EA Showcase 08: Hands-on with Mercenaries 2: World in Flames

There I am, pointing my laser pointing device to signal where the Nuke should be dropped. I’m pretty close to my intended target to the point that I start to worry about getting hurt from the Nuke’s blast. But then I remember that the developer was kind enough to turn on God mode. I can’t die and I have access to every single weapon and vehicle. More previews should be done this way. 

A few seconds later, the Nuke drops, a blinding light consumes the screen and a giant mushroom cloud fills the Venezuela skies. The only way this could have been better was if I was riding the Nuke, Dr. Strangelove style.

There’s plenty more to Mercenaries 2: World in Flames than just Nukes though, so hit the jump to find out all about it including the awesome co-op mode.

Here’s the story to Mercenaries 2, in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last year. You play as one of three Mercenaries doing whatever it takes to earn some cash. While in Venezuela, you accept a job from Ramon Solano who promptly betrays you and tries to have you killed after completing Ramon’s task. Soon after, Ramon ends up becoming the Dictator of Venezuela and has the Venezuela army in his back pocket to boot.

You’re doing whatever it takes to get to Ramon and get some pay back. Ramon broke the first rule of the Mercenarie code: Everybody pays. Yup, the main goal of the game is that you’re just out to get revenge and kill whoever and destroy whatever gets in your way as you go through Venezuela. Groovy.

Since Venezuela has become a little crazy thanks to Ramon’s takeover, various other countries have come to Venezuela and are trying to get a piece of the pie, or rather, a piece of the Venezuela’s oil. You could care less what the other countries goals are and will take any odd job they throw at you. Doing jobs for these different factions will help you get closer to Ramon. Plus, these Factions will give you access to their arsenal of weaponry. You’ll also be able to find munitions throughout the country, to which you can call in a helicopter to haul back to your munitions storage. 

Since God mode was on, I could choose from any of the 188 vehicles and the 25 guns in the game. Vehicles will include tanks, helicopters, motorcycles, jeeps and you’ll also be able to call in jet fighters for air strikes. Be careful where you’re standing when your support vehicles are dropped, as they can kill you if they land on you.

Pressing the Back button on the 360 will pull up your PDA showing you all the available items you have at your disposal. You can call in all of these items to be dropped off at your current location from the menu or you can map three of your most used weapons and vehicles to the D-pad. If you’re in the middle a fierce fire fight, you’ll just simple press one of the D-pad buttons to get what you need instead of wasting time in your PDA.

Of course, everything costs money so you’ll have to complete jobs and kill or capture people to earn the cash. At the same time, if you kill innocent people, you will lose money.

Two of the biggest updates to the Mercenaries franchise include the water and co-op. Now, there was water in the first game, but you would instantly die if you fell into water. Now, you can swim in water on top of being able to jack boats. 

Then we have the new drop in and out co-op. I got to play the co-op with one of the main developers on Mercs 2 and he showed me just how simple the whole process was. While he called in two helicopters, I was busy taking out everyone that came too close to our position. As soon as both helicopters arrived, we jumped in and flew to the nearest city, movie style, and started blowing up skyscrapers and buildings.

Dropping in and out is a very smooth process and it’s a hell of a lot more fun destroying a country with friends. You can’t get too far from your co-op buddy though, as there is a tether line. The screen will start turning black and white to let you know you’re getting to far. 

Overall, Mercenaries 2: World in Flames is a fun game. I am a little worried about the story for the game. The one thing that makes me play open world sandbox games is because of the storyline. I didn’t get to see any missions or the story in my play through, so I can’t really judge this until the game comes out.

And speaking of which, the game is finished and will be coming out at the end of this month for Xbox 360, PS3, PS2 and PC. 

Hamza Aziz