MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries -- Heroes of the Inner Sphere
By David Chapman,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Sci-fi expansion brings violent robotic arsenal of fun.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The story focuses on players accepting contracts from sometimes shady clients. While this often puts players in a moral grey area for their job, much of this is done towards a greater goal and a greater good.
Positive Role Models
Players can carry over Mason, their character from the base campaign, or choose a new character from one of the houses to build. Heroes have their personal motivations, but also are portrayed as having a code of honor.
Ease of Play
Heroes of the Inner Sphere brings with it a handful of gameplay tweaks and improvements. Many of these add extra challenge, such as watching for ambient heat sources and other extreme weather hazards. But full gamepad support (an obvious necessity for console players) and balance adjustments ease some of the difficulties of the original release.
Violence & Scariness
The expansion adds some new environments to fight in, but they're all just as destructible as the originals. 'Mechs can take heavy damage, including losing entire limbs while still trying to survive the fight. Entire buildings can be razed, leaving players or opponents in the open. While filled with massive destruction and lots of explosions, there's little blood or gore shown onscreen.
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Some characters' dialogue makes use of profanity, such as "s--t." Also, as this is an expansion to the base game, profanity in the original story still exists as well.
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Products & Purchases
The game's set in the Battletech universe, a franchise that has spawned a number of tabletop games, video games, books, and other items. Heroes of the Inner Sphere is also the first paid expansion to the base MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries game.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries -- Heroes of the Inner Sphere is a paid expansion for MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, and is available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Windows based PCs. The game allows players to pilot large robotic weapons, known as BattleMechs (or 'Mechs) as they take on different mercenary contracts for money, fame, and other goals. Violence is core to the gameplay, with players using their 'Mechs to destroy opponents in large scale battles. While there are plenty of explosions and lots of heavy destruction, there's not much in the way of blood or gore shown onscreen. There's some profanity in the dialogue, and parents should be aware that online play could expose younger players to offensive language from others via online party chat.
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MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries -- Heroes of the Inner Sphere
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What’s It About?
MECHWARRIOR 5: MERCENARIES -- HEROES OF THE INNER SPHERE expands on the life of a BattleMech mercenary in an all new story campaign, taking players from the outer reaches of space and deep into the Inner Sphere of the great houses. Players will live the life of a mercenary as you build up and maintain your company, taking on the contracts no one else would. You'll seek out honor, revenge, and a hefty paycheck as you explore new warzones ripe for destruction. You can continue your career from the base game or join with one of seven new heroes, each piloting their own lostech 'Mech of legend. Players can battle the enemy alone or form your own squad with up to three friends and charge into the fray together, regardless of platform, courtesy of four-player co-op PvE cross-play. Follow your own path and claim your destiny on the battlefield as a true MechWarrior.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries -- Heroes of the Inner Sphere affected by the focus on mass destruction of property instead of violence directly against people? Would the impact be intensified if there was more violence directly affected against people? Does a fantasy or sci-fi setting make the impact of violent scenes any less than if it were happening in a more real-world environment?
What are some of the things you look for in online gaming? Do you prefer a cooperative or competitive experience? How do features like cross-play open up more options?
- Platforms: Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: Piranha Games
- Release date: May 27, 2021
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Robots, Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: T for Violence, Language
- Last updated: May 30, 2021
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