Mercenaries 2: World in Flames

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Mercenaries 2: World in Flames
Mercenaries 2 cover art.jpg
Developer(s)Pandemic Studios[a]
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts
Director(s)Cameron Brown
Designer(s)Scott Warner
Composer(s)Chris Tilton
SeriesMercenaries
EngineZero
Platform(s)PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows
ReleasePlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360
  • NA: August 31, 2008
  • EU: September 5, 2008
  • AU: September 11, 2008
Microsoft Windows
  • NA: September 3, 2008
  • EU: September 5, 2008
  • AU: September 11, 2008
Genre(s)Action-adventure
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Mercenaries 2: World in Flames is an action-adventure video game developed by Pandemic Studios and published by Electronic Arts for PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows. It is the sequel to 2005's Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction. The game is a third-person shooter with an open world, set in a fictionalized war-torn Venezuela, the game's primary objective is to kill the President of Venezuela whose betrayal of the protagonist mercenary acted as a stepping stone to his current position,

Following the closure of Pandemic Studios, EA announced on November 24, 2009 that EA Los Angeles were working on a title known as Mercs Inc.[1] The game was eventually canceled following the closure of Danger Close Games in 2013.

Characters and premise[edit]

The player can pick one of three mercenaries: Mattias Nilsson, an ex-operative with a love of explosives, Chris Jacobs, an amoral ex-Delta Force member with a cynical attitude, and Jennifer Mui, a former-MI6 turned mercenary who cares about nothing but money.

Helped in part via a contract with and subsequent betrayal of the mercenary, Ramon Solano becomes the Venezuelan President of an interim government following a military coup, and successfully builds the trust and support of the population via his "for the people" nationalization of the country's oil. The mercenary vows revenge on Solano, and must work their way towards this by performing contracts for various conflicting factions across Venzuela.

Marketing and release[edit]

In preparation for the release of Mercenaries 2, Electronic Arts opened a commercial campaign in August 2008, with scenes of the plot of the game in a stylized world, featuring background music reminiscent of a "hip-hop musical" singing about how the protagonists are going to get revenge for being double crossed and getting no pay to boot. The song was written and performed by the Wojahn Brothers and was released as a single on September 23, 2008.[citation needed]

EA took over the Last Stop petrol station in Finsbury Park, North London, on the release day of the game in order to give away £20,000 worth of petrol for free, with each driver receiving a maximum of £40. The petrol station was transformed into a military bunker, with sandbags, oil barrels and jeeps. The area's member of parliament, Lynne Featherstone, described the campaign as an "ill thought-out media stunt" after it created unnecessary traffic congestion.[2]

The demo of the game became available after-release on September 18 on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live.[citation needed]

Downloadable content[edit]

On September 30, 2008, Pandemic Studios announced that they were working on a free patch, called "Total Payback", that would add six new playable characters, cross-region co-op, and cheats. It was scheduled to be released on October 13 on Xbox Live, but was delayed until October 23 and again until "early November."[citation needed] The patch was released on October 23 for PS3 and October 31 for 360 users.

On December 12, 2008, the Mercenaries 2 DLC content pack "Blow It Up Again" was released for download on the PlayStation Store. Pandemic later stated that they are "working with Microsoft" to ensure that the Xbox 360 content pack is released promptly, to follow Sony's sudden release.[citation needed] The DLC had relatively little advertising and failed to even have an official announcement from Pandemic aside from a simple trailer available for download on the Xbox Live Marketplace. It has also been raised from free to $1.99.

