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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly a Playground of Destruction!
As the title suggests, in this game you play as a ruthless mercenary, deployed into gloomy war-torn North Korea which has been subject to a bloody coup at the hands of the President's son, General Song. At the start of the game, you can choose to play as either an American, a British or a Swedish mercenary- each with their own bonus on the battlefield. The American for...
Published on 19 Nov 2006 by GHV

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Explosive and fun, but shallow
The sub-heading for Mercenaries is 'Playground of Destruction'. It sums up the game nicely; if you crave wanton destruction then you will probably be in your element playing Mercenaries. On the other hand, those of you hoping for a good war-based alternative to Grand Theft Auto (like much of the gaming press lead us to believe) will likely feel a twinge of...
Published on 13 May 2008 by Trigger


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly a Playground of Destruction!, 19 Nov 2006
By 
GHV (Southampton, UK) - See all my reviews
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Mercenaries Playground of Destruction (PS2) (Video Game)
As the title suggests, in this game you play as a ruthless mercenary, deployed into gloomy war-torn North Korea which has been subject to a bloody coup at the hands of the President's son, General Song. At the start of the game, you can choose to play as either an American, a British or a Swedish mercenary- each with their own bonus on the battlefield. The American for example, can withstand more bullets, but is not as fast as the Swedish mercenary and not as stealthy as the ex-MI6 Brit.

Within the expansive, free-roaming setting, there are four main factions: the Allied Nations (AN), the Chinese, the South Koreans and the thuggish Russian Mafia, all enemies to the insurgent North Korean forces. Each of these factions asks you to carry out their dirty work, but with their interests overlapping in this unstable country, it is difficult to keep everyone happy. Missions vary from assassinating Mafia officers for the Chinese, to destroying North Korean artillery barraging the AN.

As if that's not enough for any mercenary, your main objective within the game is to bring in the infamous 'Deck of 52'- dead or alive. These are the 52 key North Korean leaders, with General Song himself as the Ace of Spades. The members of the 'Deck of 52' are located throughout the two provinces of the game. When you find them, you'll get paid considerably for subduing them, calling for a helicopter extraction and loading the unconscious bounty aboard. The deck is separated into the state-sponsored crime lords(the Clubs), high ranking officers in the NK military (the Diamonds), Song's weapon scientists (the Hearts), and lastly the lethal Spades, the North Korean Special Forces and General Song himself.

Concerning vehicles, there are many different types available in the game. From swift AN helicopter gunships to powerful Chinese tanks, Mafia armoured SUVs to even a fast sports car, there are enough vehicles for any tactic a mercenary wishes to employ.

In addition, providing no-one sees you enter a vehicle, you can disguise yourself as any faction. For instance, if you get behind the wheel of a North Korean truck, you can drive straight past the enemy with them thinking you are on their side. This can be good or bad, as when disguised as the NK, the Chinese, Mafia, South Koreans and the AN all shoot at you thinking you are the enemy. If a faction's officer sees you or if you sound the vehicles horn, you lose your disguise. Sounding the horn can also be a signal to any allies around you to either mount the turret (which most military vehicles have) or jump in the back. With some means of transportation you can only get two or three allies aboard (like with the NK Sungri Scout). However, there are certain vehicles- particularly transports- that many troops can hop in. If you hijack a civilian metro bus, which can be seen driving around cities, you can honk the horn and get several Mafia thugs aboard, ready to storm an enemy encampment in the North Korean countryside.

As it's not such a good idea to roam a war zone empty handed, this game offers several types of weapon. There are the machine guns (some come silenced), the RPGs for taking out most vehicles effectively, shotguns- a favourite of the Russian Mafia- and sniper rifles for a kill at range. Of course there are grenades too, but much more of an effective explosive is by far a C4 charge- probably where the 'Playground of Destruction' really starts. Any building in the game can be reduced to rumble with one or two C4 charges placed and detonated at a safe distance. However this is just the straight forward way to use it. Noticed that an enemy vehicle often drives a certain route? Place a charge on the road, lay in wait and when it drives straight over it, you hit detonate to make any form of transportation a flaming wreckage of its former self.

