PS3 Review: Mercenaries 2 – World in Flames

Blowing up stuff has never been so fun, but does it last long?

Mercenaries 2: World in Flames is an explosive open-world action game set in a massive, highly reactive, war-torn world. A power-hungry tyrant messes with Venezuela’s oil supply, sparking an invasion that turns the country into a warzone.

I absolutely loved the original Mercenaries, especially adding cheats so you could carry around a nuke in a rocket launcher and blow everything to kingdom come, with that level of destruction and fun that I had found before…I was hoping for the same, if not more from its sequel. While it does stay true to the original with its gameplay, it’s really started to show its age and doesn’t feel nearly as next-gen as I had hoped it would be.

The game begins with you choosing one of 3 Mercenaries, each with their own advantages and personalities. Then you proceed to Venezuela to meet a rich billionaire by the name of Solano, he asks you to rescue someone for him and after you do that…Solano stabs you in the back, tries to kill you while performing his own coup and taking over Venezuela. For the Merc you choose, it’s not about the money anymore…it’s personal.

Mercs 2 retains the same formula of going to factions, doing missions to get cash and so on. The 52 card deck of enemies is now gone, which I really enjoyed about the original. The story doesn’t really pack as much as a punch and doesn’t offer any surprises, but that’s ok when all the game is about is mindlessly blowing things up. Co-operative play has been included and it’s a welcome addition, but you can’t help feeling that more could have been done here.

Despite the deck of 52 going, the game is roughly the same length as the first…which is quite a lot when compared to most games. The trouble is that the game doesn’t really change its variety too much, it’s a simple case of blowing everything up and for a big place like Venezuela, you can’t help feeling that it’s a little bland with its choices. It’s not helped by the fact that the AI are potentially the dumbest I have ever seen, they just stand waiting to be shot.

Doing missions for factions will change their reactions to you, but with some very easy persuasion you can get back into their good graces and take on the next faction mission. It’s like the original in that sense, but it’s too forgiving when you can murder a group’s people and get let back in as if nothing happened.

The PS3 version seems to lack any real rumble apart from when your character hits a crate with their fists, things like explosions, shooting and taking damage get no response at all…at least it didn’t for me. The rumble for that was also incredibly weak, so it seems rather cheap and annoying when you’d expect so much more.

World in Flames looks simply stunning with its visuals, character models are passable but the explosions and Venezuela itself take the top prizes in that department. Voice acting is painfully bad with one-liners that repeat too often and are somewhat irritating, out of all the problems the game has such as bugs, dumb AI and repetitive gameplay…the voice acting is the one which annoyed me the most.

The Verdict

World in Flames is mindless fun, destroying everything in sight can be a blast…but it wears thin quickly with retarded AI and repetitive missions. Fans of the original should enjoy Mercenaries 2 but just be prepared for a few disappointments.