The "Total Payback" patch and "Blow It Up Again" content pack have not been released for the Windows version.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Review scores
PublicationScore
PCPS2PS3Xbox 360
EurogamerN/AN/AN/A5/10[3]
FamitsuN/A23/40[4]31/40[4]31/40[4]
Game InformerN/AN/A7.25/10[5]7.25/10[5]
Game RevolutionN/AB+[7]B+[7]B+[7]
GameProN/AN/AN/A3.5/5 stars[6]
GameSpotN/A3.5/10[8]5/10[9]5/10[9]
GameSpyN/AN/A4/5 stars[10]4/5 stars[10]
GameTrailersN/AN/A7.9/10[11]7.9/10[11]
GameZoneN/A5/10[12]8.3/10[13]8.5/10[14]
Giant BombN/AN/A3/5 stars[15]3/5 stars[15]
IGN7.9/10[16]3.9/10[17](AU) 8/10[18]
(US) 7.9/10[19]
(AU) 8/10[18]
(US) 7.9/10[19]
OXM (US)N/AN/AN/A7.5/10[20]
PC Gamer (US)69%[21]N/AN/AN/A
PSMN/AN/A3/5 stars[22]N/A
411ManiaN/AN/AN/A5.2/10[23]
VarietyN/AN/A(favorable)[24]N/A
Aggregate score
Metacritic70/100[25]49/100[26]72/100[27]72/100[28]

Mercenaries 2: World in Flames received "average" reviews on all platforms except the PlayStation 2 version, which received "generally unfavorable reviews", according to the review aggregation website Metacritic.[25][26][27][28]

Though praised for its colorful and destructive environments, many reviews have complained of "nagging annoyances" throughout the game that occasionally feel rushed and unfinished.[29] One of the major problems was the unintelligent AI of both friendly and enemy NPCs, and the issue was aggravated by voice acting and repetitive lines.[16][19] Some reviewers found several gameplay mechanisms questionable, such as the air supports and airstrikes being of limited value, over-powerful melee attacks, and simplistic faction dynamics.[8][9] The reactions from the new co-op mode were divided; while another player added to the fun, there were limitations, such as the tether between players and limited role of the passenger when in a vehicle. Edge gave the PlayStation 3 version a score of six out of ten and said that it "remains an absolute blast."[30] In Japan, where the game was ported for release on November 20, 2008,[citation needed] Famitsu gave it a score of one eight, one nine, and two sevens for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions; and one six, one seven, and two fives for the PS2 version.[4]

Mercenaries 2 was nominated for "Dubious Honors: Worst Game Everyone Played" by GameSpot in their 2008 video game awards, which was a category for games with large sales that had been panned by the critics.[31] In addition, it won "Dubious Honors: Most Disappointing Game" by GameSpot.

Controversy and criticism[edit]

The game has been criticized by the Venezuelan government, accusing the U.S. government of trying to drum up support from the American public for a real-life invasion with the purpose of overthrowing Hugo Chávez.[32] Pandemic Studios had previously developed training aids for the U.S. Army. In response to the criticism, the official website of the game included the following disclaimer:

Pandemic Studios is in the business of entertainment. It has not been contacted by a U.S. government agency concerning the development of Mercenaries 2. All persons, storylines and events are purely fictional and bear no relation to real events. As with any number of games, movies and books, the decision to choose interesting events and locations is purely designed to tell a compelling story, as well as provide a fun and rich experience for the gamer.[citation needed]

Gunnar Gundersen, cofounder of the Venezuela Solidarity Network, dismissed arguments that it's "just a game", saying:[33]

We have to put it in the context of how it would feel if the reverse was done. Can you imagine if a wealthy Venezuelan game-designing company with links to the military and funding from a famous Latin American entertainer invented a game where you invade the US to assassinate the president and take over the economy?

