What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that death and destruction are constant in this game. The violence is very real and bodies go flying, although there's little blood. Playing as killers for hire, players jack cars, take hostages, and mow down enemies for profit, not any noble cause.
What's it about?
MERCENARIES follows the ExOps, a group of mercenaries looking to capitalize financially on a Korean conflict. You must guide the mercenary you have chosen to stop the new North Korean leaders before they amass a nuclear arsenal. Each enemy has been paired with a playing card to designate his importance. The mercenary goes through a deck of 52 enemies; the goal is to get to the Ace of Spades, Gen. Choi Song.
While hunting for the Ace of Spades, the mercenary has the option of running missions for the other factions located in the demilitarized zone. These missions can be for cash to purchase other useful items, such as cars and weapons, from the black market, or to keep interested groups in the area satisfied. Winning the favor of the Russian Mafia, the Chinese government, the North Koreans, and the Allied Forces, all of whom occupy some space in the DMZ, is of utmost importance to succeed.
Is it any good?
The strength of this game comes from the realism of its battle scenes. Whether sneaking through a North Korean camp to take out a signal jamming device, or using C4 explosives to take out a whole building, players will find their adrenaline pumping. These realistic battle scenes can become a little too real for younger players. While the amount of blood and guts in the game is a minimum, the death and destruction is constant, and there is enough authentic violence to warrant a 17+ rating.
Even for older players, the destruction of the game eventually grows stale. There's hardly any character development and the storyline doesn't even rip off a war movie, which would at least give it a little depth. The soundtrack is boring, and it takes a ridiculously long time to get to missions. Overall, mature players will find the realistic battle scenes and complicated missions entertaining enough, but younger players should stay far, far away.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the plot points and themes, especially those that are grounded in the real world. For example: Why are the North Koreans the enemy in this game? Why are mercenaries used in war? Is it ever ethical to be a mercenary -- or to hire one?