Excerpt: Mercenaries 2 has everything a game needs to be considered a jewel: it’s the sequel to a chart-topping title – Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction, it comes with the prospect of blowing up every corner of the game world and, atop of that, it was delayed for almost one year, from late 2007 to Q3 2008 in order to get further polishing. And I think these are strong enough reasons to consider it a possible hit. Unfortunately, it’s nothing but a huge miss.
Excerpt: Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction was all about purposely blowing things up, and then grinning in the aftermath as you looked around at your handy work. Now for those expecting me to say that this sequel is a more grown up and intelligent game, Pandemic’s mindset was exactly the same here, thus it’s about delivering a very unsubtle message to your enemies by turning things into raging fireballs. Quite simply, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
Glitches and Frustrations Pile Up to Deflate this Venezuelan Romp
22 September 2009
Conclusion: Concept: Grand Theft Auto with a military arsenal
Graphics: The attractive environment is compromised by constant pop-up
Sound: Repetitive lines from your PMC employees will make you wish it were a lone wolf game
Playability: Simplistic controls get the job done, but could use some fine-tuning
Entertainment: Turning Venezuela into a smoldering war zone sounds fun, but the vacuous AI spoils the experience
Excerpt: It has been a little while since I have written a review. Don't get me wrong, I have still been playing games, but with a more relaxed point-of-view instead of the critical eye needed for a review. But now the time is right to, well, get back in the game. Luckily the first game I get to review is a game that I was looking forward to playing and had some high hopes for: Mercenaries 2: World in Flames for the Xbox 360.
Summary: Mercenaries 2 is a huge game with loads of stuff to keep you busy and some remarkable destruction that dazzles the eyes. Sadly, the game is also shallow, offering a gameplay experience that rarely elevates above the most basic run and gun style. Abysmal AI and poor balancing are apparent even in the first few hours of play, and the frequently repetitive mission structure sure doesn't help matters.
Conclusion: For all the above criticisms, there is something strangely compelling about Mercs 2, but I suspect that's the psychological pull of an open-world map with lots of untapped activities rather than anything more substantial. As soon as you realise that each of those glowing dots inevitably leads to the same tired action, the draw to explore becomes non-existent. There is room for a Mercenaries-flavoured experience in the gaming canon, but this isn't it.