by Chris Davis
previewed on PS3
Get revenge for your gas price woes
Three years ago the world was introduced to Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction, a third-person shooter in the vein of Grand Theft Auto. Set on a war-torn Korean peninsula it followed the trials of one of the games' three titular characters, as they killed and captured ranking North Korean officers and eventually the supreme dictator himself. All the while blowing up everything in sight and trying to do the whole “good guy” thing. Fast forward three years and with the impending release of the sequel to one of the best games of 2005 just a little more than a month away and it’s not hard to suddenly find yourself feeling nostalgic for the original masterpiece. And for all intents and purposes it seems that Pandemic is sticking to what made Mercs 1 a great game and expanding on it.
I do it for the money... mostly
Mercenaries 2, like its predecessor, puts the player in the shoes of the same three mercs from the previous game: Jennifer Mui, Mattias Nilsson, and Chris Jacobs. Set in August 2010, the story occurs in hot-topic country Venezuela, known for both its healthy supply of oil as well as its controversial leader Hugo Chavez (who is obviously not in the game). When a local drug lord named Ramon Solano hires the mercenaries to do a job, he subsequently refuses to pay and attempts to kill the player. Shortly thereafter, Solano leads a successful military coup and takes control of the entire country.
In response, six factions respond by invading the country, ranging from the Allied Nations (pseudonym for the UN), the Chinese PLA, an entire PMC hired out by the Universal Petroleum Corporation, the PLAV resistance group, and even pirates, all of which seek to both oust Solano and take control of the country’s oil supply. With no allegiance to any of the factions involved, except those willing to fill the player’s wallets, the only two overarching obligations the players will have will be the takedown of Solano and lining their pockets.
While it was emphasized in the previous game that the three different characters played differently across the board the majority of players found little difference between the three. Mercs 2 looks to make up for this as each character this time will focus on different approaches to gameplay. Jennifer Mui is the game’s stealth character and will focus on sneaking and masquerading as the enemy. Chris Jacobs is the most rounded character and is considered tactical by nature. Mattias is the over-the-top character for the game and will pretty much destroy anything that gets in the way with the most inappropriate weapon possible. Along the road, players will be able to recruit other mercenaries in the area to aid them, such as Mischa, a bomber pilot who is responsible for delivering airstrikes at your command.