Game review by
Matthew Pavao, Common Sense Media
Mercenaries Game Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Killing-for-profit game definitely isn't for kids.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 34 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

One of the mercenaries is a woman and another is African American, but they are still fighting --- and killing -- for money.


Not a lot of blood, but constant death and destruction.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySam M. November 19, 2017

T-rated alternative to GTA

Constant bloodless shooting and explosions throughout. "No Noble Cause"? Sure your doing it for profit but i fail to see how overthrowing a North Kore... Continue reading
Parent of a 9-year-old Written bymrmom May 22, 2010
This game is great. Although you kill many people, not for a cause just to get a quick buck,the game isnt exactly violent, you dont realy get close up to kill,... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byGamersnews32 January 21, 2020

The first instalment, don't know what say about it, accept...

...that the game is pretty bloodless. Explosives, mindless killing and a lot of death yes, can be a bit much for some, but no gore or blood is seen. I don'... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byzelda fan April 10, 2013


Old game i used to play on the ps2 it was one of the best games i had on there and there's no blood.

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.

Talk to your kids 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?

Game details

  • Platforms: PlayStation 2
  • Price: $45.95
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: LucasArts
  • Release date: January 12, 2005
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • ESRB rating: T
  • Last updated: August 25, 2016

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