|System: PS2, X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Pi Studios / Pandemic Studios||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Electronic Arts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Aug. 31, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Another issue with this game is its flimsy vehicle handling. Right analog steers your vehicle, X is forward, and Square is reverse and brake. That's pretty much it. You can't check your rear-view, you can't toggle your gun out to either side, and, quite simply, the braking and steering mechanics are horrible.
There is also a serious lack of vehicles found throughout the map. Sure, there are some cool ones such as dune buggies, tanks, boats, and helicopters, but, while roaming, you'll often find the same taxi cabs and police cars lining the streets. I understand that this is not Liberty City, but there should definitely be a variety of cars, trucks, motorcycles, and more, even in war-torn Venezuela. For a game that has borrowed so many ideas from GTA, it is easy to find what Mercenaries 2 is lacking in comparison.
In the midst of battle or while simply running amuck in the streets, ambience of gunfire and bomb blasts are captured nicely in the sound of the game. Eerie music plays to capture the mood of warfare and actually picks up as the action starts, relevant to what is actually occurring in the game. Sounds of ally factions, enemy soldiers, and pedestrians shouting in the streets add a level of realism to the chaos. Comments made by NPC's while free-roaming and in battle are reminiscent of GTA, sometimes adding some comic relief to the situation, though there is far less variety.
As my GTA comparisons come to a close, in no way is Mercenaries 2 a bad game. While in no way does it offer the same amount of replay value, comparable graphics, or variety throughout the map, the fully destructible environments are definitely its biggest saving grace. I had more fun cruising around and leveling pretty much everything in sight than I did completing missions. It's a shame that developers didn't work harder to accentuate what's fun about this game with better graphics, more vehicles, and other gameplay elements. But, for what it is, Mercenaries 2 is a decent title for short-lived amounts of fun.
CCC Freelance Writer