Bringing military action into the wide open spaces of a fictitious Korea, LucasArts and Pandemic Studios (Full Spectrum Warrior, Star Wars: The Clone Wars) are endeavoring to lure gamers into something a little different. The easiest way to think about Mercenaries, due in January on Xbox and PS2, is to imagine a third-person military combat game that uses the big broad, living breathing cities of Grand Theft Auto, except instead of a random assortment of civilians that say "sail away" and "in the navy," you're in the dense cities of North Korea.
You take on the role of a private military man who engages in a search for the "Deck of 52," the sum of dangerous and/or politically influential members of the government. As a free agent mercenary, you take missions from a variety of agents, and the mission types range from the standard "take-out-the-bad-guy" types to those we've seen in recent movies or those that mirror real-life war situations. For instance, you might have to rescue surviving members of a Black Hawk helicopter crash, blow up an enemy arms depot or capture an enemy tank. You may find yourself fighting alongside the Chinese military or UN troops in certain scenarios. There are primary and secondary missions, and each take place in a dynamic three tier world. Players progress as bad-ass mercs, but they must also succeed in the political and economic parts of the world as well.
Interestingly enough, you have a choice of characters from which to pick. You can play as a swift, roguish Swede who speaks Russian, a stealthy British female from Hong Kong who's fluent in Chinese, and a tough Korean-speaking African-American. There is a fourth, unlockable character, but LucasArts wants to reveal this one later on down the line.
And the enemies? As part of this new four-part feature, we're introducing the biographies of several chapters/suits. Each new article highlights renders, bios and a few movies from all of the top face cards within each suit, culminating in the Ace of Spades
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