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Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction
256px-Mercenaries - Playground of Destruction Coverart
Developer(s) Pandemic Studios
Publisher(s) LucasArts
Composer(s) Michael Giacchino, Chris Tilton
Series Mercenaries
Engine Havok Physics
Platform(s) PlayStation 2

Xbox

Release date(s)
  • NA January 11, 2005
  • EU February 18, 2005
  • JP April 28, 2005
  • AUS 2006
Genre(s) Third-person shooter

Stealth game Open world

Mode(s) Single-player
Rating(s) *CERO: C
Media/distribution Optical disc

Mercenaries: Playground of DestructionEdit

Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction is a third-person shooter video game developed by Pandemic Studios and published on January 11, 2005 by LucasArts for PlayStation 2 and Xbox. The game features an open world environment, with elements of potential stealth gaming and reputation-based social mechanics, and is set during a fictitious multi-national military action in North Korea, circa 2007. The player takes control of one of three mercenary characters and completes contracts in the war-torn country for profit and to prevent a nuclear war. Critics gave favorable reviews to the game, in particular praising its focus on explosive mayhem.

The Xbox version is currently compatible with the Xbox 360 as of the update dated April 18, 2007; however, many have experienced issues with its emulation, particularly frequent freezing.

A sequel, Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, was released in 2008 for the Microsoft Windows, PS2, PS3 and Xbox 360 formats. Following Pandemic Studios' purchase in November 2009, Electronic Artsannounced EA Los Angeles would be developing a second sequel, tentatively titled Mercs Inc.[1]

PlotEdit

After over 50 years of military tension, the aging President Choi Kim of North Korea began to embrace the "Sunshine Policy" of South Korea, reviving hopes of peaceful reunification. However, the North Korean military became disgruntled with the turn of events, fearing a dramatic loss of their power. Their leader, the brilliant and ruthless Choi Song, believed that his father, President Kim, was losing sight of "North Korea's true destiny." Song led an army of insurgents into a ceremony celebrating a road map to the reunification of Korea. Both North and South Korean political leaders were shot and killed, and Song is reported to have deliberately killed his own father in the process.

After the successful coup, General Song then severed all contact with the outside world. The whole country went "dark" for many weeks, until a North Korean freighter, by accident, was discovered to contain a small but potent nuclear weapon bound for an Indonesian terrorist front. Various intelligence agencies in the world subsequently found North Korea's missile capability to be far more advanced than previously expected. Song's possession of nuclear weapons and ICBMs as well as his deal with terrorist groups prompted the formation of an Allied Nation Task Force. The multinational troops toppled Song's government and captured the launch sites, only to discover that North Korea was building more nuclear warheads at another unknown launch site. The missiles were to be completed in three weeks, and only the elusive General Song had the launch codes. With millions of lives at risk, the AN had no choice but occupy the region and search for Song.

The remnants of the North Korean military fiercely resisted the foreign invaders, and the AN began to be pushed back. The Russian Mafia infiltrated the country, hoping to exploit the chaos and establish a black market. In addition, Chinese and South Korean troops moved into North Korea, each intent on establishing a government under Beijing's or Seoul's agenda. Unable to maintain control or find Song, the AN distributed a "most wanted" list in the form of a "Deck of 52," consisting of key figures of the North Korean criminal underground, businessmen, weapon scientists, and military leaders under Song's leadership. At the top of the list was General Song himself, the Ace of Spades, with an open bounty of $100,000,000. "Executive Operations", a private military company, responded immediately by sending an ExOps mercenary aboard a C-17 cargo plane, en route to a drop zone in the DMZ.

As soon as the merc hits the ground in the middle of the chaos, the player assumes control, beginning his or her manhunt for the "Deck of 52". The mercenary becomes acquainted with the leaders of the Chinese, South Korean, Russian Mafia, and Allied Nations factions. The mercenary can accept contracts of any factions to gain intelligence, cash, air support options, and the faction's favor. With the gathered intelligence, or by exploration of the region, the mercenary comes across numerous "number cards" and "face cards" to "verify" (kill or capture), claiming the bounties. When enough intelligence is gathered, he or she accepts an Ace contract from the AN, and breaks through to an enemy stronghold to verify the "Ace." After two Ace contracts, the theater of war shifts to the Northern Province, and the mercenary moves to the new region.

