The first Mercenaries was a brilliant example of innovation within the relatively new "sandbox", Grand Theft Auto-inspired, genre. It was not just iteration on the idea like so many other lifeless clones. Set in North Korea, you were tasked with capturing (dead or alive, depending on how much you wanted to earn) a deck of cards worth of military leaders. The game was literally a huge playset of destructible objects, vehicles and intensely volatile weaponry, beautifully presented in a world where physics actually mattered and simply sniping a helicopter pilot out of his seat was worth the price of admission.
Mercenaries 2: World in Flames looks bigger and better in every conceivable way. From what I saw behind closed doors at last year's E3 and what was shown this year at GDC, Pandemic have taken their destructive approach to open-ended gaming to thrillingly ridiculous heights.