Detective Alonzo Harris Said It Best
From start to finish, this is a tale of revenge… for a butt cheek. Mattias Nilsson gets contracted to infiltrate a compound and liberate a captured general. Job done and for his trouble he gets a bullet lodged in his ass.
Not taking this sitting down, for obvious reason, Nilsson accumulates throughout the game enough arsenal to start his own army. Could be because he got betrayed, or could be because he gets what he deserves, either way Mattias won't stop till he gets payback.
A story of revenge so shallow isn't enough to hold an entire game, but Mercenaries gives it a shot. To try and maintain some interest for the players, there's a lot of explosions and destruction going on. Nilsson gets contracted by a faction in Venezuela to attack, kidnap, or bomb one of the other five factions. Each and every mission unlocks weapons and vehicles, but the really necessary things to get are the airstrikes and fuel. What makes this game really fun are the different type of bombs. At any moment you could be calling in an airstrike and a satisfying jet swoops overhead, unloading a payload in the distance. That distance however is usually in your general area. Some airstrikes are dropped wherever you toss a smoke signal, so you'll be too busy running away to notice the explosion.
There are some cool vehicles, like a snow mobile decked out in machine guns, but vehicles and easily destroyed by gunfire and collisions. They also disappear if you turn off the game because there are no safe houses. The only solution for your favorite vehicle is to stockpile it and have enough money and oil to have it delivered. Another flaw is the rag doll effect. Nilsson can be blown out of vehicles and live, unexpected but welcome in a firefight, but agitating when you see your characters limp body sliding down an incline and there's nothing you can do.
Any objective in the game can be solved by a warhead. To layout the mission types, there are: "Race" type missions where you have to complete a course in a certain time; Blowing up buildings, Kidnapping missions, and the main story missions. Three of these types of missions can be solved by leveling everything in sight. Kidnapping missions are pointless since every faction requires, alternatively, photographic evidence of the dead target. Which can happen because enemies don't care who they shoot, so you might as well bomb the area. Destroying buildings, that’s obvious, but it's really necessary to stack up on gas because bombs cost fuel. I think this game relies on how much the player enjoys seeing huge a lot structure blown to smithereens.
The main character, no matter who you choose, has a central goal to get payback but must work for various types of factions to achieve this goal. Their goals may be important to them like the P.L.A.V. trying to get back their country, but Nilsson has the players best interest at heart by shrugging and putting on a "let's get on with it" attitude that leads to a plan to kill some "important people."
The whole game can be sped through by buying lot's of little fast helicopters, landing near some enemies, insta-killing enemies with one punch, and gathering any guns laying around. It's unfortunate there's so much land in the game because its mostly uninteresting locals. At least there's plenty of room to launch your missiles.
Not only did I pick him because Advertisement and "The" box art make him out to be the main character, he sounds like Gary Busey. I found out later that it's peter Stormare, AKA Satan in the movie Constatine and the creepy surgeon in Minority Report.