Mercenaries 2: World in Flames--hereafter referred to as Mercs 2, because that subtitle is terrible--is probably the simplest game I've ever played. It's got a physics engine, pretty explosions and all of that technological stuff heaped on top, but it's impossible to avoid the fact that Mercs 2 is a game about explosions. Huge explosions. Everything else is merely a means to an explosion.
This is in no way a bad thing.
Probably the main draw of the game is that it's yet another of those damnable co-op sandbox games that are so popular at the minute--but done really well! It all feels in a similar vein to GTA/Crackdown/etc, but taken to the extreme: you can destroy everything in Mercs 2. Building in your way? Chuck an airstrike on it! Rather than finding the "right" way to do what the developers imagined when they thought up their horrendous escort mission, you're finally allowed just to carve a path of death through a city until you've reached your destination. It's refreshingly stupid.
Similarly, the game doesn't really bother itself with a story or any sort of character development. The entire story of Mercs 2 is as follows: you did a job for a guy, but the guy didn't pay you--in fact, he shot you in the "upper thigh" in a poor attempt to kill you! You, being the angry viking that you are, decide that you need to get revenge on all of the people who screwed you over, no matter how much it takes. Or how many South American countries you mess up. In order to do that, you're going to have to go around meeting the major movers and shakers of Venezuela in order to find out exactly where the baddies are, what they're planning and (most importantly) what the best way for you to blow them up is.
Also, you love cash, so you'll be going after a lot of that as well.
A single-person LP of this game wouldn't even nearly do it justice, so I'm going to be dragging an accomplice through with me in order to demonstrate just how many explosions a Virtual Venezula can survive before it collapses in on itself. Unfortunately, despite being designed entirely with co-op in mind, the developers forgot to actually include more than one character, which means that we'll both be playing the same guy: a mohawked, tattooed viking with one of the most ridiculous accents I've ever heard in a game. It's okay, though, because I've come dressed for it, whereas he has no sense of occasion.
What do you mean, Chris Jacobs and Jennifer Mui? Who are they? They're probably not worth playing anyway.
Any more words would be completely missing the point; it's time to get our hands dirty.
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A Message from MattiasHello, everybody! I hope you're well. Ever since we sorted out Solano we've been at kind of a loose end—there's nothing really left here to do in ex-sunny Caracas, and Fiona just won't stop going on about her stupid wagers. No, I don't want to do your Sniping Challenge Level 572, I've told you a thousand times!
Anywhere, where was I going..oh, yeah! We've decided, Biker Viking and I, that we're going to be the first Vikings in space ever, ever. I'm not sure what we're going to do up there, but I imagine there's probably somewhere that needs a good sorting out that we could probably lend our, you know…unique talents to. At the very least, there's probably some interesting stuff we can get Colin to winch back home for us. Do helicopters even work in space? I suppose that's not important right now.
Oh, I gotta go…our spaceship's just arrived. See you soon, yeah? Up in space?