Through various contracts, the mercenary proceeds up the "Deck of 52," and finally is given the Ace of Spades contract. After a long battle against defending North Korean forces at the missile launch site, the mercenary manages to acquire the launch codes and disable the missiles. After rescuing the imprisoned President Kim (who was in fact alive) and seizing control of Song's fortress, the mercenary manages to verify General Song. Depending on whether or not the player is able to upload the abort codes in time, the game ends with a GSRN reporter stating that the missiles exploded in flight or that Seoul, among other major cities, has been destroyed. If Song is killed rather than captured, the 100 million dollar bounty is halved, leaving the player with 50 million dollars. Regardless, the capture or killing of Song does not end the violence and unrest raging throughout North Korea, and the former nation faces a troubled and uncertain future.

There are multiple endings for this game, however it is revealed in the sequel that the canonical ending is with China emerging the victor in the conflict, thus annexing North Korea.

[edit]CharactersEdit

There are three playable characters in Mercenaries: Christopher Jacobs, Jennifer Mui, and Mattias Nilsson. Each are mercenaries employed by ExOps during the North Korean conflict, but only one character of player's choice is dispatched to the war-zone in the beginning of the game. They follow the same plot and handle similarly in terms of gameplay, but each of them has a different personality, as well as specific strengths that may alter the player’s strategy. Also, each mercenary can speak a unique language in addition to English, so the player can understand conversations of a particular faction by reading the subtitles shown.


  • Chris Jacobs: (voiced by Phil LaMarr) is a former Delta Force operative from the United States. He appears to be a confident and reliable personality with often humorous remarks. He can endure more damage in health than others, and speaksKorean.
  • Jennifer Mui: (voiced by Jennifer Hale) was an MI6 agent before joining ExOps. She is highly efficient in stealthy maneuvers as she does not alert enemies as easily as other mercenaries. Born a Chinese-British in Hong Kong, she can understand conversations in Chinese.
  • Mattias Nilsson: (voiced by Peter Stormare) has been a Swedish Navy artillery officer until he became a mercenary. Extremely reckless, violent, and obsessed with explosives, Nilsson uses his faster movement on foot to overwhelm his enemies quickly. He speaks Russian and is able to understand private Mafia conversations.

Mercenaries contains unlockable skins as rewards for completing certain in-game tasks. For instance, picking up a certain number of National Treasures will allow playing as an NK Elite. Some cheat codes unlock the numerous hidden characters such as the leaders of each faction. This being a LucasArts game, it is also possible to unlock both Indiana Jones and Han Solo as playable characters. However, the differences between skins are only cosmetic and will have no effect on gameplay or the main character's attributes.

Mercenaries 2: World in Flames
Mercenaries 2 cover art
Developer(s) Pandemic Studios

Behaviour Interactive(PlayStation 2)

Publisher(s) Electronic Arts
Designer(s) Cameron Brown (creative director)
Composer(s) Chris Tilton
Series Mercenaries
Engine Zero Engine

(Heavily Modified)

Version 1.1(PC)
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows

PlayStation 2 PlayStation 3 Xbox 360

Release date(s)
  • NA August 31, 2008
  • EU September 5, 2008
Genre(s) Third-person shooter,open world
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Rating(s) *ESRB: T
Media/distribution Optical disc
System requirements

Windows Vista:

Windows XP:

  • Pentium 4 with hyper-threading or Athlon 64 X2,
  • 1 GB RAM,
  • GeForce 6800 GT or Radeon ATI X1600 graphics card[1]

Mercenaries 2: World in FlamesEdit

Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, often abbreviated as Mercs 2, is a video game developed by Pandemic Studios and published by Electronic Arts. It is the sequel to 2005's Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction, and it was released in the United States on August 31, 2008 and in Europe on September 5, 2008. The game is a third-person shooter with an open world, set in a fictionalized war-tornVenezuela, following the story of a mercenary getting revenge on the man who betrayed him/her, while causing as much mayhem and destruction as possible.

Following the closure of Pandemic Studios, EA announced on November 24, 2009 that EA Los Angeles are working on a title currently known as Mercs Inc.[2]

PlotEdit

[edit]BeginningEdit

Mercenaries 2: World in Flames is set in August 2010 in Venezuela. The story begins as the player approaches businessman Ramon Solano's villa. The player is greeted by a man named Blanco, who worked with the player in the past. In the meeting inside the villa, Solano hires the player to rescue a Venezuelan Army General Carmona who is being held prisoner in an old colonial fortress on an island off the coast by the Army after a failed coup attempt. The player uses weapons and air strikes supplied by Solano to assault the fortress and rescue Carmona. But once Carmona is rescued, Solano attempts to murder the player to avoid paying and to make sure there is no one to interfere with his plans. The player escapes despite being "shot in the ass", and begins to plan revenge on Solano.

