By Philip Dunkley
Oh how I love having new games to play, it’s been too long a drought, and all of a sudden, games are rolling through the door left right and centre, and it’s fantastic to be back. EA are having there busiest time of the year at the moment, with a plethora of titles being launched, especially on the sports front, but they have managed to get a whole bunch of other genres out. Now I understand how these guys make so much money.
One of these games is Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, a highly anticipated sequel to a very good game on the previous generation. How does it stack up? Let’s take a look shall we.
Mercenaries was a game that snuck up of everyone, and turned out to be a great title, and when the inevitable sequel was announce, expectations were set, and unfortunately, they have not been met. Now don’t get me wrong here, it’s not a bad game at all, but it’s not as good as the first, and the direction it has taken, will most probably upset fans.
Let’s start with the story.
Firstly, it revolves around a revenge plot. Our character has not been paid for a job, and the person who has not paid him has just become the most powerful person in Venezuela, and he controls the money and the oil. War is on, and chaos has broken out in the country. Bad for Venezuela, good for you, as you profit from all things chaos, and what better stomping ground for a mercenary, than a war torn country.
Now this game started well for me, and immediately I got the GTA feeling, as this game is set in an open world, being able to drive where you want, when you want. The mechanics are the same, but the chaos and destruction are by far the main focus of the game. You start off by securing a base of operations, and immediately you are in the thick of things doing missions and earning money. The more you earn, the more you can buy, and the more you buy, the more you can destroy.
From a gameplay point of view, it’s a Third-Person shooter, with all emphasis on destruction. You will spend a lot of time driving around, stealing vehicles, blowing things up and making as much money as possible. As you do this, the story will play out in front of you, yet the missions take a somewhat linear feel to them, and can get rather repetitive. Look, blowing things up is damn cool, and this game has some big explosions, but sometimes it felt like I was playing the same mission over and over.
Now this is where I have an issue with the game, the controlling and combat mechanics. For a game that specifically aims itself at gunfire and explosions, the weapons feel a little crap. Firstly, they are as inconsistent as hell, and accuracy can be really bad. Some of the weapons are so inconsistent, that I just don’t even bother using them anymore. Also, the AI in this game is pretty bad, and it can give you the impression that almost all enemies are clones of each other, with different skins on them, and they rarely adapt to the different environments. Also, one of the biggest flaws in the game is the Melee combat. Walk up to an enemy, punch him in the face once, and down he goes, and this slowly becomes the strategy, as the weapon combat is just so erratic.
There are also a host of bugs in the game, with a lot of things going on that just make no sense whatsoever, and mixed with the bad AI; this can really affect the overall experience. I did not have too many stuff up’s, but when I did, they affected the outcome.
From a graphics point of view, the game looks good at points, with some really cool explosions and destructive environments, and then they can quickly digress into plain average. The cut scenes don’t look good at all.
The audio is also not a strong point, with voice acting being a total shambles. From lousy accents to just plain â€œwrong speech at the wrong time momentsâ€, this should have been addressed before the games release. Also, you will hear the same lines over and over again, not adding to the experience.
But all said and done, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. I had a lot of fun, and if destroying things is your forte, you should love this. I know a lot of talk has gone around lately about defending bad games, but I did find myself playing the whole game through, yet with a few frustrations. Its fun, but it could have been a whole lot better.
Gameplay: 7.5/10 [Not too bad, not great though]
Presentation: 7.5/10 [Has its moments]
Sound: 6/10 [Voice acting terrible]
Value: 7.5/10 [I keep playing it]
Overall: 7/10 [Could have been so much better]
Last Updated: September 9, 2008