Parents' Guide to

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries -- Heroes of the Inner Sphere

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Sci-fi expansion brings violent robotic arsenal of fun.

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After more than a year of Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em Robot blasting action, this sci-fi robot action game has gotten its first major paid expansion that packs a lot of fun. Heroes of the Inner Circle does a lot more than just toss a few new 'Mechs onto the battlefield and call it a day. While the seven new BattleMechs are a great addition, giving fans of the series the opportunity to dive into the cockpit of even more tools of destruction, it's the other tweaks and extras that will keep their interests. Some changes might not be immediately noticeable. For example, after being inexplicably unable to in the original, the AI can now make use of Jump Jets. This makes a world of difference during battles, especially when a player finds themselves surrounded and their AI squadmate comes cruising in like a giant metal angel to offer some much-needed support. Other changes enhance the challenge of the game while adding new elements of realism. Extreme weather can now effect a 'Mech's sensor array, leaving them almost totally blind to the threats around them. And new sources of area and ambient heat can leave even the most skilled pilots sweating as their weapons shut down. It's the little things like these that bring players close to the action and test their mercenary mettle.

Heroes of the Inner Sphere also expands on the story of MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries. Players can continue their progress as Commander Mason, further expanding the legend of the pilot and his company of mercs, Nik's Cavaliers. But it also gives players the opportunity to start fresh as one of seven new heroes, each piloting their own special and unique lostech 'Mechs. Each of these heroes has their own quest line, though none nearly as long or as deep as Mason's story. There's also an interesting new quest type called Beachhead. Here, players have to avoid big artillery bombardments while capturing comm towers and clearing the way for a planetary landfall. These missions are fun, but also frustrating. It's difficult to plan a real strategy when the sky seems to be raining heavy ordinance. With so much added, MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries -- Heroes of the Inner Sphere is sure to keep budding mercs fueled and battle ready.

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