The Expendables 2 is the latest movie tie-in from Ubisoft, throwing players straight into the action, as they mow down fields of enemy soldiers. The game itself has been released as an arcade download, weighing in at around £15. Is The Expendables 2 worth your money, or will it send you on a real life killing spree?
The Expendables 2 links in with the main movie release, as players are tasked with rescuing a kidnapped Chinese billionaire using all sorts of brute force. The following gameplay is best described as a blood bath, as players find themselves mowing through fields of enemies in order to complete tether objectives.
Gameplay in The Expendables 2 comes in the form of a third person top down shooter. This style is pretty cool, as it provides you with a consistent, extended view of the game map, allowing you to stay on top of the game’s constant flow of enemies. Unfortunately, whilst handy, this extended view also provides some difficulty, as at times it becomes difficult to pick out zoomed out enemies, making them blend with your own allies. It was this issue that made me grateful or the game’s lack of friendly fire.
Players are able to take control of one of four characters (Barney, Gunner, Caeser and Yin-Yang) from the film, providing a bit of variation to the play experience. Each character comes with a different weapon arsenal and attack style, which allows the game to throw the occasional character specific obstacle in your face.
The game has a character selection screen, but this feels a little redundant when playing on your own, as you will constantly find yourself switching characters to make use of individual skills. This screen does however make sense if playing alone and sets up a good starting point for players. Furthermore, the actual in game character swapping system, complements this a bit as it provides a smooth transition without the need for a billion menus and overlays.
The game is very much an online multiplayer first video game, as (no doubt to many players annoyance) the game does not feature any real offline multiplayer, forcing additional players to sign into an Xbox Live ID before playing. I found this to be a little annoying, and wasn’t a fan of the additional time it added to what could have been a simple game selection screen.
Offline limitations aside, the game’s online multiplayer uses a pretty awesome system that ensures your game experience is supported by real players more often than the game’s AI. The multiplayer in The Expendables 2 is completely drop in- drop out, so if you have decided to play a level from the start, you will notice the occasional player dropping in on your game, taking control of one of the other available characters. This similarly works well if you’ve decided to turn the game on for a quick blast, as you can hop straight in with random players without sitting in lobbys, or having to start at the beginning.
The Expendables 2 is definitely capable of providing a fun group experience, but that doesn’t mean it’s one that will appeal to all players. The game makes use of some interesting mechanics, but unfortunately seems to fall short on a few of these as confusing implementations subtract from the game experience. Overall, it is definitely a game with a select audience, so if you’re not a fan of equipping fire-arms and killing lots of people, this game may not be for you.