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Ported to PlayStation 2 by Artificial Mind and Movement.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pandemic Studios Announces 'Mercs Inc'". Electronic Arts. November 24, 2009.
  2. ^ "Chaos at £20,000 petrol giveaway". BBC. September 5, 2008. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  3. ^ Reed, Kristan (September 1, 2008). "Mercenaries 2: World in Flames (Xbox 360)". Eurogamer. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d "最新一期Famitsu杂志评分(11月12)" (in Japanese). CNG4u.com. November 12, 2008. Archived from the original on January 7, 2009. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Bertz, Matt (October 2008). "Mercenaries 2: World in Flames (PS3, X360): Glitches and Frustrations Pile Up to Deflate this Venezuelan Romp". Game Informer. No. 186. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  6. ^ Erickson, Tracy (September 2, 2008). "Mercenaries 2: World in Flames (X360)". GamePro. Archived from the original on September 5, 2008. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c Hudak, Chris (August 31, 2008). "Mercenaries 2: World in Flames Review (PS2, PS3, X360)". Game Revolution. Archived from the original on January 27, 2015. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  8. ^ a b Thomas, Aaron (September 23, 2008). "Mercenaries 2: World in Flames Review (PS2)". GameSpot. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  9. ^ a b c Thomas, Aaron (September 4, 2008). "Mercenaries 2: World in Flames Review (PS3, X360)". GameSpot. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  10. ^ a b Graziani, Gabe (September 2, 2008). "GameSpy: Mercenaries 2: World in Flames (PS3, X360)". GameSpy. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  11. ^ a b "Mercenaries 2: World in Flames Review (PS3, X360)". GameTrailers. September 9, 2008. Archived from the original on September 13, 2008. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  12. ^ Bedigian, Louis (August 31, 2008). "Mercenaries 2: World in Flames - PS2 - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on October 13, 2008. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  13. ^ Lafferty, Michael (August 30, 2008). "Mercenaries 2: World in Flames - PS3 - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on October 6, 2008. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  14. ^ Hopper, Steven (August 30, 2008). "Mercenaries: World in Flames - 360 - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on October 13, 2008. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  15. ^ a b Davis, Ryan (September 5, 2008). "Mercenaries 2: World in Flames Review (PS3, X360)". Giant Bomb. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  16. ^ a b Goldstein, Hilary (September 11, 2008). "Mercenaries 2: World in Flames Review (PC)". IGN. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  17. ^ Goldstein, Hilary (September 2, 2008). "Mercenaries 2: World in Flames Review (PS2)". IGN. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  18. ^ a b Shea, Cam (September 2, 2008). "Mercenaries 2: World in Flames AU Review". IGN. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  19. ^ a b c Goldstein, Hilary (August 31, 2008). "Mercenaries 2: World in Flames Review (PS3, X360)". IGN. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  20. ^ Tilley, Steve (November 2008). "Mercenaries 2 [World in Flames]". Official Xbox Magazine. Archived from the original on September 7, 2008. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  21. ^ Stapleton, Dan (December 2008). "Mercenaries 2: World in Flames review". PC Gamer. p. 64. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  22. ^ "Review: Mercenaries 2: World in Flames (PS3)". PlayStation: The Official Magazine. No. 12. November 2008. p. 76.
  23. ^ Huston, Ty (October 1, 2008). "Mercenaries 2: World in Flames (Xbox 360) Review". 411Mania. Archived from the original on October 3, 2008. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  24. ^ Alexander, Leigh (September 1, 2008). "Mercenaries 2: World in Flames (PS3)". Variety. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  25. ^ a b "Mercenaries 2: World in Flames for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  26. ^ a b "Mercenaries 2: World in Flames for PlayStation 2 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  27. ^ a b "Mercenaries 2: World in Flames for PlayStation 3 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  28. ^ a b "Mercenaries 2: World in Flames for Xbox 360 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  29. ^ Suttner, Nick (August 31, 2008). "Mercenaries 2: World in Flames Review (PS3, XBOX 360)". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on October 13, 2012. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  30. ^ Edge staff (November 2008). "Mercenaries 2: World in Flames (PS3)". Edge. No. 194. p. 92.
  31. ^ Mihoerck, Dan (December 23, 2008). "Best of 2008 Dubious Honors: Worst Game Everyone Played". GameSpot. Archived from the original on December 23, 2008. Retrieved December 27, 2008.
  32. ^ "Venezuelan anger at computer game". BBC. May 25, 2006. Retrieved September 4, 2008.
  33. ^ Flack, Khristopher (March 25, 2007). "Activists Ask Bono to Help Shoot Down Video Game About Venezuela". The Boston Globe. Retrieved December 16, 2017.

External links[edit]