Metareview - Mercenaries 2: World in Flames

No doubt your eyes have already darted to that score at the bottom, recoiling in shock at the sight of a number so low, it actually manages to spell something: catastrophe. Five out of ten? What happened?

Well, it seems not everybody is blown away by Mercenaries 2 and its highly delayed destructive, open-world gameplay. Most reviews think the game accomplishes what it set out to do (i.e. set charges and blow the world to smoldering smithereens), but there's an undercurrent of dissatisfaction with the supposedly shallow combat, dubious AI, the adherence to the previous game's formula and, of course, the bugs.
  • 1UP (B+): "While Mercs doesn't do anything particularly new or interesting, the formula is inherently fun (as long as you enjoy blowing things up like I do). I can keep complaining about the quirks -- ridiculously repetitive voice samples from NPCs, a climax that consists of a trial-and-error button-pushing session -- but the wealth of smaller problems are insubstantial in light of the effective fundamentals."
  • IGN (79/100): "For every time I cursed the stupid AI, I cheered at the demolition of another building. For every bug that got me stuck in some bushes, there was an attack chopper waiting to be jacked. If Mercenaries 2 had more polish, it would have been a great game. As is, it's still worth playing – and enjoyable – but falls far short of its promise."
  • WorthPlaying (76/100): "Cars will flip for no reason, your character's legs will get stuck in the environment, things will explode for no reason, etc. It's impossible to play without encountering bugs on a regular basis."
  • Eurogamer (50/100): "We'd now go a little further than that: apart from some cool explosive effects and solid controls, Mercenaries 2 is utterly mediocre in almost every sense that matters. From the initial sorties onwards it's bogged down by the worst kind of brain-dead cannon fodder enemies, lead-you-by-the-hand level design, arbitrary boundaries, and some technical howlers."

This article was originally published on Joystiq.