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I played the original mercenaries on my PS2 when it first came out and really enjoyed it. I picked this up thinking it would be more of the same. Having read alot of reviews for it - all of which were mixed - I thought I might give it a try. The plot is pretty basic - you are a mercenarie for hire and you do missions for rival factions for money. If you annoy certain factions they come after you and you may have to pay them off to getthem on your side again. the further you go in the game the more stuff you unlock. There is alot of weaponry and vehicles in the games which should make for a fun experience. Hi-jacking vehicles and calling in air strikes to flatten buildings is always fun and the new combo method of hi-jacking is quite a fun way to do it - if a bit long in the tooth. The open ended environment is also well designed and you now have the ability to swim and use boats and jet skis. Now I know that the PS2 is pretty much a dead console these days but the graphics on this game is bad. The charectors and buildings are blocky and look unfinished. The building explosions are nice however but they can't make up for all the other graphical faults. The original mercenaries had fog which you couldn't see past but this was usually way off in the distance. The fog here is pretty much always in front of you and you may even find yourself brightening up the screen on your tv to see better. I can live with this if the gameplay is good - but it is really quite boring. Unlike the first one you have to go through a tedious process of unlocking pretty much everything from scratch when there really is no need. The enemy AI is so bad I went through the game just using the basic weapons becasue the AI is so poor. this takes alot of the fun and challenge out of the game. Overall this is a poor sequal to a good game. It feels like it was rushed out and not enougth development time or love was put into it.
I played Mercenaries 2, on my PS2, purposely because I had heard good things about the game. Unfortunately, I'd only heard good things about the next gen version of the game. I had read some comments about how it really was terrible, and I really didn't think much of it. How wrong I was. The graphics: Are terrible. Really terrible. They're blocky, undertextured, and undetailed, and are using low polygon models. This is shocking even for a PS2 game. Not only that, the view distance is terrible as well, being able to see hardly any distance at all before the game fades into grey fog. Event he explosions look terrible, the main focus of the game. The sound: Is actually okay, and accurately portrays the game with grunts, groans, gun fire, and loud explosions truly setting the mood. I think the developers did actually try on this part of the game, rather that the gameplay and graphics where they should of been looking. The gameplay: Is also cut down and lackluster compared to the other versions of the game. Sure, you can still have a variety of weapons, and you can still destroy pretty much everything in the game, but the missions are terrible, repetitive, and boring. Often, you find yourself thinking that the mission you just played was a repeat of one you did three missions back, if not for one minor detail. Overall, this game should not have been put on the market, and you should only buy it if you want to laugh at this cheap mockery of an otherwise brilliant game.
Mercenaries is one of those games that once you start playing it, you just can't put it down. You can choose to be one of three different characters, and you are obviously a mercenary. I live in the US, and the rating here is Teen, which I think serves it just fine. There is no blood or anything, although it drastically reduces the value of a human being through the portrayals in the game. You can switch factions in the game, decide who to be enemies with and steal any car or helicopter. Throughout the game, you can recruit others to join you on your various missions, such as airline pilots, and jet pilots. The game has varying weapons, anything from Pistol to AK47 to RPG. In the game, even when you take a lot of fire, if you can find a place to rest, your health will come back; thus, you almost never die in the game. I recommend the game, although after awhile, it does get somewhat boring.
If there really isnt any such thing as bad publicity then Mercenaries 2 is already doing superbly. It certainly already has its fair share of infamy, after being denounced by the Venezuelan government as propaganda for the U.S. Army and even dragging Bono (who part owns developer Pandemic) into a row over its probity. Mind you North Korea werent too keen about the first game either and that turned out all right.