sjschmidt93's Mercenaries 2: World in Flames (PlayStation 3) review

Explosions. That's What Mercenaries 2 Is All About.

Explosions aren't, at all, anything we haven't seen in a video game before. But I think Mercenaries 2 has probably some of the most memorable and greatest looking explosions we've ever seen. Huge structures just being leveled is definitely the games strongest suite. You'll blow the shit out of just normal houses, yes, but you'll also take down a whole oil refinery at one point, and you can also sink a huge ship into the water. It's pr

etty satisfying, that's for sure. The completely destructible world is your playground. Have fun.

The game does have a story, though it isn't taken too seriously. You play as one of three Mercs. You're gonna want to pick Mattias Nilsonn, a bad ass son of a gun with a bunch of tats. You could, however, opt to pick Christopher Jacobs or Jennifer Mui. The story is all the same for every character, the only difference is you'll get a difference voice to hear and a different character model to play with. Speaking of voices, you'll hear the same four or five one-liners about a million times, and that could actually be the sole reason you want to stop playing this game.

Anyway, your assisted by Fiona Taylor, the person who will lead you to all of your missions, contracts, and everything else you need to do. She'll also yell at you a lot for taking her car. Watch out for that. Your main goal is to take out the main antagonist of the game, Roman Solano. After you take over a huge mansion, one you later call your headquarters, you begin on your mission to do so. Your out to take his head off because, basically, you did a task for him, and, not wanting to for out the dough for it, he attempted to murder you. So you escape, and you begin your task.

Most of the characters in the game are very cool. If you play a Mattias, you'll hear people shouting, "Hey, it's the Merc Mattias, nice tats, bra!" The first guy you pick up is Ewan Navvaro, and very interesting guy with an awesome accent, who will drive a helicopter around delivering you stuff, but I'll talk about that later. Also, your other airplane piot is just classic. He's a drunk guy who just happens to have some piloting experience, and you pick him up, and you can get some of the more advanced artillery strikes.
Boats, planes, bikes, Mercs 2 has it all. 
 Mercenaries 2 is a huge open world sandbox. I know people hate comparing games in reviews, but if you want to consider if a games good, you're going to compare it to the best game in the genre that the game is. In this case, the best game in the open world sandbox genre is, of course, Grand Theft Auto. It's NOT as good Grand Theft Auto, but the games are diversely different. For example, in Mercenaries, similar to the way cheats work in GTA, you can just open a menu with the D-Pad, and call down anything you want. This includes choppers, tanks, rocket launchers, and, most importantly, air strikes. These things are fun. The best of them being the laser ones. You get a laser gun then you point it at a building, and your pilot will rain down with lots of explosives, making the place just ruins. You'll have to find these explosives just laying around Venezuela and have your helicopter pilot come and pick it up. Why people just accidentally leave nukes and bombs lying around who knows.

Most of the weapons in the game are pretty much sub-par. The sounds of them aren't the greatest by any mean, and the lack of a target function just makes the game feel odd. They do kind of just feel weak. The weapons include machine guns, sub-machine guns, pistols, sniper rifles, and rocket launchers. But, no doubt, the greatest part of it is the anti-air and-anti tank missiles in the game. These can be very fun to screw around with. The mounted machine guns are very cool too. The vehicles aren't anything special either, cars, trucks, and helicopters. But, you can use a grapple hook to attach to a chopper flying in the air and jack it. Just thought I'd mention that brilliant idea.

One of the huge focuses of the game is the many factions in it. At the start of the game, all the factions will hate you, but by the end you have the chance to have them all like you. They include pirates, a huge oil producer, and the Venezuelan, Chinese, and American army. The latter to you won't meet until very late into the game.
Jacking Choppers is Pure Fun.

Most of these factions are at war with each other, so, you help out the Americans, you'll piss off the Chinese, and if you help out the Chinese you'll piss off the Americans. So if you want to complete all the missions for opposing factions, you'll have to complete them for one factions, then kill a bunch of that faction in order to get neutral with the other faction so you can begin contracts with the other faction.

The whole open world mission system doesn't work like the, say, Grand Theft Auto mission system. It's not just one mission, then another comes open, then another. It's much different. Whenever you become friendly with a certain faction you'll get many optional missions for them. First, you'll get an amount of High Value Targets (HVTs) to, either, kill, or incapacitate and load into a chooper. If you choose the latter, you'll get more cash. You'll also get a list of structures you need to destroy, these usually being the opposite factions buildings. Sometimes they'll just be a simple small building, other times they'll be huge giant boat that'll probably take either a big army chopper or loads and loads of C4 to take out. Like I said, these are pretty much optional, though you may have to do some of them to unlock the main story missions. Besides those, you'll also get loads and loa ds (and loads) of challenges. In these challenges, you'll have to do some weird stuff. Some are completely awesome races with cars that can jump, literally jump, others include stacking stuff up into a tower with a chopper and it's grapple hook. In these challenges, you can make some pretty high bets. In the end of the game you'll get into the millions of dollars. These could make you, or break you.

Being an open world game and all, the game is bound to have bugs. You'll have some pretty bad AI problems, with some of your enemies just standing complet ely oblivious to you. Now, since there's regenerating HP, you can pretty much just run behind something and they'll make no effort at all to find you. This takes the difficult, and enjoyment of the game down. All you really have to do to survive when your in a little bit of trouble is run behind some structure for a little while. I did experience a few crashes while playing, too. This isn't exactly a bug, but when you're in a car and you're running over fences, trees, and other large objects you may run into some small object that has no destructible characteristics to it, thus you coming to a stop. You can also pretty much just spam the jump button and manage to get up hills you probably shouldn't be able to get up to. As far as I can tell, nothing in the game can kill you in one single hit. Get shot by a tank missle, you'll still have a tiny bit of health left. Fall from a helicopter many a thousands of feet in the air, you'll still have a tiny bit of life left.  
There's plenty of challenges to keep you busy after you beat the game. 
The game does offer a two player online co-op option, which is more or less just having fun and blowing crap up with a friend.

Final Decision
Mercenaries, no doubt, has many problems, including bugs, AI issues, some very repetitive missions, and some odd mission design where sometimes you'll have no idea what to do or how to advance. But, beneath all of that nonsense you will find a world that you can pretty much destroy the shit out of. If you can do that, you'll have a hell of a lot fun.
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