A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The campaign's story focuses on themes like duty and loyalty versus honor and morality. The gameplay, on the other hand, is generally focused on big battles and mass destruction.
Positive Role Models
This expansion replaces the freelance nature of the mercenary role, with players being hired as soldiers fighting in defense of the houses of the Inner Sphere. While players have less freedom of choice than in the base game, the story still presents them as generally honorable characters.
While there's some diversity in the cast of Mech pilots available for hire, they are generally just generic templates with no real personality, with only their character portraits and voices as distinguishing features.
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Ease of Play
Legends of the Kestrel Lancers brings with it some new gameplay options, including massive "All-Out-War" scenarios that expand the battlefield on a huge scale. The expansion also takes extra advantage of the updates to the base game, including melee combat and Mech switching, which add extra levels of difficulty as well.
Violence & Scariness
Mechs can cause massive destruction on a scale even bigger than in the previous releases. Larger, more densely packed city environments make for more epic annihilation. The addition of melee combat also means players can get up close and personal in the violence. While there are no graphic depictions of gore, there's some occasional onscreen blood.
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Some profanity, including "sh-t," appears in the dialogue of the game, as well as in the base game and its previous expansions. Also, players may experience other offensive language in multiplayer via online chat options.
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Products & Purchases
This is the second paid expansion for MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, adding new environments, mechs, and a new campaign to the base game. The campaign also marks the first tie-in to major events in the BattleTech lore, which has been expanded on via the tabletop role-playing game, books, and other BattleTech/MechWarrior products.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries -- Legend of the Kestrel Lancers is a paid expansion for MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, and is available on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Windows based PCs. Players pilot large robotic BattleMechs (or 'Mechs) when their company of mercs is brought in as part of the army of one of the major factions of the BattleTech universe. Violence is core to the gameplay, with players using 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.
Is It Any Good?
This mechanized combat game has gotten bigger, bolder, and added all new Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em Robot combat, all thanks to its latest and biggest expansion yet. MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries -- Legend of the Kestrel Lancers does more than just add a few variant Mechs and interesting new maps to the mix. Though it certainly does that as well. Legend of the Kestrel Lancers finds a way to increase the scope and scale of the MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries battles, while also bringing in elements of classic BattleTech Universe lore for a richer and deeper plot. Much like the MechWarriors themselves, the expansion takes pieces of salvage from the past, upgrading and rebuilding it in ways that feel both familiar and fresh.
Up until now, the game's story has existed more on the periphery of the larger BattleTech universe. With this expansion, players take an active role in the one of most instrumental events in BattleTech lore. But to tell this tale, the campaign takes a more linear approach than before, limiting some of the open sandbox feel of the previous content. The tradeoff for this is some huge scale battles in massive environments. While this can sometimes make the game feel almost too big, with players covering a lot of real estate before picking up the action, it also takes unique advantage of some updates to the base game, such as the ability for players to take control of other Mechs in their squads on the fly. This can keep the action rolling along at a steady rate and makes for some new strategic options, though it also can be jarring hopping between Mechs of different loadouts or damage states while counting on the AI to hold its ground in whichever Mech you left behind.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.