Mercenaries 2: World in Flames - hands-on

It was also cool to snag a quick glimpse at the Chinese faction HQ, a densely guarded megalith that we certainly didn’t fancy taking on by our lonesome. Moving swiftly onwards, and commandeering a transport chopper, we soon noticed that Pandemic’s tweaking didn’t just extend to the eye candy. Instead, fancy real-world factors like yaw loss will mean you’ll need a pretty steady hand to get the best out of your chopper - especially when a spot of winch-based, oil extracting action is involved.

See, given Matthias and co’s lust for cold-hard cash, plus the sheer amount of driving, shooting, sailing and air strike-calling the team undertakes, fuel is a vital resource in Mercs 2. So, in the next mission, while not above calling in a napalm air strike to obliterate any resistance, we saw that it was also vital the storage tanks didn’t become part of that collateral damage. After all, what use is fuel when it’s completely on fire? Beware though: most factions won’t simply sit back and take what’s coming to them, so it’s advisable to set some nifty traps to slow their progress. In this case, a spot of C4 handily placed on a narrow strip of road created the mother of blammo situations, as the understandably enraged South-East Asian rear-guard tried to pin our (anti-)heroes down. And failed. We love it when a plan comes together.

Time with Mercs 2 certainly proves one thing: Pandemic aren’t ones to wimp out when it comes to ripping stuff up and tearing stuff down. Skyscrapers, freeway intersections- everything’s good to go in this napalm-fuelled playground of destruction. The addition of snazzy effects like depth of field and motion blur serve to highlight one of the prettiest action titles to date too... and we can’t wait to start smashing it all to hell. We’ve cursed Pandemic for the seemingly infinite succession of irksome delays, but boy have the devs used that extra time effectively. Mercs 2 has been so jazzed up it’s like a new game, those world class explosions blammed up by a factor of five.

Apr 7, 2008