If you are a staunch PC gamer who's never owned a console, a single question may be entering your mind as you read this. What the heck is Mercenaries 2? This is a legitimate question being that the game is a sequel to a title that was never released on the PC platform. Even so, you may be familiar with its developer, Pandemic Studios, whose accolades include Full Spectrum Warrior and the Star Wars Battlefront series. Pandemic also takes the credit for Destroy All Humans!, but has ended their involvement with the popular series in order to bring us The Lord of the Rings: Conquest, an action/adventure title spun from Tolkien's books due for release on PC and consoles this November.

To clue in the unfamiliar, Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction was a noteworthy console title when it was released on the original Xbox and PlayStation 2 in early 2005. The game is best described as a war torn Grand Theft Auto. Like many games that took on the sandbox style of gameplay made famous by the series, Mercenaries aimed to take it a step further, touting gamers' ability to "go anywhere, destroy anything, and blow the crap out of everything" right on the box. Following suit, Mercenaries 2: World in Flames continues its claim to no-holds-barred destruction, this time with a PC version to accompany those for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 2.

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  • CollectorZ - Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - link

    I am sure this is the lamest question to be asked on here...

    Given that an XBox is little more than a PC in a console package.
    Why don't we see more direct ports of Xbox 360 games (and sooner)?

    How hard can it be?
    Controls? Put gamepad in System Requirements
    Graphics? Just run with the XBox graphics at HDTV resolutions which the Xbox does anyway. So it may not be the prettiest game on PC but if the game play is good...

    The developers would probably make a few bucks.
    Microsoft is a winner because we pay for the hardware without subsidy (last time I heard they were only just breaking even on the cost of manufacturing the console). And they might induce a few sales of consoles along the way.


  • hrahn - Wednesday, September 24, 2008 - link

    Yep, wrong assumptions on your part.
    The old Xbox was mainly PC components, the Xbox360 isnt. Even then, the old one didn´t run a version of windows, but had a similar subset of routines for graphics etc... The new one is different again in this department.

    But the most important part is:

    The console versions of most games do NOT RUN IN HD RESOLUTIONS!

    Not with almost any game I heard of.
    The games are SCALED up to HD resolutions, but most run in 720x480 at most, some even at lower resolutions. The X360 has a slightly better scaler than the PS3, so in some games fine details look slightly better on the box (can be seen with bridges in the background in GTA4 p.ex., where the PS3 is actually running a lower resolution than the box). The PS3 has other tricks up its graphics department to make up for that, though.
    Do not confuse still images (p.ex. from the screenshot feature of several games) with the game running, these single shots are indeed rendered at a higher resolution. That even worked on Gran Turismo IV on the PS2.

    So at the end, it´s no wonder the PC ports need more processing power, the provide the better image quality and the higher resolution. If the game only runs at 800x600 on the console and the picture is then blown up, running the game in 1600x1200 on your PC means that you have to calculate four times as many pixels.
  • Grandpa - Sunday, September 14, 2008 - link

    Love the game reviews and would love to see all games given a DRM rating on a scale of 1 to 10. What is the DRM suckscale for this game?
  • EddieTurner - Monday, September 15, 2008 - link

    I experienced no issues. I did read that one must register the game online before you can play it, but I never had to. It does require EA account authentication though. But if you've played another of their games online, you can just use whatever ID and password you've used in the past and you're golden.
  • Mr Roboto - Tuesday, September 9, 2008 - link

    Typical of EA to push an unfinished product out the door instead of polishing it a bit more. However I've played the PC version Mercenaries and it would have sucked either way. The vehicle controls are awful! The graphics and textures are on par with this years new Turok game (That's read SHIT). Instead of finishing the game they take that money and put in a gimmick like free gas (Petrol for you Brits). Finish a game for once and if it's good it'll sell!!!
  • felang - Tuesday, September 9, 2008 - link

    First of all, great review! I would just like to mention though that the game does not seem to support many of the most popular widescreen resolutions... I hope a future patch will adress this issue.

    For example, 1680x1050 is not supported, the closest you can get is 1680 x 945 and in order to do this you will need to create that custom resolution from within windows. while I am enjoying the game I believe that this is one of the worst bugs I have ever encountered in a game... can`t believe they overlooked this, Don`t a vast majority of gamers nowadays use widescreen lcd`s???

    Also, if all the eye candy is set to high, the games runs at about 15 fps on my q6600 at 3.6 and Xfire HD4850`s. I need to lower water quality to medium and then I get a stable 60fps. I mean, I understand that this is a console port, but come on, at least try to optimize the code for pc`s guys!!!
  • Le Québécois - Tuesday, September 9, 2008 - link

    "Also, if all the eye candy is set to high, the games runs at about 15 fps on my q6600 at 3.6 and Xfire HD4850`s."

    Did you try disabling your Crossfire?

    I have a 2 x 8800 GT SLI setup and some games (very few but still) don't support SLI/Crossfire at all, sometimes running slower to the point of being unplayable in some rare case. Since it's a console port, this could very well be the problem. Usually all, disabling the SLI solve my problem. Lucky me because those games usually don't need SLI anyways to run correctly, even with maximum settings.
  • aguilpa1 - Tuesday, September 9, 2008 - link

    GRID originally ran worse with SLI on my 8800GTX's and the game officially did not support SLI, although ran very well with single card. After a few driver releases, I re-enabled SLI and it now runs extremely well. There is always hope a driver update will fix your problems
  • bharatwaja - Tuesday, September 9, 2008 - link

    I am waiting for a spore review from you guys, after which I shall decide whether or not to buy the game... Come on guys.. SPORE REVIEW....

    Oh, btw, i liked this review....
  • GhandiInstinct - Tuesday, September 9, 2008 - link

    This guy knows how to review games, and it's more pleasurable to read than IGN reviews. Not to mention their PC editors are horrible.

    Please review more!

    Like Spore :)

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