Are We Excited About Mercenaries 2?

Pandemic Studios’ latest ludo-spawn, Mercenaries 2, is looking mighty explody. They’ve just released some new game footage with detailed developer-commentary over the top, which you can see beyond the click. The most sensible thing in there is also one of the more minor features, “vehicle disguise”, which makes so much sense, and yet breaks the logic of most action games ever. I’m sure the idea of using a stolen enemy vehicle as a disguise has been used in plenty of other games, but somehow I just can’t think of any.

The trailer shows how a single objective in the game can be tackled from multiple directions. Note to creators of games: we like this sort of thing. And we like this sort of commentated game-footage trailer too. More please.

But what about the rock, paper, shotgun scale of things, eh? Mercenaries 2 is out on 31st of August.


  1. Roritharr says:

    i fear a huge amount of consolitis with this one…
    quick time events…
    much overdrawn characters… uncool to me…
    too much health… (he was shot by a tank ffs)

  2. shinygerbil says:

    And just what is that hair? Is that to prove that he’s a mercenary?

  3. Jim Rossignol says:

    I believe that proves he’s the Crazy One.

  4. mpk says:

    I want to be the Overkill guy. MOAB, indeed. I didn’t play the original but this looks more fun than a bucket of soapy badgers.

  5. Chaz says:

    Well I for one think that it’s looking pretty damn good, it’s got me excited.

  6. Taximan says:

    Well Hidden & Dangerous 2 had a sort of vehicle disguise bit. There was a level where you had to cross the desert which was being flown over by enemy fighter-planes. If, during the previous mission, you exited the mission with the Opel-truck with a mounted flak-cannon, then the planes didn’t strafe you (as long as you stayed on the truck). If you left the level, and entered the next one in the SAS-jeep, then you could expect to have to keep moving as any planes flying overhead would attempt to strafe you.

  7. Aubrey says:

    Not sure if I mind surviving a shell from a tank in a videogame (probably for good reason), but that QTE is way too long. And should not, by rights, exist.

    Very nice way to present the game, though – with a range of different styles of approach. That’s often the thing you get across the least when presenting this kind of game, because you’re boiling down this big expansive system into a linear play-through, so it’s hard to tell how far the variety of choices deviate you from that one path in the video.

  8. malkav11 says:

    The first Mercenaries was/is a hell of a lot of fun, but the vehicle disguise system was largely useless.

    This one…I’m excited about a new setting and better ‘splosions, but the moment I heard they were putting in hijacking QTEs I lost a ton of interest. I don’t always hate the idea of QTEs, but there is absolutely no reason to so complicate one of the most basic maneuvers in this sort of game.

  9. Aubrey says:


    Hopefully it’s not just for jacking heli’s and can be used to get up buildings, too – That ladder climbing looked under-loved as a child.

  10. Simon says:

    “I’m sure the idea of using a stolen enemy vehicle as a disguise has been used in plenty of other games, but somehow I just can’t think of any”

    Mercenaries 1 for a start. But I think every grand theft auto game had a mission where you had to steal a rival gang’s car or cop car or something as disguise.
    And there’s a quite hilarious sequence in Hulk: Ultimate Destruction where you quite literally have to use a truck as disguise.

  11. Dr_Demento says:

    Mercs 1’s vehicle disguise system worked pretty well… faction soldiers were either generic troops or officers, signified by a symbol over their heads. The officers could see through vehicle disguise if you were within 50m or so, but the normal troops couldn’t. It was a really nice add to the game, I thought, letting you sneak in places before you blew everything up sometimes.

    Mercs 1 also used the gang like-dislike system from GTA2, the best thing about that game and something I’ve never seen another game (except Mercenaries) copy to any real extent. Do missions for the Chinese and you’ll anger the Russian Mafia; do missions for the South Koreans and you’ll anger the Chinese… just keep in with the Russian Mafia, or otherwise you won’t be able to get sports cars airlifted to your location.

    In other words, it was the best sandbox game ever, until Crackdown. And it’s still a close-run thing.

  12. Sax says:

    Interesting definiton of “Covert”. Hijack a heli and shoot everything in sight.

  13. Kitt Basch says:

    Someone really has to do a mash up of the destruction of Mercenaries with the super powers of Crackdown.

    From the early videos the QTE hijacking looked quite good, it was slick, and more interesting than just pressing triangle to steal a tank, but it looks like they’ve slowed them right down, and now it just looks painful to play.

    Also I think they’ve told Peter Stormare to tone down Mattias’ super-mumbly voice. You couldn’t understand him at all before, but this just seems to take away so much of his character.

    Still, it’s Mercenaries with the frickin’ MOAB in it, so it’s on the to buy list.

  14. Gladman says:

    @ 2:52, she kills Cleveland from Family Guy! I didn’t know he could fly a helicopter :/

  15. muscrat says:

    I really enjoyed the first and cant wait for the second, very pleased its releasing on PC…

  16. PsyW says:

    I’m sure that in Operation Flashpoint (or maybe the Resistance addon) (or maybe both) you had to use a russian truck as a disguise in one mission. In fact, you could often nick an enemy vehicle, and then the ruskies would stop shooting at you.