But with all the cash you're making doing missions, collecting bounties and selling unwanted vehicles, how can you spend it? Well within the game there is an online shop found on your PDA called the 'Merchant of Menace'. This is run by the Russian Mafia and is like a black market for any weapons, vehicles or supplies you need delivered to you via helicopter- for a price of course. You can even purchase a variety of devastating air strikes of which some examples are bunker busters, artillery strikes and stealth bomber attacks. These are expensive but effective, taking out men, vehicles and even buildings in the impact area, depending of course on how devastating of an air strike you have purchased.

Overall, I bought this game with not too many expectations, but was pleasantly surprised. With the wide range of vehicles and weapons, all the varied missions and challenges for the clashing factions, and a believable storyline makes Mercenaries in my opinion a unique and entertaining game.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GTA gets a Military Application!, 23 Sep 2006
By 
W. Nash "Orec12" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Mercenaries Playground of Destruction (PS2) (Video Game)
I bought Mercenaries a few years ago off of Amazon having no real idea as to what the game itself was like, however I was pleasently surprised. This game is one of the most rewarding and highly enjoyable games in my collection. You find yourself as a Merc thrust into a very high risk venture localised within North Korea. Some power hungry despot has overthrown the current president there and taken control of the countries military and nuclear bases with full intent on using them. Once in the warzone you can start to take individual missions from 4 different factions, The Allies, South Korean's, China and the Russian Mafia, all the while targetting rebel North Korean forces. You are paid handsomely for your services of course. All the money you collect can be used to buy vehicles, support and weapons off the black market to help you as you progress. The one bit that keeps it exciting is that sometimes one faction requires you to destroy something that belongs to another. The Chinese really hate the South Korean's in this game. This will cause the affected factions to lose favour with you forcing you to have to bribe your way back into their good graces if you need extra missions.

The environment is quite large, some say it's not big enough but if it were too much larger then it could take ages to get around. The main missions you will have to perform is to arrest or kill, arresting gets more money, specific North Korean personel, there is a wanted list written up by the Allies called the Deck of 52 that lists all of the most key personel within this rebel government. You start off by tracing the business personel, then the military, then the scientists and eventually the specialist command staff and the president. The game is quite lengthy and you really get a sense of accomplishment as you progress.

Much like the case tells you, nearly every vehicle in the game can be used, if you can reach it it's your for the taking and new specialist vehicles can be unlocked along the way. Weapons vary from the cheap and nasty to the new and expensive depending on your credit limit. it should be mentioned however that the Russian Mafia are responsible for the black market, if you hack them off too much you will lose access to the shop and all of it's supplies.

