This game is the bomb.
It is like the first one ( Mercinaries, Playground of Destruction) but a lot better, the map is bigger, there are more enemys, more guns, more add-ons and more explosions.
I honestly do not know why Gamespot rated this game so low. It is a great game and I shall tell you why...
So the story. You are in Venesuala and you are on a contract, Mr Solano wants you to get a general carmona out of prison to stage a military coup, and with the promise of cash, you accept. So you end up rescuing carmona in the first level, but are betrayed by Solano and nearly killed, so not you are in Venesuala, with the govenment in chaos and you have one goal...to kill Solano.
Now gameplay, the controls on this game are easy, they are moulded from the first game, so if you have played Playround of Destrucion then you will find the controls simple enough. If you have not plyed Merc 1 before then I shall inform you that the controls are very easy, R1 to shoot, L1 for grenade, Triangle to enter vehicle etc, your simple controls. One bad thing about the game though is the AI of your enemys and allies, they are as thick as bricks and just stand there while you shoot at them, most of the time. Sometimes if you are lucky you get an intelligant enemy how runs to cover, but not often this happens. However this does not affect gameplay at all becuase since there are so many enemy's if they were all smart then you would die pretty soon. Now in the game you get a wide variety of vehicles. You can get your normal civillian car's like the RTR's and the Valcross which are very hard to turn but have a great speed, then you get the faction vehicles like the Jeep's and humvees which have a machine un on them and are very fast and turn well, however they have no breaks to speack of so you have to watch your speed. Then there are the heavier land vehicles like tanks etc, which are good for attacking fortified positions etc, but can still be beaten by a well aimed RPG.
Now to the factions, just like in the first game there are multiple factions who you can do missions for. The are...
The gurrelas (partisans who hate Solano)
Universal Petroleum (people interested only in protecting their oil investments)
Chinese (there to take over venesuala)
Allies (same as the chinese)
and the Pirates (People who like to rob, etc and assasinate their enemy's)
Now my favorite faction is the Pirates becuase they work covert and have good missions. and also about the faction headquaters, you can atually destroy factions now, by blowing up their headquaters, but this requires a heavy duty bunker bomb, which are hard to com by.
Now to the missions. There are the normal missions like kill these people, destroy this base, kill this man nothing new really which disapointed me, and is why I did not give this game a 5.
Also I think it is worth mentioning the extras in this game. If you do not want to complete the faction missions there are always a few things to do...
The most enjoyable one is go an a rampage, which is fun and you just go around killing everyone in sight.
You can do the contact missions, these missions are to get contacts which provide you with airsupport, guns, supply's etc, and are funner than the faction missions.
Or you can hunt for the 10 targets. This is very hard. There are 10 highly dangerous officers that have bounty's opn their heads. You can hunt for them over the whole of the country but it is difficult. They are usually deep in the jungle and have many guards and support.
Now I will not be to thorugh with this game so that is my review. Bottom line, get the game and ignore the people who say this game sucks, they just don't know a good game these day's. So rent it is best, becuase it is a tad short.