Mercenaries 2: World in Flames Updated Look

A mercenary's mission: Get the job done at all costs. We get another look at Pandemic's explosive action game.

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"What, not how" is a refrain you hear over and over again when talking with the developers from Pandemic Studios. The Los Angeles-based studio is knee-deep in producing Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, an open world action game with a lofty goal: Give the players mercenary missions to accomplish, let them loose in a huge, open fictional Venezuela, and have them get the job done. Hence the three-word phrase that stands as the semiofficial motto of the gameplay design for Mercs 2: What, not how. In other words, tell players what they need to do, and let them figure out just how to go about it. Based on what we've seen of Pandemic's Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, the mantra seems to be paying off in spades.

Some mercenaries enjoy the trappings that come with big paydays...

Mercs 2 is the follow-up to 2005's original, Mercenaries, a game that found a lot of its success through the sheer staggering amount of firepower you could wield in the game. If something wasn't blowing up every few minutes, then you probably weren't doing something right. That same kind of explode-first, ask-questions-later approach is still well intact for Mercs 2, but this time around, the game's larger scope means that the types of missions you engage in will be just as varied as the approaches you have for completing them.

The three main characters from the original game are returning for Mercs 2: Jennifer Mui, the money-loving femme fatale; Chris Jacobs, the hard-bitten ex-military with a sense of duty that nearly equals his dislike of his fellow human beings; and Mattias Nilsson, the tatted-up Swede who looks like something out of a Scandinavian biker flick. Each merc has his or her own dialogue to coordinate with his or her unique personality. As the developers told us, each is meant to represent a particular aspect of the real-life job of the mercenary: the go-for-broke mentality combined with a sense of personal honor and a love for the high-pay paydays that come with the territory.

In fact, that payday is a major impetus in the storyline of Mercs 2. Hired to do a job for an up-and-coming entrepreneur named Solano in the South American country of Venezuela, your chosen merc finds said client violating the number one rule in the mercenary business: The customer always pays. When Solano refuses, it's up to you and your chosen mercenary to extract your payment--be it in money or blood. The game sets you out in the jungles of oil-rich Venezuela as you hook up with the various factions that form the dense political landscape of the country. Because this is a Mercenaries game, however, it isn't long before your explosive antics attract the attention of some much larger players, which threatens to turn a simple revenge mission into a global conflict.

Completing missions in Mercenaries 2 will not just earn you money you can use to fund your next job, it will also earn you the respect (or enmity) of the various factions in the game. Those factions include the aforementioned guerilla army; Universal Petroleum, an oil company intent on protecting its interests within the country; Caribbean pirates that run a black market of high-tech gadgets and weapons you'll find invaluable for your missions; as well as the Chinese and Allied (read: American) armed forces. The latter two factions appear later in the game, attracted by the sheer amount of mayhem you're creating in Venezuela.

How you play the factions and their varying missions will be up to you, though it should be noted that it's entirely possible--in doing your best to look good for one faction--that you'll wind up antagonizing another. If you go too far in making one faction look bad, you might even become a target with a price on your head. Once the Chinese and Allied forces become involved later in the game, you'll need to ally yourself with a side. Until that point, it's up to you to play the hand you're dealt and deal with the consequences.

... and some just like to blow stuff up. How you play Mercs 2 is up to you.

With a tongue-in-cheek approach to its politically charged setting, Mercenaries 2 has more than a great look to go along with its open-ended gameplay. The promised drop-in online cooperative mode for two players should also put an entirely new spin on the tactics used during missions. We look forward to seeing what Pandemic has in store for us at the Electronic Entertainment Expo this year with Mercs 2. It's due in stores this holiday, and we'll be bringing you more on the game in the coming months.

Discussion

211 comments
Franesco2
Franesco2

almost here only 3 more days ahhhhhhhhhhh im going crazy

saigondude63
saigondude63

AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RhinoRyan71
RhinoRyan71

The first mercanaries game was awesome! Can't wait!

JaMeS4418
JaMeS4418

the first was great, and this game will be just as good

gamer_girl15
gamer_girl15

The first Mercs was awesome I must say. The "What, not how" Motto is perfect for it. It was fun blasting around North Korea, I can't wait to see what Venezuela will be like :)

DouglasBuffone
DouglasBuffone

I absolutely adored the first Mercs and I am definitely going to watch this game closely

comthitnuong
comthitnuong

So far this is sounding like a game that I would rent, not buy. I am not too fond of these crazy action games.

