In what has to be one of the most daring PR ventures of recent times, for a games company at least, EA has decided to add to the already considerable controversy surrounding Mercenaries 2: World in Flames.
From early doors this morning (5th Sept), the Last Stop Ltd petrol station near Finsbury Park in London was ‘hijacked’ by EA PR drones clad in combat gear, and the entire forecourt was decked out like a postcard from downtown Beirut.”Why?”, you may ask. To give away £20,000 of free petrol. of course!
To promote the release of Mercs 2 on PC, 360 and PS3, EA are giving every customer who makes it to the station before the £20,000 coffers run dry, £40 worth of petrol, totally free – an act that has, predictably, caused a right old ruckus on the early morning streets of London.
Unsurprisingly, everyone with a car who’s heard of the offer (and by extension everyone then told of the deal by others) immediately set off to the station, all at once with the aim of grabbing the goods. This has triggered major gridlock, and the local residents are far from happy.
Mercenaries 2, is the sequel to the original title, originally released by LucasArts, and is developed by Pandemic Studios. Players take on the role of a mercenary operating in Venezuela. The major theme of the game revolves around the country’s fuel production, and with a despotic new president, who seized control of the country in a military coup before stopping fuel export to the rest of the world, while making life miserable for the population.
As the eponymous Merc, gamers are tasked with completing a number of missions all around the game’s representation of Venezuela for various factions. This usually includes a gratuitous amount of gunplay and blowing stuff up, all for some good old-fashioned cash. You also steal fuel from various locations, as in-game currency also uses fuel, which is employed when calling in support such as vehicle drops and air strikes.
We’ll have the full review of Mercenaries 2 very soon.