Apparently lots of the gaming world have been waiting impatiently for the release of Mercenaries 2 after they enjoyed the first game on the PS2 and Xbox. I must admit I can’t remember it so I haven’t been chomping at the bit to play it.
Still, now I’ve got it so this is what you do. You play as one of three Mercenaries as you do a number of missions for five competing factions in and around Venezuela. The game begins with you doing a mission for a guy named Solano and getting stabbed in the back for your troubles (for that, read shot in the arse). So, the story begins as you get revenge on Solano and earn money in the process.
Near the beginning of the game you get your first base and from there you can do challenges and missions to progress the story further. What’s good about the game is the sandbox approach to completing missions. You’re given the location and what you need to do and it’s up to you how you do it. You can nick cars from the roads GTA style and blow up almost anything in sight. It’s great fun being ultra-destructive, particularly later on when you can call in air strikes and hijack helicopters to cause some eye-popping explosions.
There’s also a relationship to keep with the factions. As you befriend them you get to use their resources and buy from them. Cross them however (and this can easily done by accidentally shooting just one of them) and things get harder as you get shot at a lot as you make your way from point to point.
So if shooting and blowing everything up in sight is your game, you may like this, but it comes with a fair few problems. To begin with, the enemy AI is more stupid than Frank Spencer. They sometimes ignore you or just stand in open space shooting at you until they’re dead – they also repeat the same lines over and over.
Also, it’s tricky to hit a moving target with any gun and you seem to have a deadly fist that can kill enemies with one hit – a useful exploit at times. It’s also full of bugs and glitches and generally has an unfinished look when it comes to animations and textures.
You can play the game in co-op mode online but I think you might struggle to find anyone playing in a couple of weeks time. Overall it’s not a bad game if you like mindless destruction. It’s just feels unfinished. Considering it’s been delayed for almost a year you’d think they’d have ironed a few things out. Mercenaries 2 gets an underwhelming 6 out of 10.
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