Not great, but still dam fun.
Mercenaries is the latest game from Pandemic Studios, the makers of the Battlefront, Full Spectrum Warriors series, while they are a very talented team, this game doesn't hold up as well as Battlefront per say, but it is sure dam fun to play.
Mercenaries starts you off choosing which mercenary you want to play, while they don't play much differently, they have only 1 thing that makes each of them unique, mainly one runs faster, one can heal faster, and one carries more ammo, now there back stories are sorta typical, One is a biker with a thirst for destruction, one loves money, and one just joined after his tour of duty, I personally chose Jennifer, the one who runs the fastest, mainly cause you rarely need to carry more ammo, since you very rarely run out of ammo, this is evident when all the soldiers you are faced with carry the same gun, making ammo less of an issue. Your Fiona, the apparently Australian Mission Coordinator helps you out alot in the beginning missions, now the problem is that she likes to repeat the same dam information over and over again, this may not be evident in other version of the game, but it did happen to me, and I got pretty pissed at her, that voice got really annoying, she can be compared to the crackdown mission coordinator, except he was even worse, reporting that you can see a nice view inside a dam building, least with Fiona, she isn't wrong about the information she gives you.
The story isn't very involving, the first mission you go and save a general for this VIP sort of guy, you are recommended by a friend of yours, in Jennifers story, she goes and does what she is told, saves the general, blowing a hole in anyone that gets in her way, but when she gets back, she gets backstabbed by the VIP, and runs out of there with her life, but gets shot in the ass on the way out, and unfortunately doesn't get paid, she doesn't like that apparently, now first off, the "shot in the ass" jokes are very childish these days, so don't expect a laugh in the game, secondly, the voice acting, and the story itself is very stale, so when you get in the game, try not to put too much emphasis on the story.
The game is about you blowing stuff up, and stuff blows up good, you can destroy pretty well anything you see fit, and its even better, cause its a free roam type of game, meaning you can run around destroying anything in your path, however try to avoid doing this, pissing off the wrong people might have factions turn on you. The mission designs aren't done with grace, meaning they don't do anything special, how I saw it, it just gave me a target to shoot, and watch something blow up nice, thats pretty much the mission, go in, shoot, c4, boom, done, thats pretty much all it revolves around. Trying to get from one mission to the next takes rather long if you ask me, so unless you like site seeing, you might get a bit bored riding around to the farthest lengths of the map to get to your next mission.
You can control vehicles in the game, they feel nice and they drive smooth, but it was weird when your car explodes with you in it, you jump out without getting a scratch on you, its nice to have since your cars aren't the most durable things in the world, facing those dam machine gunners acan become cumbersome, but while not a problem, the idea of you just getting out of a flaming car without a scratch just sorta made me curious.
The Controls are a bit akward, but work very well, on the pc it can get in the way, and get akward all the same, especially when deploying the airstrikes, they don't give you a decent tutorial in the game, so it can be a bit complicated to get around, but nonetheless, the control scheme works well in its own right.
The AI in the game doesn't hold up as well in this game, while I know its hard to program AI, its ridiculous to see the AI just stand there unloading clips at you, even though your clearly undercover, and even then, if its supression fire there trying to use, they do it very well, but the problem is that they don't flank!
The shooting action is done well enough, it doesn't feel like anything revolutionary, but its workable in its own way, it plays out like any other standard 3rd person shooter, except you have the liberty to destroy anything in your path. They did include the concept of you buying airstrikes to use on the battlefield, three things wrong with this concept,
A)I felt the need to use an airstrike only when a roadblock, or a gate stood between my target and me.
B)They have to be ordered in the middle of battle, so your always at risk to getting shot whilst doing such a buy.
C)They feel forced, and have no "real" Tactical consideration to the gameplay, its better to just run-and-gun your way through, and besides, you can use RPG's to take out those hard targets.
The graphics are decent, only for what it is, a free roam world, the draw distance is beautiful, you can just stop and gaze at the sights for minutes, but the kudos goes to the over-the-top explosions, they look beautiful, debris goes flying every where when this happens, however, for some reason, the framerate likes to dip at the weirdest moments, even with an 8800gt it dipped like there was no tommorow, even in those environments that seem to be uneventful, nothing happening in them, to make matters worse, the max resolution was 1280x960, so for those using 1280x1024 monitors, like I am, you might want to find a way to force that res on the game.
Coop is fun, but nothing interesting, all you do is destroy the world, with a friend, so there isn't really anything to comment on there.
While this game is fun and exciting at times, it does come with its long set of cons that plague it from achieving greatness, until Pandemic addresses these issues, you are stuck with a good game that has its own set of graphical issues