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Mercenaries: Playground Of Destruction Review

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George Lucas’ game studio has exploited real-world tensions to produce an explosive military adventure that’s sure to become one of 2005’s sleeper hits

★★★★

Although George Lucas may be more focused on conflicts far, far away than the troubles back home, the director’s game studio has exploited real-world tensions to produce an explosive military adventure that’s sure to become one of 2005’s sleeper hits.

Taking control of a group of mercenaries in a war-torn North Korea of the not-too-distant future, gamers play different factions against each other in the pursuit of hard cash, with the Allied Nations, Chinese, South Koreans and Russian Mafia all willing to pay for your gun-totin’ services.

Like Grand Theft Auto, the game allows players to tackle challenges in any order they like, missions that take you across a beautifully-realised, battle-ravaged landscape.

However, the biggest appeal is simply blowing stuff up; just about everything you see can be destroyed if you have the right weapons, and a quick phone call can even order an apocalyptic air strike that flattens everything in its path.