A shoot-’em-up that offers all the carnage and strategy of a Tom Clancy game with none of the inconvenient right-wing politics, Mercenaries 2 unapologetically caters to the fist-pumping, Mountain Dew-swilling stereotype that is every adult gamer’s cross to bear. None of which, thankfully, makes it any less fun.
As you’d expect, the game involves taking dirty jobs for rival factions who you then play off against each other. The plot (which involves said rivals competing for control of Venezuela’s oil supply) is predictably beside the point. Virtually every object in the game can be destroyed in spectacular fashion, and the game gives you well over one hundred vehicles and weapons with which to get the job done (as well as the ability to call in air strikes and tactical nuclear blasts).
The graphics are a touch dated due to the long development cycle, and the eagerly awaited online co-op mode is somewhat under-cooked. Still, the developers have a wicked sense of humor often missing from similar games, which—combined with the wide-ranging arsenal—will put a smile on the face of any fan of explosive mayhem.