The only real down side of this game is that the environment feels very bland and lacks colour. Also when you try to arrest a card they can be inadvertantly killed by their own forces or even by themselves by mistake and when your trying for a complete suit it can get very frustrating as if you do not save after every arrest, you will have to start the game from scratch to try again. This said however, the game Mercenaries is one of my most favourite games on the PS2 and if you like GTA but with a little more bang in the guns department then this one is for you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A playground of destruction, 11 Oct 2005
By 
C. O'Connor "chrisuk5" (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mercenaries Playground of Destruction (PS2) (Video Game)
I waited for this to go down in price before buying it because i was apprehensive for some unknown reason. Now i have played it, i cant understand why i didn't get this game at its launch-its really that good!
The game follows you (a choice of 3 characters, all with different skills) going primarily after the "deck of 52," wanted criminals which the various nations will pay large ammounts of money for. However, through this you will team up with different nations, (mafia, Korea, Allied, and China) and become frienly with them in order to recieve the intelligence you need to capture these criminals.
Graphically, the game is crisp and sharp. It has a huge map with numerous cities, and war torn stretches to fight your way through. The helicopters, and road vehicles are all excellently crafted so that you feel like you are a part of the game, being able to interact with pretty much anything, but the emphasis is on the game play.
So how does it play? You are able to drive around in a number of vehicles, varying helicopters and land vehicles such as tanks, civilian cars, army standard vehicles etc over a huge map which you can fully interact with. There are numerous cities, clearings, rivers, mountains etc to explore, and although there is only the one area to visit, it is so big you will not want to go anywhere else! There are numerous weapons such as rocket launchers, guns, and even stationary weapons that you can use, and depending on the mission (or depending on when you unlock it) there are special drops you can call on, vehicles to buy, and even air strikes, and C4 which you can use in your playground of destruction.
As stated, you primarily go after the deck of 52, but the nations will hire you if you go to them, to do certain tasks. I.e, Blowing places up, taking out certain people, defending buildings, and flying or driving to deliver certain packages. There are also bonus missions where you need to race to a certain point in either a helicopter or land vehicle PLUS bonus items to unlock, and information that you can find and artifacts to return. Bluntly, this game is just HUGE, even though at first glance it doesn't appear to be.
So the downside? There really isn't one, unless this type of all out action game isn't to your taste. The map is huge, there are loads of things to do, and places to go. This should be an essential buy for any PS2 fan.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than GTA, 19 Mar 2006
This review is from: Mercenaries Playground of Destruction (PS2) (Video Game)
This is easily one of the best games that i have ever played. The graphics are spectacular, especially the explosions which can give an amazing amount of pleasure both from making them happen and witnessing them happen. The gameplay is smooth and quick and the shooting is superb, far better than GTA's spazzy lock-on system the game guides your hand with a smooth auto-lock feature which is perfectly discrete yet extremely useful. You are thrown into the DMZ with the capability to carry only 2 weapons which far from making you feel out-gunned, forces you to be tactical and to make your choice of weapons carefully, although don't worry about quickly switching to a new set as the superb support feature is always on hand. You'll find yourself wishing the same technology was available in other games. The choice of vehicles is superb with everything from huge T-54 tanks and helicopter gunships to a sports car and a Hummer, available at the touch of a couple of buttons. Of course this convenience costs and that is why the ability to hijack anything is so great. The way you can go about hijacking is also excellent and adds to the sense that although you are just one man you never feel out-gunned. The perfect example of this was when going to capture the three of clubs I was confronted by 2 angry tanks. However running over to one a quick tap of the triangle button saw my merc swinging up onto the turret throwing a grenade through the hatch and then taking control of the tank, destroying the second in short order. The AI is excellent and really makes you feel like you're in a tough fight without being unfair. One of the best things about this game is how long it will last you. Whereas some games like Black can be completed in a few days hard playing Mercs will keep you entertained for weeks, even months as there is so much fun to be had.
There are of course some criticisms to make, the handling of the wheeled vehicles is not involving and feels at odds with the smooth feel of the gunplay, and the sound of the wheeled vehicles doesn't do the visual treat justice. In addition your support officer is has a strange Australian voice which will quickly annoy.
However these grievances are barely noticeable and do not hurt the quality of the game at all.
So to sum up: Gameplay - 10
Graphics - 10
Sound - 9
Value/Endurance - 10
Buy this game, its easily one of the best out there.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Playground Of Addictiveness, 27 Mar 2005
This review is from: Mercenaries Playground of Destruction (PS2) (Video Game)
Firstly i don't know where the GTA comparisons come in, they are not relevant to this game at all. All of a sudden games which have freedom seem to be instantly compared to Gta games, sorry but not everything has to be compared to it. Mercenaries is a completely original idea with amazing graphics and involving gameplay, it is very addictive and there is such a wide range in what you choose to do and when it's really cool! Since when was there a full on war in a gta game? When could you blow up everything you can see (including buildings)? And when could you disguise yourself as different enemies?
The fact is that Mercenaries is its own game and has its own fans, it has its own rules mainly do what you like whenever you like! Even the character you play as is up to you! This game sure does start the new year with a huge bang and its awesome to see that this is continued with such amazing games as Devil May Cry 3 and Metal Gear Solid 3:Snake Eater.
You have a whole world to explore right beneath your feet and it is stunning. The world is your playground and its time to tear it up in whatever style you choose to do it in. Anybody wondering if they should give it a try or not should definitely at least rent it if not buy it i give it 10/10 i think its really incredible how they fit all this into one game. If you are not a fan of the war genre then this could well be the one to get you started because it will introduce you into a world against itself, obviously if you are really stubborn against war games then this is not for you and dont just buy it because you think its like Gta, it is nothing like it! But it is incredible.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Explosive and fun, but shallow, 13 May 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Mercenaries Playground of Destruction (PS2) (Video Game)
The sub-heading for Mercenaries is 'Playground of Destruction'. It sums up the game nicely; if you crave wanton destruction then you will probably be in your element playing Mercenaries. On the other hand, those of you hoping for a good war-based alternative to Grand Theft Auto (like much of the gaming press lead us to believe) will likely feel a twinge of disappointment.

