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LB Review: 7.4
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The easiest way to describe Mercenaries is to think of it as a GTA-esque game with a twist. You are a member of the elite ExOps (Executive Operations) Mercenaries. It is 5 years from now. North Korea has been invaded by the Allies, South Korea, China, and the Russian Mafia. There is an infamous Deck of 52 North Korean terrorists that you need to capture. Your organization collects the money for this hit-list. First, however, you need to find intelligence on the terrorist's location. To do so, you have to play through various missions then go and capture the target.
The game is broken up into suits of the Deck of 52. At first, you'll be after all of the Clubs, then Diamonds, Hearts and Spades. As you complete various missions for various factions (Allies, South Korea, China, and Russian Mafia) you'll gain intel on say, the 3 of Clubs. Then, you have to go find the 3 of Clubs, subdue or kill him, then call in a helicopter for extraction. Or, you can do all of the Club missions then find all of the Clubs.
Like I said, the gameplay is very similar to a GTA game. It is fairly non-linear, you can enter/exit any vehicle and the game is played from a third person perspective. You have your normal assortment of maps, radar, and weapons to complete your missions. One different and fun aspect to the game is the ability to call in support items, vehicles, and air strikes. Support items consist of crates which contain various goodies like health, special weapons, C4, etc. You call them in with a smoke grenade and an Allied chopper delivers them. Same goes for the vehicles. The air strikes are what I found to be the most fun. You can call in a large assortment of strikes ranging from Surgical Strike to Carpet Bomb to Artillery. The three main ways you do this is either with a smoke grenades, with a laser sight, or with a satellite. The ability to take out targets, hotspots or entire compounds with these air strikes makes for a fun twist on the game. Of course, it is also very fun to drive tanks and fly helicopters. Too bad there aren't any motorcycles in the game, but that's a personel pet peeve.
This game does suffer from being too long and getting a tad repetitive. I would have been satisfied if the game ended about 3/4 of the way through. Instead it continues to drag along, getting harder and harder with more and more ridiculous missions, some of which take over an hour to play thoroughly.
This is a great game for those of you who like the GTA style of game play (and who doesn't?) and want a long and challenging game to keep by your side for some time. You won't be completing this game in a weekend.