Mercenaries 2: World in Flames

It's hoped that by widening the original game's network of both interdependent and isolated characters, its representation of life as a hired gun will be deepened. An overhauled factions system promises to incorporate dynamically regulated allegiances and vendettas, each of which will have its own unique risks and benefits attached.

"The more general purpose mechanics and interactions we can support," Resnick continues, "the more emergent the game becomes. One of the new general purpose toys we're giving players, for instance, is an entirely new take on dynamic fire. I've always wanted to do something interesting with it. I blame my grandfather, who was a rampant pyromaniac, but it's such a complicated, organic thing that it was always too scary to tackle. The power of the next-gen systems gives us enough bandwidth to make it a useful, tactical tool for players."

Above: The game engine was built specifically for the new hardware

If its bravado is to be believed, then Pandemic's claim of PS3 receiving "a good workout" at World in Flames' hands will serve as encouragement to those concerned about the console's early line-up.

The number of studios expressing optimism, enthusiasm and even outright excitement over dev kits continues to grow, calming further fears over the manageability of its architecture.

It's too early to predict whether such technology can set the world of Mercenaries alight, but these early wisps of smoke send a positive signal.