enough to open up the starmap and accompanying systems. The game’s fairly slow getting up until that point; a nasty bug forced me to restart the second mission three times. The latest Nvidia Game Ready driver makes a massive difference as well. I was finding the game to be really janky initially, even on an RTX 2080 Ti at 1080p or 1440p. Gameplay is a lot smoother now, so if you haven’t updated the driver, definitely do that.

There isn’t a whole lot I can say about the story, although early indications don’t leave me with a lot of hope for the writing. It’s been a bit hamfisted in the early stages and heavily telegraphed. The combat has a good tactical element, though, although I’m waiting to see some mixups in gameplay and missions that end up a little more strategically intriguing than just battling waves of tanks/VTOLs with the occasional mech. It’s early days, though, and I’ll have more on the game this week after I’ve opened things up a little more.

If you’ve been knocking out MechWarrior 5, how have you found it so far?


  • From what I’ve seen, the game is a bit of a wreck. Kinda thankful I didn’t break my no Epic policy to buy it, as I’m a huge MechWarrior fan.

    • *EDITED after reconsidering some of what I wrote*

      It’s not a wreck at all, well, not AS much of a wreck as is being made out to be. More like a rear-ender than a full on T-Bone. But it could’ve absolutely done with a bit more polish and playtesting rather than being rushed out the door in its current state. In my personal opinion, It’s better than MechWarrior 4 (I really didn’t like this one), but I don’t think it’s anywhere near 2 or 3. The campaign map is GIGANTIC. Utterly massive. Basically it’s an endless campaign if you want it to be, however when most of the missions are mediocre, that isn’t exactly reassuring, is it?

      Multiplayer is great, there’s some awesome fights to be in, but it does at times get very, very repetitive and feel like you’re slogging through a lot of repetitive busywork. But as was said elsewhere a while back, when multiplayer is great, and the game is average, it’s your friends who are great to play with and not the game. Sooooo…

      So for every great plus, there’s a big ole’ minus unfortunately. Still glad I have it because I’ve got a ‘thing’ for Battletech (Madcat for life yo!), but it’s probably a 6/10? (bordering 5.5) for me… with the caveat that I’m playing multiplayer for a lot of it and that’s making it a lot more fun mind you.

      And to echo Transient below: FIX THE FUCKING RADAR YOU GITS. (He said it first… I’m just in complete, absolute agreement).

    • I’ll give it a shot, of course I don’t play games in the first year so they can be patched up and the DLC all released. The last game like this I was able to play (because I don’t play multiplayer games) was freaking MechAssault 2, I don’t care if it isn’t perfect I’m not passing it up.

  • Yeah, I… I dunno, I was thinking this would be a 2019 dark horse late GOTY winner, but it is absolutely 100% not. And I’m really bummed out about that. MW2: Mercs was hands-down my favourite entry in the franchise, and although MW4: Mercs didn’t have quite the same charm, it was serviceable and gave the game a fresh coat of paint.

    MW5 is certainly prettier, but definitely a step backward. It’s been riddled with bugs and design decisions that are equally frustrating alone, but a special kind of compounded frustration in combination. (FUCKING RADAR. DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT THE FUCK RADAR IS, MW5?) And as awful as the writing is, it’s not as bad as the voice acting. (Including – and this is the biggest disappointment – the start-up computer.)

    It’s really hard to admit it, but MW2:Mercs actually did story better, and that was largely war journal entries that you could ignore.

    The whole thing isn’t helped by the fact that it’s not exactly a smooth-running/good-looking AAA 2019 title. This thing would’ve been more impressive four or five years ago, and even then the clumsiness of shipboard navigation would’ve generated some frowns.

    Mechwarrior 5 is NOT a modern AAA Mechwarrior game. It’s AA at best, and even then, it’s not the best example of what AA can do. There’s polish failings all over the shop, horrible writing, horrible voice-acting, horrible bugs, and horrible design decisions that look like they may have been left-overs from balancing MWO. (RADAR. FIX THE FUCKING RADAR.)

    It could have been so much more… it is not. It’s not better than MW2:M or MW4:M, it’s not a revival for the franchise, it’s just a ‘minimum viable product’ disappointment. It’s… it’s a little bit shit. And that’s really sad.

      • I legit thought something was wrong with my goddamn game. I actually restarted once as I must have missed some dialogue or text… lol

      • I remember after taking out the jammer, the Lieutenant advising in a voice-over that I should now be able to see enemies on my radar, as if this was some kind of new ability that I had gained to finally be able to see things that were in the air shooting me point-blank in the back, or tanks that had scooted behind a building or a particularly large rock that I couldn’t quite see over. But no… no, it never manifested.

