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Mercenaries 2: World In Flames

Mercenaries 2: World In Flames

Mercenaries 2: World In Flames

Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, often abbreviated as Mercs 2, is an action-adventure video game developed by Pandemic Studios and published by Electronic Arts. It is the sequel to 2005's Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction, and it was released in the United States on August 31, 2008 and in Europe on September 5, 2008. The game is a third-person shooter with an open world, set in a fictionalized war-torn Venezuela, following the story of a mercenary getting revenge on the man who betrayed him/her, while causing as much mayhem and destruction as possible.

Following the closure of Pandemic Studios, EA announced on November 24, 2009 that EA Los Angeles are working on a title currently known as Mercs Inc.

Mercenaries 2: World In Flames Plot

Mercenaries 2: World in Flames is set in August 2010 in Venezuela. The story begins as the player approaches businessman Ramon Solano's villa. The player is greeted by a man named Blanco, who worked with the player in the past. In the meeting inside the villa, Solano hires the player to rescue a Venezuelan Army General Carmona who is being held prisoner in an old colonial fortress on an island off the coast by the Army after a failed coup attempt. The player uses weapons and air strikes supplied by Solano to assault the fortress and rescue Carmona. But once Carmona is rescued, Solano attempts to murder the player to avoid paying and to make sure there is no one to interfere with his plans. The player escapes despite being "shot in the ass", and begins to plan revenge on Solano.

Following a second successful coup by Carmona, Solano is chosen as the "civilian leader of a military government". Solano attempts to seize control of the country's oil supply, which is held by a company called Universal Petroleum (UP). Fierce fighting ensues between Universal Petroleum's hired mercenaries and the Venezuelan Army (referred to as the VZ in the game) under Solano's control. This results in the collapse of the country, especially in the city of Maracaibo, where the UP's overseas headquarters is located. This chaos drives people from their homes and causes widespread property damage. After taking control over Solano's villa, the player establishes his private military company (PMC) and helps the causes of the factions in exchange for money and information on Solano. This includes capturing VZ outposts, "verifying" High Value Targets (or "HVTs" for short) by either capturing or killing them, destroying key structures, and doing other work that the faction's forces cannot accomplish.

The mercenary first works for Universal Petroleum in the city of Maracaibo. The merc is given his first proper contract by the CEO Dr. Lorraine Rubin, to rescue a high-ranking member of UP held by the VZ somewhere in the city of Maracaibo. Eventually, the mercenary finds him in an armored van on one of the main roads in the city and rescues him.

His next contract involves the protecting of the CFO of UP, currently stranded at the UP oil refinery. The refinery was evacuated due to Solano's "nationalization" program, which involved the overtake of the refinery. The CFO remained there in order to dispose of secret documents. The mercenary protects the CFO while he disposes of the documents, before they themselves escape as the refinery is overtaken by the VZ. During a conversation in the car on the way back to Maracaibo, the CFO reveals that Universal Petroleum didn't trick the country into letting them extract the oil for virtually nothing, but in fact that they tricked the country into paying UP for the oil rights.

At their return, Rubin gives him the time of the meeting between Solano and Blanco, but doesn't know the location of the meeting. She then suggests that the merc should go to the PLAV, or the People's Liberation Army of Venezuela, for information.

Around this time, the player can choose to work with a faction of Jamaican-based pirate smugglers operating in the islands of the north section of Lake Maracaibo. Involvement with the "Pirates" does not alter the gameplay and the Pirates only offer HVT, bounty, and small contracts in exchange for money. There are no main contracts supplied by the Pirate leader, making them useful only for their superiority of the North section of Lake Maracaibo and their cheap equipment they can sell to the mercenary.

The merc meets with the PLAV,( People's Liberation Army of Venezuela) a group of rebel guerrillas intent on taking the country back to civilian rule. The faction is backed by China, which is intent on gaining oil rights. The leader, Marcella Acosta, offers the mercenary some contracts in exchange for information, including taking of the town of Mérida from the Venezuelan army. After several contracts, Marcella conveniently tells the mercenary she knows the location of the meeting between Solano and Blanco and offers a final contract to destroy the oil platform the meeting is on and verify Blanco.

Upon verifying Blanco and destroying the oil platform, the player learns of Solano's hidden bunker at Angel Falls and attempts to destroy it, but fails as it is hardened against normal bunker buster weapons. Shortly after, the player is forced to defend his/her own headquarters from Carmona and VZ troops. After repelling the attack and verifying Carmona, it is revealed that sinking the oil platform triggered an international response. As expected by Carmona, a large coalition of US-led Allied Nation troops from the original game (an imitation of the UN) and the Chinese move into the country. However, Carmona and his men hold on to the country thanks to an agreement with North Korea which gives them advanced weaponry and training. The AN is supposedly a peacekeeping and nation-rebuilding force for war-torn countries (as seen in North Korea), but the player finds that at the center of the operation is a CIA agent named Joyce, who was ordered to secure the oil supply when it became clear that their allies, Universal Petroleum, could not do so. The Chinese Army invaded when it became clear that the PLAV only wanted to stop Blanco and Carmona for personal reasons rather than overthrow the new government. Both factions battle for control of Caracas, the capital city of Venezuela, and the oil supply.

Reception
Reception of the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Windows versions of the game has been fair, with an average critic score of 72/100 at Game Rankings and 72 out of 100 at Metacritic.

Though praised for its colorful and destructive environments, many reviews have complained of "nagging annoyances" throughout the game that occasionally feel rushed and unfinished. One of the major problems was the unintelligent AI of both friendly and enemy NPCs, and the issue was aggravated by voice acting and repetitive lines. Some reviewers found several gameplay mechanisms questionable, such as the air supports and airstrikes being of limited value, over-powerful melee attacks, and simplistic faction dynamics. The reactions from the new co-op mode were divided; while another player added to the fun, there were limitations, such as the tether between players and limited role of the passenger when in a vehicle.

The PlayStation 2 version was heavily criticized, with an average score of 49% at Game Rankings. Some even called the PlayStation 2 version inferior to the original Mercenaries on PlayStation 2, criticizing its underwhelming visuals, foggy environments caused by short draw distances, and one of the "worst pop-in rates ever seen."

There have also been many complaints about rampant bugs and glitches (especially for the PC and PlayStation 2 versions) such as falling through the map, underground swimming and calling air strikes with no response, these could even stop the player from continuing normal gameplay and advancing the storyline. Most of the serious bugs were fixed in a patch for Windows.

Mercenaries 2 was nominated for "Dubious Honors: Worst Game Everyone Played" by GameSpot in their 2008 video game awards, which was a category for games with large sales that had been panned by the critics. In addition, it won "Dubious Honors: Most Disappointing Game" by GameSpot.


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