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on 3 June 2016
Fantastic item.
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on 26 April 2005
Mercenaries lets the player roam around in two diferent maps in the Korean Peninsula, pitting several factions (South and North Korea, China, Russian Mafia and Allied Nations (read, the US)), each with its own agenda, while the player is out there making money, collecting souvenirs, and generaly creating exploding chaos.
It gets repetitive after a while, and the whole plot is linear, both are true, but the freedom of movement granted to the player allows numerous ways in which to carry out the missions, or drive around the countryside, shooting at everything that moves, using the Russian Mafia as your friendly neighbourhood service provider of mayhem in the form of artillery and aerial bombardments. One can spend hours driving, flying, or just walking around, wrecking and killing troops (though civilians killed come out of your account as collateral damage!).
One gets all sorts of nice particle effects, along with shadows and fog. Throughout the map the lighting conditions change from a bright sunny day, to rain and thunder, or even discoloured settings, reflecting on the more dangerous parts of the map.
The weapons at our disposal are pretty bog-standard, M-16, Ak47, RPG, Dragunov, sub-machineguns, and grenades are used throughout the whole game, with the ability to pickup ammo or the weapons from the downed friendlies and enemies. These weapons are complemented by the weapons carried on the various vehicles the player can use, machinegun, cannon, artillery shell in some places, and missiles.
Aside the missions from the various factions (needed in order to get all the cards, that is, all the enemy leaders), the player can also collect several treasuries that are spread through the countryside, destroy hard-to-see listening posts, and demolish monuments. Each of these actions brings a bonus for each faction and help to break the linearity of the game.
As the player advances in the missions, the maps evolve, reflecting the changing situation in the whole peninsula, factions which controlled some areas at the beginning may controle new ones at the end, buildings get demolished through combat actions won't get rebuilt, this all gives a sense that we are just a small part in the chain of events.
In conclusion, Mercenaries is a true little gem from a not so well-known developer that has always brought forth solid games (I still remember when Battlezone II came out for the PC). The maps are vast, and there's enough going on to make you come back over and over, just to try it in another way.
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on 14 July 2006

This game is one of the best I've ever played.

Choose from one of 4 characters, and earn money by accepting missions from different factions (ie: locate and destroy the missile launchers), and along the way look out for enemy agents to dispose of, (don't kill the locals!) earning extra cash to buy more weapons and help.

Not only are the graphics stunning, the detail extraordinary, the gameplay exciting, but you are not limited to what you can do or where you can go (Ie: i had to destroy a mobile radar jammer but had run out of bombs, so i hijacked it and drove it at speed into the river); blow up anything you want up, control any vehicle you come across (helicopters, tanks, missile launchers, even airport trucks), massive variations of weaponary including satellite controlled bombing, stealth, cluster bombs and so much more.

This game is immense and WELL worth the money. I'd have willingly paid full price for this and had value for money. It has a huge landscape filled with detail - get bored, then go exploring (grab a helicopter)!. At later stages you are dropped off (by copter) to other unexplored areas - the game keeps going and going. LONGEVITIY - 5 / PLAYABILITY - 5 / FUN - 5 / GRAPHICS - 5
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on 23 March 2005
Excellent, from they way you can travel all over the map, shooting, blowing up, causing general chaos to whatever and whoever you should choose was the GTA breakthrough. Being able to do all that in a war zone where the vehicles you can steal can blow up buildings, drive over cars in tanks and get paid for doing it makes this the new kid on the block with a bigger gun.
I'm new to the XBox/game station arena and i've not stopped playing this game since i bought it with my new box. The game play is good that missions are short or as long as you wish, allowing you to play for 30mins to keep your need for destruction filled or play for a couple of hours exploring the landscape (i.e. when your girlfriend goes out shopping!!). Most fun thus far has been calling in Stealth airstrikes on enemy faction missile bases. What fun.
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on 8 April 2005
I've only played this for a short while but I'm really enjoying it so far: I've already captured my first "card" with a set of really exciting set pieces showing my character handcuffing the bad guy, throwing out a smoke grenade and piling him into a helicopter.
The great thing about these scenes is that they are using the in-game graphics engine, creating a cinematic experience but completely seamless with the game play!
There are faults with this game, but the free roaming and sheer joy of ordering in an air strike makes up for it.
The one thing that no-one has mentioned either here or on the many forums/reviews I have seen elsewhere is that the default control scheme cannot be changed AT ALL.
Nope not even a choice of 2 or 3 other schemes. This is something really important to a left-hander like me. I've been having to re-think my muscle movements while playing (the auto-aim helps a bit too) but i have to say that despite this I'm enjoying it so much I WANT to learn to be a "righty"!
You might argue that different games allow different flexibility with controllers... but come on guys this is Pandemic right? -You know, the guys who did SW:Battlefront? You know, the one where you could define every single button press on the game pad?
So if you're a lefty you might want to think twice before you pick this one up. Pandemic: think about it more carefully next time.
Okay, 'nuff said. Despite this I still say buy this game: it's just fun, fun, fun!
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on 23 December 2006
I got this game for my birthday after begging and begging my parents for it. I started off playing it years ago on a demo game controlling a swedish guy with a weird hair style and i thought"wow!". It was brilliant! And when I unwrapped it on my birthday i pegged it downstairs and shoved it in the drive!

