Mercenaries 2: World in Flames lights up

Mercenaries 2: World in Flames is the kind of game that would make a fantastic summer movie. Oh, the plot wouldn't amount to much - you're a soldier for hire in oil-rich, tropical Venezuela and your skills are for sale to various "clients": oil companies, guerilla groups and who knows what other special interests. But the sheer exploditude of the firestorms you can bring about and the magnitude of destruction they trigger is popcorn-gobblingly awe-inspiring.

You've got access to all sorts of toys, and a big world in which to play with them. Want heavy artillery, or a tank, or an air strike, or just plain old guns? Just break out the credit card and it'll be air-dropped in within moments. Want new wheels? You could steal any ride you see (like a rusted-out Trans Am look-alike) or order up a custom-painted dune buggy, delivered right to your location.

Once you're strapped and rolling, the world is yours to dismantle. As we watched, our demoer, playing as the mohawked and tattooed Swede Mattias, shot some holes in an oil tanker. Oil spilled out, forming a rivulet of black gold. And just like in the movies, he walked away and tossed his Zippo on it. The flame caught, raced up the little stream, and then hit the tanker, triggering a gigantic mushroom cloud and throwing debris everywhere.

Soon, a tank rolled into the area, and our boy jumped up and grabbed the barrel of its main gun, then pulled himself up onto it. He ran up the shaft to the tank's turret, tossed in a grenade - and voila! - jacked the tank.