Mercenaries

Common Sense Media says

Killing-for-profit game definitely isn't for kids.

Age(i)

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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

Violence

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

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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?

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 for (PlayStation 2)

This review of Mercenaries was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 14 years old Written byI_Slay_Covenant April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

What r u guys talking about?

How in the world did this get a CSM 17+ ? okay, there is some violence but its like rated teen. Granted, its a bit chaotic at times but what PG-13 film these days doesn't contain that? its definatly fine 4 your teens (12-17)
Adult Written bysilly2007us November 7, 2008
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

A grate game for kids over the age of 16

a strong game with alot of violance for profit an sweet game when you get passed the anomated violance. its fun to pass time and an easey one to play.
Parent of a 11 year old Written byJ C November 16, 2009
AGE
11
QUALITY
 
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Poll

What are the different ways that you access Common Sense Media ratings and information? (Check all that apply)

Essential Apps Guide