Mercenaries 2: World in Flames Review
It has been a little while since I have written a review. Don't get me wrong, I have still been playing games, but with a more relaxed point-of-view instead of the critical eye needed for a review. But now the time is right to, well, get back in the game. Luckily the first game I get to review is a game that I was looking forward to playing and had some high hopes for: Mercenaries 2: World in Flames for the Xbox 360. What better way to jump back into the review pool than a good out-of-control action game. Does Mercs 2 welcome me back into the reviewing world with open arms or, much like my beloved Miami Dolphins, does it just disappoint and make me sad. Read on to find out...
Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, developed by Pandemic Studios and published by EA Games, is the sequel to 2005's Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction which was a pretty fun game. That was three years ago and I expect a sequel to improve the original in lots of different ways. Mercs 2 is basically a rehash of the original, just in a new location, and while it does not make as much of an improvement to the original as one would hope for that doesn't mean it is a bad game...especially if, like me, you like to blow up a lot of stuff in your games.
You are given the choice of three different characters when starting Mercs 2 and each has slightly different abilities but no matter who you pick the story is roughly the same. Your choices are: Chris Jacobs who can carry an awful lot of ammo, Jennifer Mui who has cat like speed, and the coverboy himself Matthias Nilsson who can heal very quickly. One thing they all have in common is a healthy desire to blow stuff up, and you will be able to certainly to feed that wanting.
The story turns out to be one of revenge in a way. You are hired by a very powerful dude going by the name of Ramon Solano in Venezuela to free one of his buddies from a well fortified mansion. This is actually pretty easy to do because this first journey is the games' tutorial mission. The bummer is after you rescue the guy, Solano decides that he is not going to fork over any payment and tries to kill you instead. Soon after this Solano goes and declares himself dictator. One thing I have learned in life, besides that you should never challenge a badger to a fight, is to always pay your mercenaries, because one just might get rather ticked off and take out their revenge on an entire country. Once the tutorial is over you lose all the cool weapons and support you had and you will need to rebuild your arsenal.
So off you go to teach Mr. Solano a lesson. This will take you all across Venezuela and you will run into several factions throughout. These factions (The People's Liberation Army of Venezuela and Universal Petroleum, the Jamaican Pirates, the Chinese Army, and the Allied Nations) all will offer you different missions that will not only pay you but also make them like you a bit more. The missions the various factions want you to carry out are usually of the blow something up or bring someone back variety. Each has their own agenda going on, for example The People's Liberation Army of Venezuela is a band of rebels trying to take their country back. Sometimes you have to do something bad to another faction so it's interesting to see how you can play them against each other without getting yourself in too much trouble. You can use your contacts within the factions to buy things like fuel, air strikes, and ammo. But it is annoying that you do not know in advance who has a specific item you need until you have trekked across the country to find out.