This just-released gameplay trailer doesn't have any words—it lets the mechs to all the walking and talking. There's a fast zoom in on a plain blue planet, all serene and peaceful like. Which is replaced by some iconic heavy mechs sprinting, in a slow, stompy mech kind of way, across a dusky field under a light rain. Ten we're taken into the cockpit of a Thunderbolt mech. The HUD is clean, perhaps a little too clean, but the action taking place out in the field is fast and messy. Sometimes there's so much dust, fire, and smoke through the windshield that you can't see anything except the blips on the mech's radar.
Mechs look best when they're slowly tanking forward, eating lasers, missiles, and autocannon blasts for breakfast. But the MechWarrior series isn't the slower, tactically excruciating gameplay of the turn-based BattleTech. MechWarrior is a first-person shooter, just with excellent robo-articulation on 100-ton mechanized units. Not to say that MechWarrior isn't a tactical shooter. It absolutely is. Where hit placement is crucial, and we're not just talking about headshots. It's just all the circle-strafing and sprinting around that is harder for me to wrap my head around when it comes to mechanized combat. But, like I said, the turn-based BattleTech has put a resurgence of robots with lasers into my life, so I'll be watching this one over the next eight months.
MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries' September 10 launch is still a lifetime away, but expect it to keep pinging on our radar pretty hard until then.