What would happen if GTA took place in a war torn country, Mercenaries
Review By: Jesse Darkin
Date of Review: Monday, August 8th, 2005
There are many games on the market that try to emulate the freedom offered by the popular Grand Theft Auto series. Many succeed, but still there are a fair number of titles that have simply failed. After playing Mercenaries Playground of Destruction I have come to the conclusion that GTA has now got some stiff competition
Mercenaries story is pretty basic, but will keep you going for some time. Basically you start off by choosing one of the three Mercenaries made available to you. You have got Chris Jacobs an American mercenary, Jennifer Mui a British Mercenary and last but not least Mattias Nilsson the Swedish Mercenary. Once you have chosen your mercenary your ready to go. You're tossed into North Korea, which has turned into a total war zone. You have been hired to take out General Song the evil leader of North Korea and the Ace Of Spades the leader of the dangerous group known as the Deck Of 52. You take missions from the four main factions, The Allies, South Korea, China and the Russian Mafia. As you go through the missions you gain Intel on the members of the Deck Of 52. The game is pretty much separated into four separate parts. During every part you are going after a certain suit of the deck of 52. You capture or kill lower members of that suit and eventually they lead you to the ace of the suit and this same pattern follows until you reach General Song the Ace Of Spades. What's in it for you? Well for the capture of General Song you will receive a whopping one hundred million dollars, that's worth fighting for eh? Now let's move onto the more specific features of the game.
The four main factions I mentioned earlier add some real spice to the game. You take missions from the separate factions, destroy this, capture that, escort this and of course the classic destroy some more. Now the interesting part is each faction has a mood meter, some missions will make your former allies your dreaded foes. You can always have the opportunity to do some extra destruction to raise a faction's mood towards you, or you can simply pass them a little green to set things straight.
Now many games allow you to cause total chaos, but never have I ever seen a game match the sheer destructive capabilities of Mercenaries. As you go through missions you will receive a vast variety of different supply drops, vehicle drops and my personal favourite the deadly assortment of air strikes. You earn money for missions, side missions and destroying certain structures and or vehicles. With the money you have available you are able to order virtually any in game item via Merchants of Menace, this website will deliver you anything no matter where you are with the help of your handy dandy PDA. The weapon selection ranges from simple assault rifles to chain gun helicopters to the annihilating abilities of an artillery barrage. Let me just say, if you don't like it you can simply obliterate it.
Now this is an amazing game, but I do wish there was a touch more character development. In general the course of the story doesn't change due to your character selection. The only differences between the characters are their looks, voices and some of the dialogue. If the characters were not going to really offer any different storylines then maybe the game could have let you customized your own character. There needs to be a more of a difference between character A and B besides one can run faster and one and take more hits.
From the falling of a tower to the shot of rifle and even to the hollering of your allies, the sound effects are superb. They are all sharp and clean, they really give you the feeling like you are in a war zone. I found the music was beautifully composed, but I would have preferred some more rock tracks for when the gun fire got really hot. Except for that complaint the music is simply remarkable when you simply wish to wander the country side.
They sound good and of course they look good, the graphics of this game are pretty good considering the vast world they are placed in. The people look good and the explosions look even better. When buildings collapses you can see it crack and shatter until it hits the grounds, where at this point it will be a misty pile of debris. Little extra graphical tidbits of destruction aren't always needed, but they add a whole lot more enjoyment to the game. The frame fate is quite impressive, even if you got a lot of action on screen you really never experience to much trouble with the game play.
My only problem with the game besides the characters is the variety of side missions. You get the odd well thought one, but most of the time racing car from point a to b can get sort of dull and repetitive. Still the freedom you are given outside of missions more then makes up for this lack of side missions.
I am quite impressed with the effort given by the creators of the game. They managed to put together a remarkable title. With a few little tweaks and additions to a possible sequel, Mercenaries maybe able to rival or dare I say surpass Grand Theft Auto. Hey maybe I'm dreaming, but if I haven't already convinced you go take it for a spin. This is one explosive adventure you really don't want to miss.
Con: Weak Story & Very Little Character Development
Pro: Great Arsenal Of Destruction
Pro : The Merchant Of Menace
Con : Lack Of Side Missions
Pro : Blow Anything Up
Pro: $100,000,000 After You Beat The Game!