--Sinister--
--Sinister--

gaminggangsta, this is coming out Q4 not in 2008. this game will hold me over until TUROK comes out. hell they both look awsome. and both are in jungles...

rokkuman09
rokkuman09

This game will be awesome wish it was coming out sooner.

gamingangsta
gamingangsta

yay good thing its comin out on 2008. i just dont hav enough muny 2 buy al the good games coming out this winter

Beaglesniffer
Beaglesniffer

b amazing but october 2008 longg wait :( but gd game :)

dem5000
dem5000

I'm pumped for this game. Mercenaries 1 was loads of fun.

punkpunker
punkpunker

I have a bad felling about this *BOOM!!!!*. Priceless when i spam the c4 under the car and detonate it in Merc 1. I like the graphical upgrades and super cool effects

ChrisEyebrows
ChrisEyebrows

This looks cool. I played the original and thought it was fun. I wonder what the multi will be like? If it is half as good as Saints Row it will rock.

mark755
mark755

I can't wait until it comes out. I just hope it is as fun as the last one.

mark755
mark755

I can't wait until it comes out. I just hope it is as fun as the last one.

ps3ruler
ps3ruler

Wow. Awesome graphics, enormous replayability. I love mercenaries. It might be the only game this year that can match GTA IV. :]

seangames
seangames

Will there be an original score, like in the first game? I loved the combination of classical music, and blowing up helicopters with RPGs.

Np_Pro
Np_Pro

At least I have a PS2 ...

TrevasGallant
TrevasGallant

I would love some offline co-op love so I can play with my friend. Online co-op should be cool, though.

Unkillable
Unkillable

Now this is news! Two more players equals twice the fun and mayhem, and I'm starting to like it already....

red-orc
red-orc

Not bad. Could be interesting if there's a proper multiplayer-mode ...

nomar96
nomar96

ive play merceneris befor but this is freaking awseme i cant waittttttttttttttttttt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

timbjr
timbjr

I cant waiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit

thanatose
thanatose

I loved the first game, now I can't wait to get my hands on this one.

brokengammer
brokengammer

SWEET BUTTERY DOGS! mercs 2 look kick ass i cant wait to play it , the fist instalment was awsome but it needed some multiplayer, other than that its a great game

sain_skywalker
sain_skywalker

I can still play the first, and have more fun than Crackdown, or Saint Row, and the first is visually impressive still to this day, and they seem to keep the trend. Can't wait

Uber_Antwerp
Uber_Antwerp

Wow, this is going to be amazing. This might be the only game I buy for a while once it comes out.

rendallchoc
rendallchoc

GTA IV this october and Merc 2 next october (Hopfully) o and Halo 3 later this year... Hmm could keep me quiet till oct 08

gamerush
gamerush

Co-op will ROCK!!!! I CAN'T WATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lights-Shadow
Lights-Shadow

I second blowing up hugo chavez's mansion, lithus.

lithus
lithus

I can't wait to get into the game and blow up Hugo Chavez's mansion.

TEX-MEX
TEX-MEX

the games looks awesome, but me. I pay close attention to everything in games. Even the trailers give stuff away. At 1:06 in the trailer a missile hits a building dead center, but the bottom explodes. The area hit and adjacent should be blown away not the bottom. Also in other places the effects look shoddy and a bit too unrealistic. It's still in development and hopefully they work hard on it to fix those. The gfx look good, but need a bit more work compared to what I've seen on other games.

FiddleStick
FiddleStick

dude...i really hope that boats and the water are accessible in this game. they werent in the first one and that sucked hard. this is next gen so im really hoping they step it up big time. Mercs 1 was one of my fave games of all time!! GO PANDEMIC!!!

Csaint
Csaint

This is one of the biggest reasons for me buying a PS3, loved the first one, and i'm sure i'm gonna love this one . The graphics looks AWSOME. I hope they do more things about the multiplayer though....

Space_Cowboy_X
Space_Cowboy_X

Loved the first one. Hoping for more of the same. This should show Crackdown how it's done!

gamerkid99
gamerkid99

well...Pandemics already working on Destroy All Humans 3 and Destroy All Humans Wii...Mercs 1 was great, Mercs 2 will be better

mobius5010
mobius5010

played the first game and i got bored with it after a month. let's hope this sequel can do better and i have to admit, it looks very promising.

fmobliv06
fmobliv06

this game looks very good. hopefully i have time to pick it up between mass effect, blue dragon, mario galaxy and the dozens of other good games coming out this year.

Veno8mm
Veno8mm

Duckers923: "In the first mercs after awhile destroyed building were respawned I hope that does not happen this time" im pretty sure they respawn cuz the game would get pretty boring after youd destroyed everything...plz dont become a developer o_O

Duckers923
Duckers923

In the first mercs after awhile destroyed building were respawned I hope that does not happen this time

Matty_gamer
Matty_gamer

The first screenshot in the preview really needs some AA ( Anti Aliasing )

mrgiggles92
mrgiggles92

i have parents who know how to read, so i can't play GTA, but they might let me play this, so i hope its good. Its funny though, cuz i've still been allowed God of War, Gears of War, Halo, etc. Just not GTA.