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Piranha Games hopes to bring new players into the clans with MechWarrior 5: Clans

by: Eric -
More On: MechWarrior 5: Clans

MechWarrior is one of those franchises that feels a little intimidating to newcomers. If you were around for the days of MechWarrior 2, you likely at least dabbled around with that title, as it was ubiquitous on just about every system in the mid 90's. But since then, MechWarrior has slid further and further into the "niche game" category, to the point where most players that aren't already in that ecosphere wouldn't even think of trying a new title in the franchise. 

Piranha Games is hoping to change that with MechWarrior 5: Clans, which is scheduled to release on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series consoles sometime in 2024. While the tried-and-true mech gameplay will be intact for series fans (with a few tweaks), the game is also offering a deep narrative experience, with focused characters and a significant number of cinematics to help familiarize new fans with the franchise. Described as a "Battle Tech novel come to life" by Pirahna Games CEO Russ Bullock (who also serves as campaign director on the new title), Clans will represent the first time that Clan Smoke Jaguar (if you know, you know) has been explored in a game.

At an online event last week, Bullock shared a small section of hands-off gameplay from the first mission in the game, which was just enough to whet the appetite. Most of the gameplay is in the familiar, first-person cockpit view, with characters chiming in on the HUD to further the narrative. But running a mission with four NPCs in your party, players are able to quickly zoom out to an RTS-style overview, and give group or individual commands to the homies in your party, ordering them to strategic points on the map to hold chokepoints or secure certain areas. Even more interesting is the fact that real-world friends can dip into your campaign and play as those NPCs with up to five-player cross-play multiplayer.

MechWarrior 5: Clans has been specifically designed with controllers in mind, which should make it easier for console gamers to jump into the fray without the need to learn a bunch of complex keyboard commands. The gameplay we saw looked readily accessible, allowing for both familiar shooter-based action as well as some sophisticated strategy elements, while never becoming so complicated that it couldn't be clearly followed.

We'll be sure to keep an eye out for more information on MechWarrior 5: Clans as it becomes available in the coming months. Gamers that have even a passing interest in mech combat games should consider keeping an eye out as well - this could very well be the one that pulls the rest of us back into the MechWarrior/Battle Tech world.