No Cash Required: Mercenaries 2 Demo

I especially like the bikes

And just time for a quick post of the news that a one-and-a-half gig demo of Mercenaries 2 has gone live. Annoyingly few details of what is actually in it – you have to pray it includes a splash of co-op – but I think it’s still worth a shot. The game’s reviewed luke-warmly but I had ridiculous amounts of fun with the 360 version. From what I hear, the PC has some porting issues – “play with a pad” is the advice I hear – but I’ll be interested to hear what you lot make of it anyway. It’s phenomenally, awesomely dumb – Gauntlet meets EDF2017 meets a thing that goes BANG.


  1. Jim Rossignol says:

    I’ve had loads of fun with this on 360. No idea about PC though…

  2. born2expire says:

    terrible, terrible, terrible PC port. Console trash.

  3. LoTekK says:

    You heard correctly: a gamepad is the only way to play on PC. Mouse controls are beyond awful. It’s a pretty janky port, but it’s still kinda fun, in that silly way you’d expect from the franchise.

  4. Jonas says:

    I got a few missions into the 360 version before I decided to wait for my friend to get set up in his new place so we can do some co-op. It really seems like the sort of game that has to be played in co-op, if nothing else, then just so you have somebody to man the mounted guns on cars.

    Also, it is necessary to play the female mercenary because she’s voiced by (OMG!) Jennifer Hale, who aaaaaaalmost – almost – makes the lines they gave her not sound dumb. Almost.

  5. Arca says:

    I haven’t had too much trouble with the mouse (it’s pretty easy once you adjust to it, I only have trouble with the helicopters now) and haven’t noticed any major gamebreaking bugs in the PC version apart from a couple of irritating minor things, to be honest.

    My only complaint so far is that it seems to be rather short (I get the feeling I’m not all that far into the plot as I’m still hunting down… Blanco, I think his name was, yet my completion % reads 40-50% last I checked), which is a little disappointing given the length of Mercs 1. Ah well, at least it’s nice enough to tag all those HVTs and such on the PDA map so I don’t have to resort to looking up a map on the web.

  6. Funky Badger says:

    Great, great fun on the 360. GTA with summonable attack helicopters. What’s not to like?

  7. Tanner says:

    There needs to be a PC version of EDF2017, which, incidentally, I had more fun with in co-op on the 360.
    To each his own, I guess.

  8. Kareem says:

    I’ll be downloading the demo, though my chances of actually ending up buying this are pretty slim because there are so many other great games out. Also, the GWJ podcast guys, along with Shawn Elliott, were really railing on this one and said it felt very rough with multitudes of bugs.

  9. araczynski says:

    a little late to the game at this point i’d say. too many good games coming out soon.

    if someone wasn’t interested in the game by now, and the demo changes their mind, more than likely the game will be bought used, not new, as i’m sure there’s a glut of the game on ebay/gamestop/amazon right now.

    well, at least that’s the kind of logic that goes on in my head when it comes to purchasing games.

    if they want to convert more ‘unsures’ into real sales, how about putting out a demo BEFORE the game goes retail?? putting out all versions at the same time wouldn’t be a bad move either. but hey, whatever, your pink slips.

  10. Jake says:

    Get trainer and have fun with the RPG.

  11. Rogue says:

    I’ve been playing with keyboard/mouse, and even with the difficulties it brings, it can’t detract from the joys of EXPLOSIONS and Nillson’s hilarious comments.

  12. hydra9 says:

    Earth Defense Force 2017 is one of the most brilliant things I’ve ever played. Pure genius. I’d love to see it on the PC, though it’ll never happen.

    As for Mercs 2… I’ve gotta check it out, if only to hear Peter Stormare voicing Mohawk Man.

  13. IvanHoeHo says:

    A fun little game that’s not quite ready for retail, mostly because of the crap port

  14. AndrewC says:

    EDF with online co-op would be a thing of beauty. I know there’s hundreds of things on screen at once, but it’s not as if the collision detection needs to be pixel perfect.

