Reviewed: October 2, 2008
Released: August 31, 2008
While the PlayStation 3 version of Mercenaries 2: World in Flames was a pretty decent third person shooter in a wide open environment the same cannot be said for the PlayStation 2 version. Not only is there a total lack of current graphics, effects and audio quality, the gameplay is made entirely lacking with the poor graphics and general lack of sight.
The gameplay should be close to the same when they take the same story and gameplay techniques and scenario to create a game for the PS2 but they are lacking many things including a decent game. The graphics make the game not only look bad but make it almost unplayable, buildings pop in at very close distances making traveling fast in a vehicle treacherous.
Taking on soldiers who are hiding in plain sight is bad because you just cannot see them and they are still firing at you due to the pop in. Mostly the game is just not realistic at all like the PS3 version with terrible looking effects and poor draw distances.
The gameplay relies heavily on not only being able to see things to be able to react to them but just being able to enjoy the game is a part of being able to play it. With grenade explosions that look more like Star Wars effects and bomb blasts that look like a dust storm the games graphics make the rest of the game almost unplayable. The gameplay is almost identical to the PS3 version I played just a couple of weeks ago but it does the same poor job of a bad AI and poor gameplay. The bad guys and good guys alike shoot at you and the graphics make things worse because you cannot even tell who is shooting at you from much of any distance.
When things are happening and you cannot see who is shooting at you returning fire is kind of a mute point but for the most part the gameplay with your mission objectives works out fine. You are given the objectives or missions that amount to going to some distant point on your map and killing or getting something and returning.
This usually amounts to getting, or hijacking, a vehicle and trying your best to drive it to your destination but vehicle handling is terrible. It is often easier to run to destinations as you are more often killed from car damage than shot to death.
Hijacking vehicles is difficult at best and mostly an attempt at hitting the keys in the right sequence fast enough for it to register. Once you have gotten a vehicle you can disguise yourself as that faction so you can ride around without drawing attention to yourself.
The missions are not really all that interesting but a little different from the other versions as they have been lowered in complexity. Mostly itís a fetch operation with plenty of bad guys in the way but the partial health regeneration adds to the gameplay.
During your merc fighting you will only regenerate health up to 25 percent and then you have to hunt down health packs to go any higher. This makes actually having to go around and find items like the health packs and ammo a decent part of the gameplay.
Other than the very poor graphics and the pretty sorry excuse for AI the game would have been pretty decent but the graphics made it a loss for words. This is not a game that should have made it out for sale on the PS2 version with its general lack of gameplay mostly due to the graphics.
Draw distance seems to be about 20 feet on average; that means objects will start appearing in your sight from 20 feet away in the game. This can be longer for some objects and closer for others but size of objects or distance doesnít seem to matter. Not always the same things or the same areas make any difference to how well the graphics work either.
Driving down a street you can clearly see a building coming up on your left but everything on your right is not there, no buildings, people or cars. Yet when you stop and turn suddenly everything is there, including the bad guys who are shooting at you.
The effects are likewise terrible with almost no red or yellow in any of the graphics at all, explosions look like electric light shows in blue and C4 or laser guided missiles look like somebody emptied out a thousand vacuum cleaners on the target.
The entire world is a kind of fogged over countryside and this gives the game an unrealistic feeling like they were trying for some kind of world end event instead of sunny Venezuela. The graphics are just bad and given the fact that the AI is also bad the game is not worth even renting much less paying good money to buy.
This is about the only saving grace for Mercenaries 2 World in Flames on the PS2, the voice acting was fine but the original game was also pretty decent here. The effects and audio added for the game have been a lesser quality than the PlayStation 3 version and this also made the game pretty bad.
But the game did not really make it big on the audio but this did not really detract from the score either, audio was about average without being much of an ear sore. Some of the effects lacked real punch while others were just wrong and did not sound like real weapons or explosions.
The voice acting for the cut scenes seemed to be the same as the previous game so it worked out well but the rest was just subpar. There was a definite lack of original things for the actors to say which also got repetitive here just like the PS3 version so the audio is kind of a mixed bag.
Donít even bother to get this, the average rating for this game is above 50 percent from all the reviews and mine wonít make it any better. The game is not really up to a standard that would make it playable unless you just donít care much about graphics.
World in Flames does have plenty of missions and several side missions that are tough enough that you will have to use some tactics and strategy to get them accomplished. The game does have a good basis for open-ended gameplay and your choice for performing missions how you want with plenty of weapons so there is something here to work with.
Unless youíre a diehard fan of Mercenaries or the open ended gameplay style you should really stay away from Mercenaries 2: World in Flames. This is definitely a game that you should rent and not buy, as I really cannot see playing this through more than once.