    Unfortunately, all your allies shot at you then. Fair enough, you are driving around in an enemy battletank. That’s bound to cause some concern when you roll up at an allied base…

  17. Dinger says:

    The Russian truck (in the original I believe) was a scripted event; of course, in OFP you can script just about anything these days. The Friend-Foe system itself is such that vehicles have a “side” value independent of their crew, and AI will recognize this value at a longer range than the side value of the vehicle commander, so they engage you in your stolen stuff later. The trick is to take a tank and kill the TC, then board as driver/gunner. As long as the dead TC is enemy, the bad guys won’t shoot at you.

    but ‘Vehicle Disguise’, like in GTA?

  18. Okami says:

    He drops a grenade inside a tank and then boards it?

    Uhhhh.. Messy….

  19. Jim Rossignol says:

    It was a magic grenade.

  20. sana says:

    Pandemic Studios? Reminds me of Dark Reign 2.. good times. Looking forward to this.

  21. Talorc says:

    So this is obviously definitely coming for PC, which is very pleasing.

    Any word on Saints Row 2 coming to PC as well?

  22. Steven Hutton says:

    It was a magic grenade.

    Less of a flash bang and more of a cilit bang?

  23. Clicky says:

    @Talorc, I am pretty sure Saints Row 2 is coming to the PC.

  24. Legandir says:

    QTE’s? I just lost any interest i might have had in this game

  25. aldo says:

    Any word on Saints Row 2 coming to PC as well?
    To add to Clickys comment – It definitely is. October or summat.

  26. TychoCelchuuu says:

    I like how when the “stealthy” lady snipes that one AA gun guy, the person who we KNOW is standing near the AA gun doesn’t just reman it.

  27. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    Well this is shaping up a bit better than I was expecting, I think I’ll wait to see how it’s received before ponying up though. With regards to the QTEs, there’s still a chance for Pandemic to back-track on them. I seem to recall that Army of Two had a ‘heal by tampon’ QTE until it was scrapped fairly late on.

    Also, is that a bastardised Scimitar I see?

  28. Marcin says:

    In the first game, stealthy lady had an aggro radius reduction bonus, main dude had a faster run, and angerman had a larger health bar. I really didn’t mind those “distinctions”, and I can’t say I see this changing much here. The commentary is a bit overblown, since in the end they all get into big destructive devices and blow shit up – which is just fine by me.

    I hope the 3-faction balance is still in the game, and that they still have skirmishes on territory borders. Mercs was one of the most alive games I’ve played …

  29. MeestaNob! says:

    It looks fun, but I’d need a demo and/or play of console/PC version to see which was better.

    Obliviously, in a perfect world when we could assume a good port then the PC would be better, but I’m remaining skeptical until then.

  30. shinygerbil says:

    I just remembered another game which used enemy vehicles as a disguise; Codename Eagle.

    Now there was a game. At least, it shone in multiplayer.

    …At least, that is how I remember it.

  31. Grandstone says:

    The only thing I didn’t like about the first Mercenaries was that the border skirmishes were always in the same places. You could say it’s a comment on the futility of war, blah blah blah, but I wish there had been some way of telling who was actually winning the battle. Sometimes it felt as though you were the only one causing anything significant.

  32. Hobbes says:

    QTE or not, its hard to really criticise a sequence in which you you pull a guy from a tank and nut him into submission.

    Anyway, if its more mercenaries, I’m all for it. The original gave me some of the most fun I’ve ever had with a game.

  33. Erlam says:

    “QTE’s? I just lost any interest i might have had in this game”

    I have to mirror this. I can’t think of a single instance in which a QTE was better than pretty much any alternative.

  34. Deuteronomy says:

    This looks so stupid.

  35. Akirasfriend says:

    I don’t know if anyone else here mentioned it (considering I’m an ignorant knob who doesn’t read other people’s posts when I have a point to make), but they had the vehicle disguise element in the original game.
    However, enemy officers could see through your disguises, which caused much irritation when trying to be sneaky. One attack on an SK-controlled city was greatly aggravated by all the enemies in the area being elite officers. I couldn’t get through the gates without them sploding my bloody truck. The bastards.

  36. ShineDog says:

    It did? The officers were marked out by HUGE GLOWING SYMBOLS over there heads. regardless, the vehicle stealth was something you would call upon occasionally, or to remove hassle moving from mission zone to mission zone. While there are some stealth elements, don’t be mislead into thinking that the intention with mercs was ever anything other than a ridiculously bombastic shooter.

    And these QTEs, even if implemented for every vehicle jack, are still going to be a minor part of the game, and by the looks of it, very easy. Its just a way to keep you involved in the action rather than automate the whole procedure. its not a case of HIT X AND Y TO KILL BOSS. QTEs can be used for good or evil, in my opinion.

  37. sinister agent says:

    QTE’s? I just lost any interest i might have had in this game

    Likewise. Well, a lot of the interest, anyway. Somebody name one game in which they’ve been a good idea.

    Truly, they are the reversed control icons of this decade.

  38. Maximum Fish says:

    Is it just me, or is that the Techno-Viking in this game?

  39. DerkaDerka says:

    I think we’re all forgetting God of War? QTE’s were good in that.