It starts off with you choosing a character out of a lady or two men, and then you start the game. Your in an aeroplane and you have to pick up your grenades, PDA and your gun(Carbine) and then you get in a jeep and fall out of the plane. You have to drive to the allied HQ and sign a contract to get a mission. You have to capture a guy and then blow up these artillery strikes with some bombs you get given. And then you get to go get contracts from other countries, like the russian maffia, china and south korea. When you do the right amount of contracts for a country, you have to try and get the king, queen or jack of the rank your on. When you get all three, you go on a really special mission to get the ace of your rank. There are four ranks in the game, clubs, diamonds hearts and spades, you progress to the next rank once you have caught the ace of your current rank. The main bad guy of the game is General Song, and he is the ace of spades. You get to go on a mission to catch him at the end of the game.

Also, the reason i wanted the game, is because there are a sea of weapons, grenades and air strikes, which once you have unlocked you can buy any of the ones of that are available. Or if you see a gun on the floor you can pick it up and drop your old weapon, you can carry two guns at a time.

But my favorite is the vehicles. Mainly, if you can see it, you can drive it, or fly it unless its a plane. You've got vehicles like jeeps, tanks,

hellicopters, even civillian volvo's! You can buy these when you unlock them, or if you see one you can get in and go! Although most hellicopters you see are in the air you can get them if they are low. All you need is a sniper, just shoot the pilot and the thing will come spiralling down to earth, but try not to let it land in water cos then if your dumb enough and you want it bad, you'll jump in the water and die fast. They don't have unlimited life so it will probably blow up any way.

Overall a brilliant game, the only way i could improve it was by giving it multiplayer, then it could just about reach the rank of the halo series.
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on 26 February 2005
Games like this are called sandbox games. It means that the game gives you a sense of freedom and a non-linear path to complete the game. Fantastic. There need to be more games like this one. Mercenaries is very reminiscent of GTA, but with the control style of halo, including the ability to 'hijack' vehicles. The best thing is, like halo 2, you can hijack moving vehicles even helicopters and it is incredibly entertaining watching a soldier having his head cracked off the controls in the cockpit then falling to his death from a great height. what makes this game so enjoyable is the fact that just about anything can be destroyed. you can literally reduce entire towns to rubble. which is great. like GTA, if you dont fancy doing a mission then you can do a one man assault on military bases and cities. you can even fly about in helicopters picking up civilian cars with a giant magnet and smashing them off buildings or dropping them from a great height onto people below. my point is that there is much that can be done in this game whether you are trying to complete it mission by mission or just dip-in and have a laugh. this game is definatly a pick-up-and-play-game and for that reason anyone can enjoy it. theres a good 20+ hours of gameplay so even the biggest nurd will have somthing to sink his teeth into. i cant recommend this game enough but if there is one fault that really stands-out its that daft soundtrack. its like theyre having a laugh. it sounds like theres a choir randomly singing nearby and it sounds totally ridiculous having holy singing going on when your shooting up a military base with a submachine gun and rocket launcher. nevermind. still a class game.
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on 4 May 2005
This is a great game. I bought it online i couldn't wait for it to get here. But it was worth the wait. As soon as you start the game you are straight into the action!
There are a large range of miltary vehicles including double-turret tanks and helecopters that shoot lock on missiles!
The scenery is great because you can damage it. In my spare time when i'm not doing missions, i just get an RPG (rocket propelled grenades) and blow up buildings!
Overall I really enjoyed this game and would recommend it to anyone.
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on 9 March 2005
As others have mentioned, this is just like GTA, but in tanks. However, I'd actually say it's better than GTA.
The fact that you can literally blow anything to pieces is a major plus, what's more, once it's been destroyed it doesn't come back. The movement of the character you play is superb - again, better than GTA. The sound effects and graphics are great and the gameplay is incredible.
Fair enough, you might find the missions repetative, but if you like shooting things and generally causing mayhem, you'll love it. There are also plenty of side missions from racing from point to point, to seeing how far you can kick a steel drum! (A strange challenge, I agree).
Mercenaries gets 5 out of 5 from me. Buy it, you won't regret it.
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on 4 April 2006
Whoah! What a game, I've completed it 4 times but I keep coming back to it!
The landscape is MASSIVE, and its completely free roaming, go where you want, blow up what you want. There is a constant fog, which is obviously covering pop up, and this can be a problem with the sniper, as you can see where your target is, (A yellow circle), but due to pop up you can't shoot them as they don't appear at this range.
The AI is fairly good, but you can sneek up behind it and it won't notice till you touch it.
The vehicles are great, you can get helicopters, tanks, jeeps, sports car and trucks. All of which are great to drive. Quite a few have extra turrets for allies and some you can control a weapon yourself, like a tank of helicopter.
The cream on the cake, The Merchant of Menace. AKA The Mafia. Wherever you are (Unless your near a radar jammer) You can order supplies, vehicles and airstrikes for a price. However you cant order tanks or heavy vehicles.
Aloong with capturing the deck of cards (generals, scientists and soldiers from North Korea), you can accept contracts from the Allies, the Chinese, the South Koreans and the Mafia in return for intelligence and cash. They are great fun, and you usually get free supplies/airstrikes/vehicles with them.
All in all a superb game.
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