The Expendables 2 feels like a natural extension of its source material, but it's likely to please only a certain breed of old-school game fan.
- Faithful to the license
- Bombastic explosions
- Comfortable difficulty level.
- Awkward targeting setup
- Rough around the edges
- Drags a bit.
Most people who go missing shouldn't expect an army of heroes to spring into action and scour the globe to find them, but money changes everything. When a billionaire is abducted, four brave and cash-starved mercenaries join together to save the unfortunate man from whatever fate his captors have in mind. Along the way, the foursome punch, slash, shoot, and blast their way to victory as the resulting body count goes through the roof.
The Expendables 2 video game (just barely) tells a story that unfolds shortly before the events depicted in the upcoming movie of the same name. That means you won't have to worry about spoilers as you work through the game's 20 stages. Aside from a few brief scenes that are surprisingly light on exposition, there's not really a narrative. The lackluster plot is as much a benefit as it is an issue, though, because there's nothing to distract you from focusing on the real action.
With the exception of some relatively brief and infrequent on-rails sequences that take place in vehicles, The Expendables 2 is a shooter in the vein of Neo Contra, or 2009's G.I. Joe movie tie-in. The action is viewed from an isometric angle that lets you see a substantial portion of whatever environment you might be navigating, but in this case there are four heroes working together to deal pain to the seemingly endless waves of enemy goons instead of the usual two. Those four heroes can be controlled either by real friends or by the computer, depending on your preferences and circumstances.
The available mercenaries each have two primary weapons they can switch between, as well as melee attacks and signature killing moves. Visually the character models resemble the characters in the film franchise, particularly Stallone's character, but the main reason to pick one mercenary over another is the primary weapon selection. Yin Yang carries a simple machine gun and some deadly throwing knives, while the bulkier Gunner Jensen can choose between a shotgun and a sniper rifle with a laser sight. Barney Ross is a middle-of-the-road character, meanwhile, and Hale Caesar packs more explosive equipment than the other guys.
They all start out quite strong (these guys didn't get where they are due to misfiled paperwork), but you make them even stronger by purchasing skill and weapon upgrades with the experience points you earn while playing through the campaign. Health, movement speed, and weapon effectiveness can all be enhanced slightly, just enough to make later stages less intimidating but not enough to make them too easy. The differences between a fresh character and one that has been powered may not be substantial, but upgrades still serve as a nice reward for your efforts.
If you've played games of this sort in the past, you shouldn't have much trouble with The Expendables 2 on the default Casual difficulty setting. There are a few places throughout the campaign where the action gets crazy enough that you might get unlucky and fail a mission, but generous checkpoint placement typically prevents you from losing much ground, and there usually are enough points of cover that four heroes are quite capable of cutting a swath through any enemy forces. There's also the option of the Hardcore setting, if you think you're up to it.
The fact that this is above a 2 means I'm done here. There is no way you can even pretend this is worth buying in any context. I've seen much better games get a 4 here. Everything about this game is awful. The controls and camera are garbage, there are missing models (invisible shotgun), bad voice acting, your shots don't always go where you aim, the AI sometimes commit suicide if you fire in their general direction (didn't even hit him, he just fell like he was shot) bad hit box programming? And they couldn't even bother to add variance to enemy actions. At one point in the first area all the enemy soldiers were firing in unison.† Also, comfortable difficulty level? the only way to die is if you kill yourself or one of your teammates. Did you try playing with yourr controller of choice clenched between your cheeks? That is the only way you could call this difficulty comfortable. And...† really? your praising the explosions as one of the games pros? f*ck off. I'm done on gamespot. Your reviews are completely unreliable.
†@montblanc512† Dude, cut this game some slack. I am really impressed that the movie studio got that check out to Gamespot SO fast! The Expendables 2 accounting department is clearly excellent. If this gently-worded review with a 5.5 score is not capitalism (since the game deserves a violent tongue-lashing and a 1.5 score), I don't know what is! Go Team USA!
Really bad game. Stay well clear of this one unless you have money to burn, in fact burn the money instead.
This game cracked me up when i first played it....no more expendables for me!!!
The game is pretty horrible, but very nice comedy fodder. The abrupt endings of each mission crack me up... it's like Ubisoft knew a movie-based video game would suck, so they didn't bother trying...
tried, the demo. it works, but it doesnt do anything we havent seen time, and time, and time, and time again. i think this kind of gameplay is being way overused today.
The demo is alright, but I did notice a frame rate problem. This is a game for those old school Contra players. Not sure if it's worth $15cdn, more like $10. It would be cool if I had friends that came over to play it with. I found it fun, just nothing mind blowing.
The Demo for Expendables 2 is great! It's a simple 2D shooter with good onrail shooting from an helicopter.† You can be 4 people playing in the same screen offline and online.† The knife thrower is so cool to play with his smoke bomb.
@Plava12†I enjoyed the demo too. But I'm not giving 15 euros for a game of this low caliber. No way.
†@Plava12†Nice try, member of The Expendables 2 marketing team.
†@UnwantedSpam Ok, it does look like a sell pitch.† But I'm sick of people not trying games that are rated less then 7/10.† The demo is fun and so I invite people to not miss it.† You can look at my reviews and you'll see I encourage offline coop games. †
I see Chuck Norris isn't a playable character...I guess they wanted the game to offer an actual challenge :P