Disappointing Computer Games

I’ve been playing video games since the genre began. My brother-in-law was would we would call an “early adopter” of technology, and through him I got exposed to some of the earliest games including Pong and the Magnavox Odyssey. Later I was one of the first kids in my neighborhood to have the Atari 2600, and since have had several different computer and console systems.

One of the best games I played on the PS2 was Mercenaries. Think of it as Grand Theft Auto – North Korea where you play a mercenary who saves the world (and always gets paid to do so). Over the years I have completed this game several times and rank it as one of my all-time favorites. Therefore when I heard 2 years ago that a sequel was in the works I looked forward to the release date – one that was pushed back several times over the past year.  On the date of its release I picked up the PS2 version. Four days later the PC version came out and I bought it as well.

Prior to its release I contemplated upgrading my main gaming PC that I had upgraded a year ago prior to the release of Crysis. I needn’t have bothered. The graphics are chunky – roughly equivalent to the PSOne, and the gameplay is well… Terrible. Here’s the best review I’ve found that accurately describes the game. It’s a major disappointment. The game is riddled with bugs; the bug reporting forum is now up to 48 pages of reports. The game on my system suffers from random crashes, enemies that merge and get stuck in trees, indestructible civilians, and bushes that the main character cannot escape.

All of these things can be eventually patched. What’s more disappointing is that the game is simply not fun. While the first Mercenaries game had a compelling storyline involving the North Korean president being deposed by his power-crazed son, there isn’t much of a story here besides the main character getting ripped off and desiring vengeance for his missing paycheck.

I wanted to like this game, I really did, but the fact that I’m continuing to play Call of Duty 4 days after picking it up says a lot. Granted COD4 is one of the best games of the decade, but I’m honestly bored with it and ready for something new. Unfortunately Mercenaries 2 was not it.

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