In Mercenaries you play (surprisingly) a mercenary in North Korea, who is trying to make a cool $100 million by bringing down an evil Saddam-alike dictator named General Song. That's about all the plot you get, other than occasional news updates on the goings-on in the nation. You're then free to explore the country as you please, and accept a contract with one of four factions. Your standing with each faction affects how they treat you (i.e., whether they welcome you or use you for target practice). Often doing tasks for one faction will irritate another, so it is a good idea to try and keep everyone happy - although, if you are in one faction's bad books you can always go to their HQ and bribe the guard, which usually makes them happy with you again.

The contracts range from escorting a reporter through hostile territory, unmasking traitors, stealing vehicles through to attacking heavily defended enemy compounds. Herein though lies the main problem, as far as I was concerned - the missions are all too similar. I'd say about 80% of the missions concern destroying or capturing a particular vehicle, person or building; within just a few hours I began to lose interest because there is a chronic lack of variety. There are also a number of challenges dotted around (represented on the map by a '$' sign), and these are along the lines of a point-to-point time trial, or knocking a barrel as far as possible in a time limit, to destroying a set number of enemy vehicles in a time limit. Although these do bring in a little variety and choice, they are not really that involving and I found myself passing most by. There are also a huge number of items to find, such as hoarded treasure and North Korean listening posts, which when captured/destroyed will please the faction leaders.

The main course of the game is the 'Deck of 52', which are the country's 52 most dangerous people (culminating with that aforementioned dictator, General Song). You gradually gain Intel on each target by completing contracts for the factions, and capturing or killing these people moves the game along. Half way through the game you move on to a new map area. Together, they both represent a huge area to explore (especially if you want to find all the treasures), but at the same time they suffer from not offering much variety in the landscape. You can steal or pilot almost any vehicle in the game (with the exception of boats or planes), and this adds a lot of fun. There is a lot of variety, from sports cars, to huge missile trucks, to large & heavily armed helicopters. Almost all are very well implemented and fun to drive (although the jeeps feel a little floaty), and it provides some unmatched thrills when you drive into an enemy compound in a tank and proceed to destroy every person, vehicle and building, and drive away from a smouldering wreck.