Following a second successful coup by Carmona, Solano is chosen as the "civilian leader of a military government". Solano attempts to seize control of the country's oil supply, which is held by a company called Universal Petroleum (UP). Fierce fighting ensues between Universal Petroleum's hired mercenaries and the Venezuelan Army (referred to as the VZ in the game) under Solano's control. This results in the collapse of the country, especially in the city of Maracaibo, where the UP's overseas headquarters is located. This chaos drives people from their homes and causes widespread property damage. After taking control over Solano's villa, the player establishes his private military company (PMC) and helps the causes of the factions in exchange for money and information on Solano. This includes capturing VZ outposts, "verifying" High Value Targets (or "HVTs" for short) by either capturing or killing them, destroying key structures, and doing other work that the faction's forces cannot accomplish.

The mercenary first works for Universal Petroleum in the city of Maracaibo. The merc is given his first proper contract by the CEO Dr. Lorraine Rubin, to rescue a high ranking member of UP held by the VZ somewhere in the city of Maracaibo. Eventually, the mercenary finds him in an armored van on one of the main roads in the city and rescues him.

His next contract involves the protecting of the CFO of UP, currently stranded at the UP oil refinery. The refinery was evacuated due to Solano's "nationalization" program, which involved the overtake of the refinery. The CFO remained there in order to dispose of secret documents. The mercenary protects the CFO while he disposes of the documents, before they themselves escape as the refinery is overtaken by the VZ. During a conversation in the car on the way back to Maracaibo, the CFO reveals that Universal Petroleum didn't trick the country into letting them extract the oil for virtually nothing, but in fact that they tricked the country into paying UP for the oil rights.

At their return, Rubin gives him the time of the meeting between Solano and Blanco, but doesn't know the location of the meeting. She then suggests that the merc should go to the PLAV, or the People's Liberation Army of Venezuela, for information.

Around this time, the player can choose to work with a faction of Jamaican-based pirate smugglers operating in the islands of the north section of Lake Maracaibo. Involvement with the "Pirates" does not alter the gameplay and the Pirates only offer HVT, bounty, and small contracts in exchange for money. There are no main contracts supplied by the Pirate leader, making them useful only for their superiority of the North section of Lake Maracaibo and their cheap equipment they can sell to the mercenary.

The merc meets with the PLAV,( People's Liberation Army of Venezuela) a group of rebel guerrillas intent on taking the country back to civilian rule. The faction is backed by the China, which is intent on gaining oil rights. The leader, Marcella Acosta, offers the mercenary some contracts in exchange for information, including taking of the town of Mérida from the Venezuelan army. After several contracts, Marcella conveniently tells the mercenary she knows the location of the meeting between Solano and Blanco and offers a final contract to destroy the oil platform the meeting is on and verify Blanco.

Upon verifying Blanco and destroying the oil platform, the player learns of Solano's hidden bunker at Angel Falls and attempts to destroy it, but fails as it is hardened against normal bunker busterweapons. Shortly after, the player is forced to defend his/her own headquarters from Carmona and VZ troops. After repelling the attack and verifying Carmona, it is revealed that sinking the oil platform triggered an international response. As expected by Carmona, a large coalition of US-led Allied Nation troops from the original game (an imitation of the UN) and the Chinese move into the country. However, Carmona and his men hold on to the country thanks to an agreement with North Korea which gives them advanced weaponry and training. The AN is supposedly a peacekeeping and nation-rebuilding force for war-torn countries (as seen in North Korea), but the player finds that at the center of the operation is a CIA agent named Joyce, who was ordered to secure the oil supply when it became clear that their allies, Universal Petroleum, could not do so. The Chinese Army invaded when it became clear that the PLAV only wanted to stop Blanco and Carmona for personal reasons rather than overthrow the new government. Both factions battle for control of Caracas, the capital city of Venezuela, and the oil supply.

[edit]Allied plotlineEdit

As the Allies invade, they begin to make posts across the country, and heavily reinforce the city of Maracaibo, the location of the Universal Petroleum headquarters, and set their own headquarters south-west of Caracas, wishing to expand into the city with the help of the mercenary.

