View Full Version : Mercenaries - Not lame.

05-21-2004, 01:26 AM
Might as well mirror what I said over in the Adventure Gamers forums (http://forums.adventuregamers.com/showthread.php?t=3323&page=2) about Mercenaries, as I think it probably bears repeating. While the game isn't the most amazing thing I've ever seen, after seeing it at E3 in person I think Mojo was a little hard on it...

As someone who saw Mercenaries at E3 I might as well come by and echo what a few others have said - Mercenaries isn't ****. That's not to say that it will make peoples heads explode with its awesomeness, but it really does deliver on being more than just another military game. The fact is, as one of "the mercenaries" you're less "soldier guy," more "crazy assassin" ... only with the UN and a huge amount of money and weaponry and vehicles behind you. You work for different agencies doing missions at your leisure, but as the different groups hiring your team are all on opposing or near-opposing sides, they can get pissed at you after a while and you have to earn back their trust by various means (unlike say, Deus Ex 2 (http://www.idlethumbs.net/display.php?id=15), which just ignores that facet of its own story). This is represented via a sort of trust/allegience meter reminiscent of the earlier GTA games before the heavier story and voice acting took away some of the nonlinearity with the different crime syndicates.

You are given free roam, ala GTA 3/VC (yes that's the in thing right now, but mercenaries does it well from what we've seen) to basically run around within forests, jungles, military confines and combinations of the three and carry out your missions however you see fit - as long as it involves blowing lots of things up. The game makes extensive use of the Havok physics engine, which was demoed beautifully by dropping about ten humvees out of the sky on top of each other to demonstrate the suspension systems, and then blowing them all up.

They also flew a helicopter all around the level (again ala GTA - no load time or anything, helicopter levels are the same as regular levels - but unlike GTA the game doesn't start skimping on the detail and number of people walking around once you take to the air). They then demonstrated using the crane on the copter to pick up a huge shipping box by a chain (which then swung around with proper physics) and lob it at a couple guys and crush them. What I really want is for the Mercenaries engine to be handed to Planet Moon to use to create an Armed & Dangerous 2, but really hating on Mercenaries at this point will get you nowhere. Its a very competently made cohesive game which seems actually fun to play.

So, while you can fault Mercenaries for being yet another military game instead of say, a game about a tea drinking robot, blind old guy, and mole man, or a graphic adventure about crime fighting animals, it is really not too bad, and deserves far more than the 2% its receiving in the LucasArts poll. Republic Commando for instance looks moderately interesting but a zillion times less inspired than Mercenaries.

Once I find the time (hopefully in the next couple days) I'll turn this into an actual Mojo article.

(I would write a bit about Galaxies, Republic Commando, and SW Battlefront, but we were kindly escorted out of the booth before that to make room for more important visitors :) Lets save that for a different thread though, and talk about Mercenaries for now.)

05-21-2004, 01:51 AM
As hard as it's been, I have been trying to keep an open mind about Mercenaries. Despite that, it's premise always seemed just a bit too contrived. Still, if it's everything you say, I'll be more than willing to give it a rental when it arrives. Glad to see that you're able to keep yourself from being unfair to LA. Keep up the good work.

05-21-2004, 06:31 AM
but Jake, isn't the engine outdated? When watching the trailer I'm watching stuff of at least one or two years ago. It's nowhere near Far Cry.

05-21-2004, 10:16 AM
Listen Jake, sure Mercenaries may play cool, but honestly, how many war games / shoot-em-ups are there out there right now? Yeah, now think of how many adventure games there are out there. The reason we have so many mindless shoot-em-ups that require no thought whatsoever, just a thumb that with which you can smash buttons, is because gamers today are too lazy to use their brains and would rather blow people up with guns.

Lucasarts can still make fun games, they're just unoriginal. Look at Rogue Squadron III: Rogue Leader or whatever that Gamecube game is. It was fun, but it's just another Star Wars game of thousands, and probably thousands more.

I'm just fed up with all these shoot-em-ups coming out and people actually crediting them. How many more shoot-em-ups have to come out before you get tired of them and want adventures back?

If you guys want a reversal of the market where there are more adventure games and thought games where you do more than blow heads off of people, pick up the key, unlock the door, etc. stop buying games like Mercenaries and Far Cry, and go get Dreamfall and LSL:MCL when they come out!

05-21-2004, 12:25 PM
Hey hey, I'm not saying Mercenaries is a brilliant cornucopia of originality and cutting edge excellence, calm down. Its not worth dying for or something. I'm just saying its looking to be a much better game than it appears at first glance. And visually, no, its no Far Cry, but its not years outdated either. The visual style is overused, yes, but its not ugly in person. The game's not amazing, but it more than exceeded the low expectations set by Mojo.

My prediction: The game will be decently fun. It might even get reviewed in the high 8s on Gamespot if they don't screw it up. But - Trust LucasArts to release only lackluster screenshots, and poorly shot in-game video trailers despite the game being really enjoyable to watch and look at in person.

And then trust them to fail to come up with a cohesive marketing campaign, and then stop talking to Pandemic after the game fails to outsell Battlefield Modern Combat or whatever other outwardly visually militaryistic game is going to release at about the same as time but has nothing in common gameplay-wise with Mercenaries.

05-25-2004, 10:59 AM
Originally posted by Jake
And then trust them to fail to come up with a cohesive marketing campaign, and then stop talking to Pandemic after the game fails to outsell Battlefield Modern Combat or whatever other outwardly visually militaryistic game is going to release at about the same as time but has nothing in common gameplay-wise with Mercenaries.

That's the best thing I've heard this week. Like the n00b nags about not being best. Hillarious.

05-25-2004, 01:55 PM
Ok I will get a copy, burn it on a cd and forget about it just for you once it hits the market...
Hope you are happy now ;)


Our bitching was that LEC stopped to dare making original innovative games and became another publisher / developer betting on sequels and trends (like FPS).

Making a decent FPS will not help this year or next year with DOOM 3, Half-Life 2, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Soeldner, Joint Forces coming and F.E.A.R. , Quake 4 and even Duke Nukem Forever on the horizon.
People will not have money to buy this full retail and will wait for it to go down in price.

Oh and next GTA will eat this thing for breakfast (without even the need to look at this LEC game).

LEC in my opinion can only try to beat the nearly dead Star Wars cash cow or return back to being original, innovative and daring something.
Otherwise it will go down and become EA West or whatever clone office is near them.

05-25-2004, 07:03 PM
Mercenaries isn't an FPS...

05-26-2004, 01:26 AM
Originally posted by Wizball
...Duke Nukem Forever on the horizon.
[ Insert side-splittingly funny DN4 joke here ]

I received the Duke Nukem: Music To Score By (http://www.synsoniq.de/productdetails.php?pid=146&langchange=2) album yesterday. It says "Inspired by Duke Nukem Forever".