Playback: Mercenaries 2: World in Flames

When you can’t find the music to get down and boogie, all you can do is step back in time. So sang Kylie in 1990, conveniently predicting TSA’s Playback feature and this week we step back in time to September 2008 with Mercenaries 2: World in Flames.

[drop]The game received a mixed response when it hit the shelves but has a none-too shabby Metacritic rating of 72%, perhaps not an essential purchase at the time but almost three years on and the game can be found for around six pounds and is well worth a punt.

Set in a fictionalized version of Venezuela you take the role of one of three ass-kicking Mercs. Mattias Nilsson is a mohicaned dutch mad mad with a perchance for violence, Chris Jacobs is smart-ass American with a love of guns whilst Jennifer Mui relies on speed to get the job done.

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The play area is huge and inhabited by local Venezuelans,  guerrilla fighters, oil companies, the Chinese army, a fictionalised version of the UN, Jamaican pirates and probably Sooty, Sweep and Sue if you look hard enough.  Missions are available from all factions but by taking one side you will annoy another, thus making certain areas of the map a dangerous place to be.

Like a Michael Bay movie, the plot (and thankfully, acting) in Mercenaries : World In Flames takes second place to blowing things up. Vehicles, people, buildings, trees, oil rigs, pretty much everything can be blown to pieces using the huge array of weapons from a hand grenade to a spectacular bunker buster.

With around 40 missions and 100 side quests the game will fill plenty of hours and, despite a few rough edges, it looks and sounds gorgeous. Mercs 2 is a true sand box game and if you feel like ignoring the missions and spending an hour cruising round the islands on a jet-ski, you can.

What could be more fun than dropping a Daisy Cutter on a group of unarmed Venezuelans? Dropping a Daisy Cutter on your friends! Mercs 2 has an online co-op option for the entire game and it’s quite a hoot to play. Whilst writing this Playback I’ve had Mercs 2 on and there were plenty of co-op partners to be found online. Trophy whores will be pleased to know there are plenty on offer and it’s possible to Platinum the game on a single play through.

There are a few problems, most notably the repetitive comments your character spouts (Nilsson shouts “Bumper cars!” every time you crash)  and the poor enemy AI, but when a game gives you the whole of Venezuela to destroy and a side mission which gives Motorstorm a run for it’s money (turbo boosted monster trucks!) it’s hard to complain.

If you want subtle tactical game-play look elsewhere. If you want to blow up a medium-sized country for the price of a Big Mac meal, Mercenaries 2: World in Flames is the perfect choice.

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14 Comments

  1. Should have embedded the Mercenaries 2 song, that was fairly dope.

    • The theme song was the best part of this game imo. Had great potential but just felt rubbish compared to the awesome original.

  2. I preferred Mercenaries Playground of Destruction over Mercenaries 2. Preferred the setting of it.

  3. I really liked Mercs 2. It was kinda like Just Cause 2 with the free roaming and picking up missions for different factions etc. I do remember ending up with a buttload of ammo though cos you kinda feel like you need to stockpile the kick ass bunker busters and mini nukes and then in the end, you actually don’t.
    Knowing that would probably make it even more fun to replay actually.

  4. To quote Yahtzee:
    Airstrikes 2- Hurray for Airstrikes
    :D

  5. You CAN NOT beat Playground Of Destruction! Mercs 2 was still pretty good, but nothing compared to Playground Of Destruction!

  6. The Mercenaries game on ps2 was really good fun :) I gave the second a go when I borrowed it from a friend, it never felt the same as the first, also they looked too similar. Was disappointed on every approach, so i swiftly gave it back to my friend.

  7. They totally destroyed the first game with this. Played it for two hours, sold it and never looked back. Awfull game. Stupid sunshine.

  8. This is in no way worth a go, the first was so much better it just isn’t funny. It’s an ugly, badly designed and glitchy piece of deal, it was the biggest disappointment ever. Also the setting was nowhere near as good as that in the first game. That it was an Australian studio that churned out this deal makes it even worse… :(

    Eventually my brother and I got so sick of it we took the blu-ray outside and performed an exorcism. With a hammer. ; )

    • Is “deal” slang for “shit” now? I’m sorry, I’m quite old.

  9. I remember really looking forward to this but when it came out I wasn’t too impressed. If they had a bit more time to iron out the kinks it would have been so much better. Still…it is worth jumping into now and again.

  10. Red Faction guerilla is a much better quality and suited alterntaive at around the same price than this :)

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