Monday, March 31, 2014

Mercenaries 2: World in Flames

Nearly 2 years ago I wrote about buying games for more than one console, and how I prefer not to do it unless I have no other choice, or I'm getting a good deal on the game. One of the games that I mentioned was Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, which I originally bought for the Xbox 360, and how after my 360 died I purchased the PS2 version, as I have never owned a PS3. Well the PS2 version never got much play time because it is so wildly different from the Xbox 360 version, in terms of game play and story details, that I found it difficult to jump from one to the other.

Now I can understand graphical differences, with the leap from PS2 to Xbox 360, that is to be expected. But the game play and story varies to to an alarming degree, at least for me, too much so to be a game with the same name. Another example I gave was Bully for PS2 and the Scholarship Edition for the 360, while upgrading the graphics and adding additional content, the game was still based on the same core, and was much easier to pick up and continue playing as if it were the original version.

The overall goal is the same; to be a mercenary in war-torn Venezuela, and to complete contracts to earn as much money as possible, destroy as many things as possible and to generally have a good time while doing these things. But with the transition from Xbox 360 down to the PS2, the map has gotten significantly smaller, with less area to explore and even fewer things to destroy. Also the hardware limitations cause many things to popup right in front of you, causing you to take more collateral damage than is really even necessary.

One of the main things in the game are weapons, which seem to disappear if you swap them out for something on the ground, where as in the 360 version they stick around for a while allowing me to use an RPG and swap back to the SMG I just swapped it for 1 minute ago. Also weapons crates seemed to be stashed everywhere in the 360 version, if you find a crate in the PS2 version its a most often a solid object, offering no ammo, grenades, health packets, nothing!

Don't get me wrong, I loved the original Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction, which the PS2 version of World in Flames feels like a heavily modified version of, but even the original seems to have a bigger map, more things to destroy and it just all around better feeling than the newer one. Another game with the same feel was Just Cause, which is far more massive than the PS2 version of World in Flames, but the driving and walking mechanics have a very familiar vibe. It just feels more like Just Cause than it does Mercenaries.

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