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Mercenaries 2: World in Flames - PC Game Review

by: Finn Orfano ; edited by: Bill Fulks ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

A review about the continuation of Mercenaries which will lead us to exotic Venezuela in the year 2010. As in any other shooter, our task will be to kill, kill and kill again. Picking up one of the three characters, we will have to fight our way through the jungles by being mercenaries

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    The Story

    Mercenaries 2: World in Flames is the sequel to Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction, which appeared back in 2005 but unfortunately it was never released for PC. The gamers were very happy when they heard that the extension will be released for PC. Three years later, it's already a fact. So, let's dive in the world of destruction, weapons and mercenaries.

    As we all know, the traditional intense season for computer games starts in the beginning of September and the culmination is around Christmas. In this particular season, the game industry is overloading the market with games, fighting for gamer's and critic's benevolence. One of the first games that announced the beginning of the race was Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, developed by Pandemic Studios and released by Electronic Arts.

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    Behind the Scenes

    Mercs 2 is a 3rd person action shooter. The story takes place in the South America country of Venezuela. The year is 2010 and our hero has a kill mission, ordered by Ramon Solano – a politician and millionaire. Our task looks quite routine at first, it includes an unexpected attack of the enemy, lots of explosions, and lots of enemies outnumbering us by far – nothing new.

    However, it all turns upside down when this guy Ramon tries to kill you instead of rewarding you for the mission. It is obvious that our hero manages to save himself, and now he wants revenge. Solano is organizing a coup d'etat, becoming the new dictator of Venezuela and taking care of the rich petrol reserves. This is how the chaos begins. It even includes the Chinese army, a powerful foreign petrol company and partisans. In this mess, our task is to find friends among the enemy, to gain some wealth and prepare our plan for revenge.

    An interesting part here is that you can choose a female or male character to play. There are two male characters – Mathias Nilson, Chris Jacobs, and one female – Jennifer Muy. They all have different background stories and different skills, but we all know it's more of an aesthetic pick here.

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    Grand Theft Auto in Venezuela's jungles

    Apparently jungles are still modern when it comes to video games. Titles like 'Far Cry', 'Crysis', 'Just Cause' proves that. That's why I'm not surprised that Pandemic Studios decided to develop their game's story in the jungles of Venezuela.

    However, I couldn't miss the similarity between Mercs 2 and the series of GTA – and that's not only because of the giant map but also the gameplay. After you set your base at Solano's ex-house, this will be the place where your work as a mercenary will start. When I said that Mercs 2 world is gigantic, I really meant it – it covers different type of places: from cities, through jungles and rivers up to docks. The other factions are scattered across the land. There are several ways to transport in between them – the easiest is to stop the first car you see and throw out the driver (GTA anyone?). The diversity of vehicles, both ground, water and air, is impressive. You can find jeeps, motorcycles, caters, tanks etc. You will also have a helicopter pilot later on, who will transport you to every point of the map. He will also help you to take care of different goods you will find, such as money, petrol, ammunitions. Finding these items will actually motivate you to explore the map.

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    By expanding your business and continuously accomplishing missions, you take control of different bases across Venezuela where you can store ammunitions, weapons and vehicles. The bad thing is that regardless all the power you have at some point, the lack of information about the mission disorients you.

    The factions are also a lot. There is practically no difference between them when it comes to work. If you have dressed yourself as a guy from a particular faction, this faction's enemies will hunt you down, no matter if they are your closest friends. This way the game is just an endless story of destruction and violence. Actually, is this bad? I'm sure some of you enjoy it.

    For the worried parents who think the game provokes hate and anger in their kids, the designers have some small solution. Civilians are very easy to be distinguished from enemies, and in case you shoot them, the game punishes you by taking your money away. Eventually this way you will think before you shoot.

    They can ask you to do anything. Free a hostage, flag enemy base, kill an important enemy leader, etc. Upon completion, your reputation with the related faction increases and also gives you the opportunity to use more goods from it, particularly weapons. Besides that, you can travel free around the country, to destroy everything in your way and to increase the amount of money in your bank accounts. You are a mercenary, remember? Money is everything. With them you can buy new weapons, armors, gadgets and also different special services. These services are actually a very cool way to deal with your enemies – strike them with artilery, laser-targeted bombs, etc.

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    Game Design

    Full freedom!

    When the advertising campaigns about Mercs 2 were running, the main thing pointed was that you can basically destroy everything. Pandemic Studios have obviously tried to keep their promise, because it is a fact that you can destroy and demolish everything in your way. It's just a matter of time and willingness.

    This interesting aspect of the game play can be used in your missions or just for fun. In case you think that a particular building doesn't fit the city construction plan, just arm yourself with something bigger and change the city face. Or as mentioned above, use it in your mission. For example, one of the early missions has you rescue a hostage and place eavesdropping devices to help your way through. Stealthy, isn't it? There is another way though - grab the tank and demolish the prison walls and your way to the target will nearly be without any obstacles.

    Graphic design and requirements.

    When it comes to graphics, I can only say it could have been there. It's clear from the very beginning that the game is not optimized well, and they could have waited a bit to fix those small details. The game has high hardware requirements no matter that the graphics are not at their best. The artificial intelligence is far from perfect, the enemy are chaotically running around and they are not hiding when you shoot at them. This might kill the fun for some players. The sound effects are nothing special. The dictionary and phrases of enemy soldiers is very limited and you will soon get bored when they repeat the same thing over and over again. However, the explosions are just a pleasure for the eyes and ears, as they are very realistic.

    To fully enjoy the game you will need a monster machine at home, and not everyone can afford it, so check the minimum configurations below and decide for yourself. I have to add that for a really pleasant play, you might even need a better configuration than the suggested one. I personally didn't like the game much. My expectations were bigger, but you will surely enjoy it for at least few days. The numerous weapons, vehicles, factions and fights will keep you busy for a while, but the game will not propose you anything else, so it will hardly keep your attention unless you are some big fan on the Mercenaries series.


    • Processor: Pentium 4 with hyperthreading / AMD Athlon 64 X2
    • Memory : 2 gigs
    • GPU: Nvidia GeForce 6800 GT / ATI Radeon ATI X1600
    • VRAM: 256MB
    • Media: 8x Dual layer DVD-Rom
    • Hard Drive: 10 gigs install + save data
    • Sound: DX 9.0c compatible


    • Processor: Pentium Core 2 Duo 2.66 GHz / AMD X2 4600+ 2.4 GHz
    • Memory : 2.0 gigs dual channel DDR RAM
    • GPU: Nvidia GeForce 8600 / ATI Radeon HD2600
    • VRAM: 512MB
    • Media: 8x Dual layer DVD-Rom
    • Hard Drive: 10 gigs install + save data
    • Sound: DX 9.0c compatible