Upcoming game - Mercenaries


Funny how this game has flown under the radar so far. It seems like a very simple concept - taking the free form action of Grand Theft Auto and instead of having you play a gangster, you play a soldier. You can still go anywhere, do nearly anything, kill anyone, jack vehicles (including tanks, helicopters, etc.), and blow up things to your heart's content.

If it's done right, it may be one of the biggest surprises of 2005. Done poorly, it would be a pathetic GTA rip-off.

However, having played the demo (on the Xbox magazine disc from the newest issue), it looks great, sounds great, and most importantly is fun as hell...

Great demos all around on that disc, if anyone is thinking of getting the mag - they have Mercenaries, the Punisher, Star Wars: Republic Commando (which rocks, and may give Halo 2 a run for its money as best Xbox shooter), plus one or two more I can't remember....

sweet, might just pick up that mag tonight!

The other demos are (1) Street Racing Syndicate, which I guess is not a bad racing game, but the developers had hte incredible bad luck to have it on a demo disc with (2) Burnout 3, which is pretty much the unanimous choice for racing game of the year this past cycle :-P If you play Burnout, you are ruined for any other racing game....unless it allows you to demolish your opponents by crashing them in spectacular fashion :-)

Truth be told, the Xbox Mag has been on a tear lately. I've had a subscription for almost a year now, and the first 6-7 issues had MAYBE one good demo each, plus 3-4 lame ones. The last several, though, have 2,3, or even 4 that I am seriously considering buying. This newest one has Mercenaries, Punisher, Republic Commando, and Burnout 3 (already got it). The one before that had Conker: Reloaded, Forza Motorsport, and Star Wars: Battlefront. The one before that had Prince of Persia 2, Dead or Alive: Ultimate, ESPN NFL 2K5, and The Incredibles. And the one before that had Area 51, Rainbow Six: Black Arrow, Bloodrayne 2 (got it), Outrun 2, Otogi 2, and Kingdom Under Fire.

It's a good thing the demos are great, because frankly, the magazine is about 100 pages of ads with maybe 20 pages of content :-/

Just finished the demo for Mercenaries - and it was a blast.

Call this game Grand Theft Auto: North Korea, or maybe Grand Theft Military Vehicle ;-)

It's an odd mixture of GTA-style freedom with the run and gun feel of Halo or other shooters - you can even shoot with one hand and throw grenades with the other. There is also a terrific system for calling in airstrikes - once, just to be a dick, I painted a person with my laser and watched an F-16 drop a 1,000 lb cluster bomb on him :-P

Also, you can jack all kinds of great things, from tanks to jeeps to hummers to attack choppers. And you can even do the 'mid-air' jack that seems so popular in Halo 2 - jump on a tank or chopper, shoot the driver or otherwise yank him out, and take his ride.

If it's a decent size (e.g., no finishing it in 6 hours), this one looks like a must-buy.

I played the demo as well and thought it was pretty cool.

Another note - on the plus side, you can blow up basically anything you can see, from vehicles to barrels to guard towers to entire buildings - but on the down side, when you blow up a building, it doesn't take progressive damage. IOW, if you shoot it with 1 rocket, there's no visible effect; shoot it with a second, no effect; shoot a third, and the whole thing explodes and collapses. Maybe Geo-Mod type stuff is asking a bit much, but still, you'd like some indication of how close you are to killing a building (esp. when those f****** snipers with RPG's are hiding in them and occasionally run to the window to blast your tank or APC).

I had to giggle my ass off, though, when I ran into this North Korean general, butt-stroked him in the head with my rifle, then kicked him in the nuts for good measure ;-) then picked the poor unconscious bastard up over my sholder and chucked him onto a South Korean chopper I called in for evac. Donald Rumsfeld would have been proud of me :-P

You can kick'em in the nuts? Maybe this is a FPS and a FPK.


LOL @ puzzled - yeah, when you go after one of the 52 main bad guys (and they're based on a deck of cards, just like the Iraq guys), you have the option of taking them prisoner instead of killing them. Normally, when you buttstroke someone, they die, but if you do one of the 'name' guys, he gets stunned, and then if you hit the 'takedown' button, you kick them in the nuts, grab them by the head and slam them into the ground, kick them in the kidney (!), and then cuff them. They can then be picked up and carried around, usually to a vehicle so you can extract them.

Some other neat things I found out that will be in the final version of the game:
1. You can jack jets. There are confirmed reports of F-16s, Harriers, and an unspecified MiG that you can fly....but there are also SAM missile sites and AA waiting for you if you try that ;-)

  1. You can take hostages for cover (human shields), and you can even drop some C4 in their pants, release them to run back to their base or buddies and then detonate it :-P

  2. One way to earn extra money is to play other soldiers in Texas Hold 'Em poker games.

yeah I will be picking this game up for sure! comes out on the 11th I think....

Sounds sick!!!

How much is an xbox mag subscription??

If you buy those mags at the store, they're 8 or 9 bucks a pop; if you take a subscription card out from one at a store and mail it in, you get 13 issues (12 monthlies and a holiday special) for 25 bucks. Not too bad, I consider mine basically the same as being able to rent 4-6 new games every month prior to deciding whether to buy them.

It used to be that the demos on the disc were games that had been released previously, but now they're putting in more and more a month or two prior to release, so you can get a good idea about what's coming. And some (like Red Star) have been cancelled, so you at least get a peek at something no one will ever have...unless some developer decides to pick it up.

Also, the discs usually have some content on them (saved games, hacked games with perfect scores, etc) that you can save on your XBox and use at your leisure. Another thing you'll see a lot is additional content for games, like more multiplayer maps for Ghost Recon, etc.

But like I said above, it's a shame the mag isn't that great. And in fact, if you look at issues from 2 years ago, it used to be much better - more columns, longer articles, etc. Now it's mostly ads. I know, they have to pay the bills, but it could be improved. The demo discs are what you're really paying for anyway, IMHO.

Awesome, I think I might have to get a subscription.

Hey Floppy - make sure you get the Official XBox Magazine, that's the one I've been talking about. There are one or two other magazines devoted to XBox, and one of them, XBN (short for XBox News or XBox Nation, I don't recall) just went belly-up, so they are going to have just 1 or 2 more issues.

Hate to send you off to get the wrong one ;-)


That was a fun demo.  Even though I suck at action games. 

Well, Memnock, how would folks feel about GTA if there were just one car, one weapon, and one mission? If there had been a demo of it like this, one could have said GTA would have been a really poor Max Payne rip-off with cars. And one would have been wrong.

It's the entirety of the game world that is going to make it something special.

it got a 5/5 at gamespy. but then again its gamespy. still , this game is looking pretty good. and i read on another forum that you can unlock HAN FUCKING SOLO for xbox and indiana jones for ps2. dont' take my word for it, i have no clue if its true or not but it's a rumor that i Really hope is true

btw the swedish guy is one of the stupidest game characters ever. why couldnt they just make a freaking russian?

Looks sick.

"btw the swedish guy is one of the stupidest game characters ever."

Why's that?

he looks retarded. his hairstyle, his moustache, his accent. he's supposed to be the russian-speaker of the group, so why couldnt they just make a russian character, maybe ex-kgb or something like that,, not some metrosexual swede.

and why the hell is there a female player character in the game?? i know its a videogame, but i just can't stand it when there are female player characters in military-based games. the day i have to play as a woman soldier in a WWII game is the day i will stop playing videogames.

you know what, there aren't ANY good characters in this game. you got a typical token black guy, a metrosexual swede, and a WOMAN. thank god for han solo