    But what EDF got right was that it was simple – in the sense that you get two guns and then you shoot things and that’s it. Mercenaries is just as dumb, but clogs it all up with Teh Next Gen complexities and a whole bunch of sub menus. Maybe it would be better if I went through all the tutorials (that don’t come with the demo), but I was confused as all buggery when I was dumped into the level.

    And with the difficulty setting and recharging health the baddies were more like bothersome gnats rather than genuine threats. Games can be frustrating, but they should never be annoying.

    In conclusion: EDF! EDF!

  15. Maximumfish says:

    Deleted it within minutes of booting the thing up. I rented this guy on PS3 and thought it was pretty fun (not worth $60 though), but this is the most shameless pc port since stranglehold, and worse in a lot of ways. And it ran laggy on a brand new system, in spite of looking crappy, and they left in the console auto-aim, which locks your view on enemies. That’s on the same level as leaving in the “press A button to continue” shit from GFWL stuff.

  16. DSX says:

    Merc2 with co-op is a truly fun time. Completely stupid, but so much fun. If you can get it to work (about a 30% failure to connect). Yes, driving is broken on the PC, had to set the mouse sensitivity to zero, and modify the .exe to run under windows 98/ME mode in order to stop crashes on cutscenes.

    So ya, crappy port, but very fun game once you’ve worked past all the bugs.

  17. Citizen Parker says:

    It’s a shame that EDF came out on a console like 360 where everyone was so graphics-obsessed they passed on it. I always end up telling my friends “It’s like a 50’s sci-fi themed FPS Diablo with massive destruction.” It captures that same “Let’s distill the FPS down to its joyful basics” that made the first Serious Sam such a delight.

    Mercs 2 will do, however. Now if we could just get Just Cause 2 as well…

  18. Tomble says:

    I’ve been playing this, and while I do find it a little clunky (and I had to also bring all the settings way, way down to make an acceptable frame rate) it’s undoubtedly fun. It’s the kind of game I can fire up for half an hour, blow the crap out of stuff and have a good time exploring, crashing vehicles and attempting to hijack passing helicopters.

    Mind you, I also liked Just Cause. Why? Just ’cause.

  19. Saflo says:

    They made a PS2 version, strangely, which means I’ll get to play it eventually. I really enjoyed the first game.

  20. Aldo says:

    They made a PS2 version, strangely, which means I’ll get to play it eventually. I really enjoyed the first game.

    Apparently the PS2 version is apalling, though, and vastly inferior to the first game.

  21. Saflo says:

    Hmm. I poked around Google and that looks to be the consensus. Disappointing, since as someone with a very old PC and no current-gen console I’m in a sort of gaming limbo.

  22. Clicky says:

    Is everybody playing a different game than I am ? I find the mouse controls to be completely normal, better than in GTA honestly, only tank turrets are a bit sluggish, but moving your mouse slowly, not in fast bursts fixes that. Also, I get a constant 40-50 FPS on max settings, and I really don’t have an auto-aim. Anybody who calls this a bad port has never played DMC 3, Resident Evil 4 or Lost Planet on the PC.

  23. neofit says:

    Thanks for the link to the demo. In a couple of minutes it showed me the game has everything (or almost) I hate in a computer game:

    1. Setup lets me choose the AA level, but it doesn’t seem to work in-game. I didn’t bother trying with the drivers. Result: horribly looking game, much more jaggy and at the same time fuzzy than any other game without AA, at 1600×1200.

    2. First mission is timed. Fail.

    3. 3rd person shooter, with the reticle above the head and not above the shoulder. Oh, and the tip of the RPG round hides said aiming reticle.

    4. Controls are wobbly, and the dude seems to hit everything but what is supposed to be behind the RPG launcher.

    Didn’t go far, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it were another cheap chapter-save job.

  24. Eschatos says:

    With a decent patch the game could be very good. Even if they only fixed the mouse controls and the shitty dialog it would be much better.

  25. x25killa says:

    <3 the original, second is KABOOM happy.

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