Mercenaries storms factory

Pandemic Studios' third-person shooter heads off to production and is on schedule for release next week for the PS2 and Xbox.

LucasArts today announced that Mercenaries has gone gold and will reach retail stores January 11 for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. The third-person shooter is being developed by Pandemic Studios, the force behind Full Spectrum Warrior and Star Wars: Battlefront.

Mercenaries lets gamers fill the combat boots of a hired soldier as he uses any means necessary to complete mission objectives. Players will choose either a British secret agent, a Swedish bounty hunter, or an American ex-soldier. The merc is hired by a private company to track down 52 wanted fugitives on the lam in North Korea before they initiate a nuclear attack.

The freeform gameplay allows gamers to choose different missions, assigned by various factions, that let players unearth riches, explore interactive and destructible environments, and hijack a plethora of vehicles, including jeeps, helicopters, and tanks.

Mercenaries is rated "T" for Teen and carries an MSRP of $49.99. For more information on Mercenaries, check out our recent hands-on.

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