A CIA agent named Agent Joyce offers contracts in exchange for a Nuclear Bunker Buster. The first contract involves stopping the Chinese bombardment on the city using both artillery and boats.

The next contract is to destroy a CIA plane wreck on the nearby Chinese occupied island of Margarita and rescue the surviving crew as a bonus.

When the merc returns, he finds Joyce crippled in a wheelchair due to an IED, as part of a small attack on the AN base. Apparently, Solano had found out that Joyce was working with the mercenary and set to "disuade" him.

The final contract is to stop the impending Chinese invasion of Caracas. The mercenary is also told to "verify" General Peng, leader of the Chinese campaign in Venezuela. As the Chinese invade, the Allies prepare a counterstrike, and the mercenary secures the city and makes his way to Peng's castle near Cumuna, another occupied city to the east, causing him/her to become an enemy of the state to the Chinese. Eventually, the mercenary makes his way to the castle and verifies Peng, saving the Allies from major defeat in the region. The player meets with Joyce, who gives him the money promised but refuses to hand over the nuke. However, they then see a mushroom cloud in the distance, and Fiona, the mercenary's support operative, tells them that Solano just nuked the Allied HQ. Solano then broadcasts over the city that if Allied troops do not evacuate the country immediately, more destruction will follow. Joyce is told by his superiors he must retreat back to America, and gives the mercenary the weapon to stop Solano.

[edit]Chinese plotlineEdit

China invades Venezuela to secure another source of oil to meet their growing demand. The Chinese take control of Margarita, an island in the northeast portion of the map, and the outskirts of the Allied controlled city of Caracas.

Soon after, the faction pays the mercenary to take various outposts around the city. After this, they meet with General Peng, who was promoted after his successful campaign in North Korea. Peng reveals he is glad the mercenary is back, and offers him a series of contracts in exchange for a nuclear weapon. The Allies are holding a Chinese soldier hostage in the center of Cumaná. To Peng's annoyance, the Chinese are ordered to halt operations until the soldier is saved. Peng tells the mercenary that in his first contract, he must rescue the soldier, and for a bonus, destroy the three key Allied controlled buildings in the city. The Chinese then occupy the city for themselves. The second contract is to secure the oil for China by eradicating Universal Petroleum by:

  • Destroying the General Carmona bridge linking Maracaibo to Caracas and the bulk of the AN forces
  • Destroying the Universal Petroleum HQ in Maracaibo
  • Destroying the Universal Petroleum processing plant, thus rendering it useless.

The mercenary levels the buildings, leaving only ruins. China then secures the country's oil.

Peng offers the player his last contract, leading the Chinese assault on Caracas by verifying CIA operative Agent Joyce at the Allied HQ, destroying key Allied Nation occupied buildings in the city, and stopping any counterstrike from the AN. After battling through Caracas, the mercenary eventually gets to the Allied HQ and verifies Joyce. In Caracas, they meet with Peng, who tells the mercenary that the nuke and the cash are being delivered as they speak. They are interrupted in their conversation by a mushroom cloud going off in the distance, with Fiona revealing that the Castle of Saint Anthony near Cumaná, the Chinese base, was destroyed by Solano. Solano then broadcasts over the city that if Chinese troops do not withdraw from the country, more devastation will follow. Peng is ordered by Chinese superiors to return to China, and wishes the mercenary the best of luck with his final mission.

[edit]EndingEdit

The player returns to Solano's bunker in a second attempt to destroy it. After fighting through Solano's heavier defenses, the player uses the nuclear bunker buster to blast open an entrance. Solano almost escapes the ruins in a helicopter, before the player hijacks it and kills the pilot. The player confronts Solano, with Solano begging for his life. The merc shoots Solano then bails out of the helicopter. If the player has captured all of the game's HVTs, prior to capturing Solano, then he is knocked out and captured by the player's character, who calls the faction leader of the side assisted in the battle for Caracas, and informs them of this fact, wanting revenge for Solano nuking their HQ. The end cutscene does not change, however. The game ends with Fiona declaring Solano "Verified" on her laptop and talking about moving to India for their next contract.

CreditsEdit

Mercenaries Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercenaries:_Playground_of_Destruction

Mercenaries 2 - World in Flames Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercenaries_2:_World_in_Flames

Mercenaries (series) Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercenaries_(series)

Mercenaries Wikia: http://mercs.wikia.com/wiki/Mercenaries:_Playground_of_Destruction

All information, references, and citation can be found on these Wiki's.

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