        Not even a half-dozen missions later. And it’s so fucking inconsistent! One moment I’ll see a wave of tanks and choppers has spawned in directly next to the part of a base I’m supposed to defend, two or three kilometres away, and as I get closer to the point of actually being able to see them, all their radar signatures will suddenly disappear forever, leaving me to try and fly around on jump jets to see if I can coax any of them into shooting me instead of the base, allowing me to trace their fire back to their location.

        Why? WHY? It’s not linked to the presence of jammers. It’s not linked to line of sight. It’s not linked to proximity. It’s not linked to elevation. It’s not linked to fucking anything I can think of. There is literally no rhyme or reason to that FUCKING RADAR. It makes me so. Angry.

        • you literally got hit by a bug that was supposed to have resolved like, immediately

          and you’ve played like the first chunk of the campaign with that on

          god bless buggy AA

          • I had no idea it was a bug because the ‘scramble’ effect that glitches out all your HUD elements wasn’t present. Guess I’ll just have to hang out for a patch, because that behaviour has persisted through save, quit, and reload.

    • I think AA describes it best? I definitely would not call this a AAA game at all. It’s got a medium level of polish but by god, those promo videos from a year plus ago are from some sort of ‘other’ game that are not this one. Perhaps they didn’t have the budget? But there’s still so many decisions here that feel… underdeveloped. From geometry that feels straight from the PS2 era in some cases, to textures that feel better off on an xbox360. I personally haven’t had any real bugs yet, but I’ve seen a lot of videos where others have, so that’s a fair call. The radar, I just ‘can’t even’ as they say. I don’t know what on earth they were thinking.

      Overall, I’m really enjoying it still personally, warts and all, BUT that’s with the caveat that it’s a Mechwarrior game and I’m hardup in that area for any sort of Battletech content for now. What we need is for someone like CD Projekt Red to step forward, say ‘fuck it’ and do their take on it. But for now, this I guess, is what we’re lumped with.

          • That’s most definitely an issue and it does show. There’s a whole lot of ambition going in to the game, you can tell. They really wanted to put out something special, but they came up a bit short due to what I’m guessing is the budget. With a bit of patching I’m betting it’ll improve drastically.

      • It is so basic. the economy is basic. the mechs are basic doesn’t even feel like they are huge, environment is basic.. In the long run it is just a mediocre $15 arcade shooter there is nothing too it. it kills me too i was so excited

    • I am guessing you were not aware that this “game” company is run out of a mall, the Ceo is a drunk and his 2ic is a pothead, their previous product mwo is years of broken promises and patches that were 2 steps back for every step forward. Do not expect pgi to ever fix it. Should have waited for a 75%off sale. The quicker pig loses the lease of the licence of the ip from Microsoft the sooner we might get a decent mw6

  • I haven’t played a MechWarrior game since MW2 on PSX in the late 90s. Man, that game was slow, clunky, the environments were basic and I hated the escort missions. As a 12-year-old I remember being properly disappointed with the graphics after watching its amazing intro movie.

  • Once all the DLC is out and it receives several patches and mods start coming out, it will be a nice addition.
    This game is pretty damn vanilla with some very very basic issues such as poor AI and bad mission design (mechs spawning on top of players etc).

    The game basically gives you long range weapons but doesn’t really provide situations to use them (since AI spawn on top of you).
    Lots of design issues that I’m sure will be patched over time, the game also has some odd performance issues in certain situations like the initial campaign level and such.

  • Haven’t progressed exactly far but personally enjoying it. Definitely feels like an AA game.

    Its like a FPS version of Battletech but the out of combat management and personality is lacking compared to it.

    Biggest annoyance is how enemies can spawn right in front of you, suddenly reducing half the firepower potential of your missile boat jagermech xD. The mech customisation could use some tooltips as well.

    Given a bigger budget and some more time I do feel it could’ve been better.

    • Spawning close is an interesting thing I hadn’t noticed right away. Probably because I don’t have a radar. The first I notice of getting shot in the back by tanks and helicopters is my armour disappearing and I just thought it was because I couldnt’ see them, rather than that they were spawning close.

      This is why defense missions are my worst nightmare right now. I refuse. I REFUSE. If it turns out they’re just straight-up spawning inside the sprawling bases, that would make a lot of sense around why 50% damage is the default.

      • I haven’t seen bad enemy spawns that obvious on Defense as most of the time they did come from a distance. But it was very visible on Warzone.

        I’ve practically seen tanks suddenly appear right under my crosshairs and had new waves of enemies suddenly appearing less than 300 meters behind me after looking at another direction for several seconds. This was a mixture of holding the spot or falling back to the ship in that game type.

  • No VR, no buy.
    But given the apparent problems it’s having on launch, I can see why they couldn’t spend the extra time/man power to implement working VR.
    Hopefully they can iron it all out, put it on steam and make it VR-playable.

    • They couldn’t even spare the care to make the game good.. It looks half done if that, the automap customization is atrocious, the economy part is not there at all and the fights are exactly the same every map. Don’t buy it till it is cheap because that is all this game is unfortunately.

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