dimsey's Mercenaries 2: World in Flames (Xbox 360) review

The game could've used a bit more polish, but it's still damn fun

Pros

  • Does a good job of making you feel like a bad ass.
  • Explosions look sweet.
  • Good variety of weapons, vehicles and various explosives to wreak havoc with.

Cons

  • Games pretty damn buggy.
  • Some physics issues.
  • Dudes in buildings with rocket launchers.
  • Lack of Local Multiplayer


The original Mercenaries was somewhat under appreciated.
In the end the same might be applicable to this sequel.
While it's got some pretty big issues when it comes down to it, it's incredibly fun and does a great job of making you feel like a bad ass Merc.

You start up the game and you get to pick from three characters each with bonus to a certain attribute.

Mattias Nilson - former criminal turned Merc. He heals quicker then the other characters.

Chris Jacobs - former army guy turned Merc. He can carry extra ammo.

Jennifer Mui - former MI6 lady turned Merc. She can run faster.

Game opens up with you doing a mission for some dude and upon completion of the mission you get betrayed, shot in the ass as you try to escape and of course you want revenge which pretty much sets up the game.

Firstly you'll storm one of the dudes mansions and attempt to take it over to use as a base of operations. This is where Fiona - your mission coordinator lady will hang out, as well as the other recruits you'll find along your way.
Now as she takes pleasure in reminding you - if you're ever lost and need some help as to what do do, return to the PMC! Fiona can get on your nerves after a while. That accent. ARGH.
Is she meant to be Australian? Do I sound that annoying? If so I apologize to any Non-Aussies I've ever spoken too.


You play through the game doing contracts for the various factions in hopes that you'll get some information that gets you closer to your revenge.

Mission types generally seem to be of the following.

Kill this person. Straight forward.

Verify this person. This generally involves knocking them out, cuffing them and calling in a helicopter for extraction though if you don't mind halving your profits from the mission you could just as easily get away with killing them and taking a picture of them instead.

Destroy this building. Also generally straight forward. Use C4 or your Air Strikes to destroy buildings. Baring in mind that Air Strikes require fuel and if you're low on it that can make these tasks pretty difficult though not impossible with a little improv. Whether little improv means hijacking an enemy tank to wreak havoc with or jacking a helicopter, picking up a fuel tank with your winch, placing it on top of the building you want destroyed and then shooting said fuel tank well... That's up to you. Some missions do let you get a bit creative, heh.

Sometimes you'll need to drive a truck full of crates or rum or what have you and get to target location without losing said rum or crates. Lose too many and of course you fail.
These missions can be a right pain in the ass. It can take one enemy rocket or one bump in the road and then BAM, your shits flying everywhere and you have to restart.

Theres missions that require you to protect buildings, which can also be a pain in the ass.

Theres also races, self explanatory.

Some bonus activities you can do back at the PMC as well for a little money. A lot of money if you feel like increasing the wager. Unfortunately the later levels of these tasks can be pretty hard and require either great luck or precision. Completing all three levels of Fiona's Target Practice related activities gives you new clothing, which is neat.

Other activities in the PMC include race challenges from your mechanic.

Winching activities from your helicopter pilot, which generally require you to stack crates, whatevers around in order to get a tool box above a designated point. Thing is theres a boundary you have to keep all this in, so it requires some good maneuvering or you'll just waste time floating outside the play area.

And Air strike activities from your jet pilot. Which has you blowing stuff up with air strikes. Heh.


Well how does it play? Mostly okay.

Shootings a matter of pointing at what you want dead and pulling the trigger.
You can use the L-trigger to get a steadier, more accurate aim going but most of the time it's not necessary.

Sometimes guns don't pack the punch you want them too. The bigger weapons, sure no problem.
But if you're stuck with a pistol which you generally are when you die then it's something of a problem because guys can take like several hits no matter where you shoot them before they go down. Less of a problem with automatic weapons and what have you.

In many instances any gun feels kind of unnecessary when you can run up to a dude and whack them with your melee attack which is an instant kill.

I suppose when you get the stuff that blows stuff up, you won't wanna use crummy guns anyway cause explosions are sweet. They look terrific. Stand close enough to them and your character will kind of try to block their view of it, shield themselves which is neat.

The game plays solidly. But now we'll talk about it's issues...

Theres some bugs. During one of the opening cut scenes the voice cut out. Other sound remained. Just what the characters were saying. This prompted me to turn subtitles on in case it happens later. Was kinda annoying.

In another cut scene, the one introducing your Irish chopper pilot - well that one froze outright.

Physics can be an iffy affair.
Sometimes it feels like.. Well kinda like there aren't any and your just stuck to the ground in whatever vehicle your cruising along it.
More commonly however you'll hit a rock and be sent flying far, far, far away.
It's amusing, but kinda off.

Dudes in buildings with rocket launchers.
They're freaking annoying and whoever decided that this was a good idea deserves to be shot.
Theres plenty of dudes out in the open to worry about without also having to worry about a building which has a dozen dudes peeking out the windows, ALWAYS with freaking rocket launchers. Give them some assault rifles or something for god sakes, but the rocket launchers are frustrating. Sure, you can blow the building up and blah blah, blah but getting close to them when they're firing rockets can be something of a feat.

Also lack of local co-op.
I'm fairly sure I read early on that the game would have both splitscreen and system link.
I could understand the removal of splitscreen. But system link? Goddamn it people.
If you're games multiplayer there needs to be SOME form of local play.
I'm tired of all the pandering to the online crowd. I like playing with other people. In the same room. And I shouldn't have to go online to do that. Online comes with lag. Local multiplayer shouldn't have lag. So developers! System link! START PUTTING IT IN YOUR DAMN GAMES.


Regardless of the games flaws it's still incredibly fun simply because you almost always feel like a bad ass.

Climbing over tanks to jack them.
Leaping out of helicopters only to grapple to and promptly jack another helicopter.
Narrowly escaping gigantic explosions.
Taking on hordes of enemies by yourself.

You feel like a total action hero and that feeling makes this game worth a look.
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