For example, during the very first mission, you’ll receive at a given point a tank – a sweet woman’s voice lets you know that via the radio. However, when your character sees the tank, he’s absolutely surprised. Yes, the same character that was told that a tank is heading his way. And you’ll get to hear the same line every time the guy sees a tank. Or when he gets ammo or changes his gun, he gives it a name – I forgot which it was, but it’s always the same. And if you take into consideration that this merc talks way much more than any ears can handle, it’s a failed character. Failed. So go for the black merc, the one which always smokes a cigar – he’s the quiet type and he won’t bother you that much.

With the visuals, there’s another story. The special effects are very well done, the graphics are great and the explosions you can cause are absolute eye candies. Basically, I tend to believe that driving a tank and blowing stuff up, then watching it burn, is the biggest treat offered by Mercenaries 2. And getting that tank is a hilariously easy thing to do, too: you just have to run near it, jump on top of it, start a button mashing sequence with the gunman and throw a grenade in the cockpit, then jump in a voila: the tank’s yours. It seems fun at first, it gets hilariously stupid when you try it for the second time and afterwards it gets repetitive, pointless and boring. But then you’ll find out that you can hijack helicopters, too: and that gets nonsense to a whole new level.

It probably is a matter of personal taste when it comes to Mercenaries 2: World in Flames. Pandemic went to create a visually appealing experience, they went for huge, impressive explosions, they actually gave you the power to blow everything up and admire the damage. They also popped inside the open world over 100 vehicles, over 50 missions, side quests and missions to keep you busy for a long time. They also made you kind of invincible so, if you’re up for a mindless game where you blow up things, mixed up with button mashing sequences and nonsense hijacking of tanks and helicopters (then a bit of extra blowing up), this game is what you have to play.

On the other hand, if you like to have a story-driven game, if you love smart plots with great twists, if you like to droll at that mega weapon that seems impossible to get, if you’re up for a challenging experience, an easy to control game and next-gen entertainment, you should stay well away from Mercenaries 2: World in Flames because it has nothing to do with that. In my opinion, Pandemic failed, bringing us a mediocre, unfinished game which should’ve been released in a different era – not after the king of open world games, Grand Theft Auto 4 was released.

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