reviewed on PS3
At some point two new factions, the US and Chinese, join the fray causing a distinct change in the game, partly due to the map doubling in size. Both countries are after Venezuela’s huge oil reserves and are a lot less forgiving about your extracurricular activities for other factions. Working for one of these will exclude working for the other. Siding with the Chinese gives a nostalgic nod to the previous Mercenaries game with General Peng referring to your past adventures in North Korea. The US on the other hand nets you more high-tech equipment.
Nuclear Bunker Buster
The appeal of Mercenaries has always been the explosions and destructibility of just about every object in the game. The team at Pandemic improved on both fronts tenfold. Explosions now erupt with a flash that temporarily whites out the screen as your character holds up an arm over his or her face. Airstrikes can no longer be mindlessly spammed over a target. Each strike costs a certain amount of fuel in addition to the dollar amount. Fuel is obtained by picking up smaller tanks of gas after a vehicle explodes or by stealing large amounts using Ewan to airlift the big tanks to safety. Piles of money and smaller airstrike munitions are strewn around the map, just waiting for you to come along, pick them up and put them to good use.
World in Flames has a large variety in airstrike and weapons types, providing the player with countless ways to go about his missions. Your character can carry two primary weapons, along with C4 and an assortment of grenades. the Fuel-Air RPG quickly turned into my favorite weapon. Similar to the Fuel-Air Bomb from the original Mercenaries, the RPG hits the target and emits a mist of highly flammable gas all around it. After the gas has surrounded a target, a spark goes off – turning the gas cloud into a violent explosion. The Nuclear Bunker Buster is by far the most impressive airstrike that you can call in. This baby is laser guided and burrows deep into the earth before erupting into the largest mushroom ever seen before in a videogame. Awesome!
With that being said, the game looks a bit rough around the edges. Explosions look great and the engine is capable of impressive draw distances. Yet you get up close to an object, it often looks ugly. Walking around in the lush forest can reveal some poorly made textures and traveling high in a helicopter while looking straight down makes the trees look like paper. When buildings or trees get destroyed, the rubble, branches and trunks disappear too fast. Buildings just collapse straight down in clouds of smoke as if a specialist demolition team had placed charges. It would have been so much impressive to see a falling building taking other buildings down with it. Fire looks goods but never really spreads around trees or buildings. Perhaps this is due to the fact that Pandemic is using an engine that scales all the way down to run on the PS2, which is a shame as gamers expect more from a game in this day and age.
No Pros and Cons at this time