Mercenaries: Review

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Yellow Belt
Do you like blowing everything up? Do you enjoy making friends and then stabbing them in the back? I know I do, and if you answered yes to any one of those two questions then I'm sure you will also enjoy Mercenaries. The plot of Mercenaries, while seemingly simple, provides for a very fun dosage of entertainment. Basically, there is a war taking place in a modern day Korea. North and South Korea were planning to unify, but that apparently didn't happen and now there are terrorists with nuclear capability running around like they own the place. You probably wouldn't question their authority either, but you're a mercenary… you don't have to ask questions! Well, as long as you get your money in the end. The reason why mercenaries are in such demand in this war is because there is supposedly very little room for the various factions engaged in this land to maneuver peacefully. On top of that, they don't want a bad name with the press… so you're basically a fairly well paid scapegoat.

The game plays out with 4 major factions involved, 5 if you count North Korea who is always your enemy. You can side with the Allies (who look like the UN), the Chinese, the Russians, or the South Koreans. However, you could also choose to make enemies with either of those factions (I do not recommend pissing off the Russians seeing as how they provide you with the Merchant of Menace, which will deliver supplies, vehicles, and air strikes to you or your target.). Your main goal in this game is to get rid of General Song (I like to call him General Store), the highest of high in "The Deck of 52â€. To get to this guy you will need to gather intel by capturing/killing other cards in the deck. These guys range from cowardly business men with guns to tank commanders in fortified positions. To get to these people you can accept "contracts†from any of the factions, who will give you intel reports on their whereabouts if you complete the task. You could also just drive around until you find them, but that isn't always fun since it can be difficult to be successful at it.

Besides going after The Deck, there are also a few side missions to do that will earn you a small amount of money. Some of the easiest ones to find are the time limited ones, where you usually end up having to race the clock somewhere. Besides those, you can collect National Treasures for the museum which have been scattered around everywhere or you can look for blueprints for terrorist activities. The South Koreans like it when you take out statues belonging to the North Koreans, so you'll get some money and a faction bonus. The Chinese also enjoy it when you take out the South Korean listening posts, which will also give you money and a faction bonus. However, if you don't want to stick to the given tasks you could also deviate for a bit and blow the living crap out of every single building you encounter on the fairly large, free-roaming enabled map. Oh yeah, and did I mention that you can take any vehicle you see to help you deviate from your mission? I guess you could use it to help you complete your missions too, which is probably for the best.

Along with the rest of Mercenaries charm, it has a very arcadey feel to it, especially since your threshold for bullet, missile, and tank shell wounds is quite impressive. Also, it's very unlikely that a single mercenary would be able to destroy an entire tank battalion, gun down the numerous pesky infantry, take out the circling helicopters above, and still manage to escape with only a few scars in real life. Thankfully it only adds to the gameplay, because without that threshold this game would probably be incredibly difficult, frustrating, and boring.

Anyways, Mercenaries should make a welcome addition to any war gamers collection. It's easy to learn controls, tactics, and entertaining gameplay allow for almost anyone to pick this game up and enjoy it. This is definitely worth a rent; in fact I kept it an additional day or two past its due date thanks to Blockbuster's "No Late Fees†ploy.

Highs: Very fun, easy to learn, good graphics.

Lows: Can become a bit repetitive at times (but what game can't?), there isn't much of a story line while you're playing the game (you are basically creating the story as you capture/kill members of the Deck of 52).

Overall: A very good rent, worth purchasing if you got the $$$ and need another game for your collection
Thats what I gave this game.
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