Mercenaries is a fun, very accomplished game. It could have been great, but a few minor faults (mainly the overall lack of variety) mean it's just good. If you want a fairly shallow game that provides a lot of explosions and thrills then this is a safe bet, but if you're after something a little more diverse and involving for your PS2 perhaps you should stick with your copy of San Andreas or Bully.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boom Bang Amazing, 25 Feb 2005
By 
Caroline (Castle Cary, Somerset United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mercenaries Playground of Destruction (PS2) (Video Game)
I bought this game the day it came out because of all the great reveiws it was getting. I wasn't dissapointed! The fact u can just fly or drive around looking for listening posts and statues or nick anything exept planes or boats means this game will last for ages and even if you get bored of the missions there's loads to do. I never get bored of picking up a north Korean jeep with a winch and dropping it from 300 metres. You must have this game, trust me! Any way, I'm off to level a city in a tank before using a cruise missile to kill every one!!!!
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, but not what I thought!, 4 Mar 2005
This review is from: Mercenaries Playground of Destruction (PS2) (Video Game)
Mercenaries is a brilliant game. You've probably read that before somewhere, well its true.
But I did have one majour problem with this game. Alot of people have said that it is like GTA in a warzone. Which idiot said that? It's nothing like GTA, you would be a fool to even compare it. So, why is it compared to GTA? Beacause you can take/nick any car? Because there is free roam bits when you are not on a contract (more later)? Because you have a little bit of freedom in how you complete the missions? Or because you can choose what order you do the missions in? And those are about the only similarities. Don't be fooled, there's not nearly as much stuff to do. Is there a gym? Can you eat? Can you take a quadbike through the woods searching for bigfoot? Can you jump of a huge bridge into the sea? NO NO NO NO
But this in no way means mercenaries is a bad game. Infact mercenaries is a brilliant game. You play as 1 of 3 mercenaries (you pick) and are sent to Korea. Basically you have been given a deck of 52 of the worlds most wanted (like in Iraq.) You have to capture (big bucks) or kill (smaller bucks) each one. But to do this you must gather intel. You do this by doing jobs for 4 different groups (russian mafia, chinese, N and S Koreans) and once you have completed your contract (mission) you recieve money and intel.
There is also a website which helps you. You can order vehicles, supplies and airstrikes to help you complete you missions. Watching an airstrike bring down an airport never gets boring.
Visually Mercenaries is amazing. The explosions are like no other, and the whole surrounding is really detailed and well done.
So why was it dissapointing? The Hype. People where saying it'll be better that GTA, and Its GTA in a warzone, which are not right. When you here phrases like this you get excited. GTA in a warzone? Yes please! But its not. It's a completely different game, and a very good one at that.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Geez a job, 5 Jun 2009
By 
Duncan McDonald "Dunk" (Dundee) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Mercenaries Playground of Destruction (PS2) (Video Game)
This game shares some similarities to GTA. That is you get to spend most of your time doing nothing productive. It is not as good as GTA but it can hold its own for a bit.

You play a mercenary who obtains contracts. Fulfil these and you get some cash. The purpose of the game is to build up your retirement fund. You also get to do side missions with the chance to catch the 'pack of 52'. Baddies with a bounty on their head. Pick 'em up for more cash.

Despite the fiddly and very sluggish controls, the game makes a reasonable start. Make a contact, complete the objective, get paid. But after a while you need to spend time making contacts and revisiting old ones. The time it takes to drive back and forward starts to take its toll and you spend less time taking any action.

Add to this the fact that you can only save at the end of a successful mission and that health packs are pretty damn scarce and the old "oh no, i've got to do it all over again" will be mumbled through gritted teeth.

Not a bad game, just repetitive and frustrating at times.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A little Reptitive., 1 Dec 2008
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Mercenaries Playground of Destruction (PS2) (Video Game)
Since i got this about a month ago, I've already done it. Good intorduction. You get into the game very quickly. After I'd done at least Ace Contract, I felt it get a little repetitive. Even though the sandox environment is cool. It gets boring. The 2nd one i think isn't much better. Overall they're okay but they might need to work on giving people fresh stuff to do. Apart from that I like the way it flows - 2 provinces, plenty of weapons, dozens of airstrikes plenty of other things and lots of MONEY. It also has a very destructive environment. Rated in the Guiness World Records at most. Even though the games are 100% good im going for the seocnd to continue the mercenaries story
Hope you like them!
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Mercenaries Playground of Destruction (PS2)
Mercenaries Playground of Destruction (PS2) by Activision (PlayStation2)
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