Even though the reason I finally went out and bought a used PS2 years ago was because of the game Crazy Taxi, the 2005 Lucas Arts game Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction remains one of the bigger reasons I often recommend people to own a PS2 console. Oh sure the game was also available on the Xbox platform, but at the time Sony had the bigger library of games than Microsoft, at least in my mind. It may be of note to mention at this point that I don't even own Crazy Taxi anymore.
So what is it about Mercenaries that has kept it on my gaming shelves for so long? Well, simply put, it's fun blowing shit up. At the time I got this game I had never really played any "sandbox" games. I had heard of Grand Theft Auto, but had never played it. I understood the concept of open world video games, and had played a few of them, but had yet to really experience it on the level that was available in Mercenaries. The day I bought it and put it in to my PS2 system my life changed forever. There was no looking back, I was immediately hooked on this whole sandbox/open world gaming design. From that point forward I wanted all video games to be like this.
I will openly admit at this point that I have never completed Mercenaries. Not once, not even a little bit. The big reason why I have never beaten it is due to the reason why I like this game, it’s fun blowing shit up. I find that it's a lot more fun to just run around blowing up the NK force's buildings, and vehicles. Oh sure, I stumble upon the members of the "Deck of 52" while I am out running around, but I have never actually gotten to all the cards, and I have yet to complete all the different missions and side missions available through the various factions within the game. I guess you could say that I am easily distracted, and get caught up just exploring the streets and country sides of South Korea.
When you toss in the additional cheat codes that are available for this game, plus some of the un-lockable items that Lucas Arts included, it really makes it tough to want to try and complete this game in a point A to point B type of fashion. There are just so many fun things to do. I know I always try to find fun new ways of what I call "Car Farming" With monetary bounty available for all destroyed North Korean vehicles it can be fun to gather large quantities of various ones and arrange them in a line or large group setting, set some C4 explosive nearby, and detonate it for a little extra money. Plus it’s a lot of fun to watch the cars and debris go flying all over the place. For examples of that, please see the following videos:
CAR FARMING 1
CAR FARMING 2
CAR FARMING 1
CAR FARMING 2