dogbox's Mercenaries 2: World in Flames (PlayStation 3) review

No Meaningful Connections

The original Mercenaries was one of my favourite games of the last generation. There wasn’t a huge amount of press for the game, or a lot of hype, and it was refreshing; to see an excellent, free-roaming game that wasn’t trying to tie itself into Grand Theft Auto just doing it’s thing. Mercenaries 2: World in Flames is the sequel, a game I was admittedly really looking forward to.

Unfortunately, it’s just not as endearing as the original. Nowhere close, really. It’s a game that’s full of promise, for sure; run across a war-torn Venezuela and participate in a topical oil economy plot by, well, blowing up a lot of dudes, and buildings owned by them. The game holds up that end of the deal, on paper; you get lots of rocket launchers and machine guns to use, as well as having the ability to call in a bunch of different air strikes and jet bombing runs over targets (as long as you have enough gas to make it all happen).

So off you go, doing some story missions for clients like the American-run Universal Petroleum, knocking off certain people or protecting VIPs from harm’s way as you blow up basically everything, whether out of necessity or curiosity. Like its predecessor, though, the game has an unbearably slow start that consists mostly of basic shoot-outs. By the time you get to the reinforcement firepower and can use it consistently, it’s well past an hour in. With a game that’s otherwise paced quickly, this feels like ages.

Even once you get to the most explosive materials in the game, though, there’s the undeniable feeling that something critical is missing. That’s because the game lacks polish in just about every area of its design. Although the rich jungle environments occasionally inspire, they have a noticeable grain to them, and a lot of the destructible environments look pretty poor. Level a building with explosives, for example, and the rubble will just consist of a lumpy slab with a blurry texture painted over it.

The gunfights don’t quite mesh, either, and the feeling of connecting with your targets feels totally off. The enemies are so faceless and devoid of personality that you may as well be shooting at nothing. Instead, you’ll find yourself sticking mostly with the air strikes, which result in pretty explosions but essentially have you tossing in a smoke grenade or pointing a laser and then running away from the fight. Which, when you think about it, is sort of an anti-game.

There’s nothing offensively bad about Mercenaries 2; it’s just a fair bit dull and boring, in spite of its glorified and often impressive explosion effects. It’s a fairly long game, and you can play it online in the form of two-player co-op, which does make the game more exciting. However, it’s just delaying the realization that this sequel can’t stand up to the shooter competition, past or future.


Other reviews for Mercenaries 2: World in Flames (PlayStation 3)

    You see that over there...blow it up! 0

    Mercenaries 2 is a game that went through a large development cycle;but mainly due the former Publisher(Lucas Arts)dropping it half way through development, then it being picked up by Electronics Arts.You guy's aren't reading this to hear the history of this game are you?Your reading to see if this game kick's as much ass as the first did.The simple answer is yea, it kicks ass, but it has more flaws and less appealing combat then the last.The game has so many flaws and bugs, like when you die yo...

    1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

    Mercenaries 2: World in Flames 0

    If I had to use one word to describe why Mercenaries 2 isn't great, it would be "rough". The game is most definitely rough. You'd think it shouldn't be after the delays it experienced, but the game still feels like a PS2 port with prettier explosions and a bunch of glitches. None of the technical problems really hurt the game though, and the game itself is so cool that it's hard to dislike it. It certainly has issues, but they can all be overcome if you're looking for an enjoyable, less than ful...

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