It appears as if Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is more than a little paranoid about U.S. intentions. The upcoming release of Pandemic’s Mercenaries 2: World in Flames has Chavez saying the game is the creation of those who want to do "Washington's bidding," mustering support for an overthrow of his government.
Granted, the title is set in a time when "a power-hungry tyrant messes with Venezuela's oil supply, sparking an invasion that turns the country into a war zone." And, players will take on the roles of armed mercenaries in the title. But really, if the U.S. chooses to take action, which is unlikely with unrest in the Middle East putting a strain on the country, a video game would likely be the last thing on the government's mind to use as propaganda.
Pandemic’s publicist Chris Norris denies any involvement with the government in creating the title, but did say designers “always want to have a rip from the headlines.” So, it would seem rather than the Bush administration touting the title, developers themselves dreamt up the idea based on Chavez’s anti-American actions, drawing a potential conclusion about what may come.
Still, Venezuelan lawmakers are threatening to ban the title when it’s released for the PS3.
Lawmaker Gabriela Ramirez said "Mercenaries 2" gives a false vision of Chavez as a tyrant and Venezuela as being on the verge of chaos. She said the game could be banned under a proposed law aimed at protecting Venezuelan children from violent video games.
In the U.S., "it sends a message to Americans: You have a danger next door, here in Latin America, and action must be taken," she said. "It's a justification for an imperialist aggression."
The U.S. has denied any plans to attack Venezuela, but Bush has stated concern about the county’s apparent “erosion” of democracy.
Mercenaries 2: World in Flames was named Best of E3 in the PS3 class by Games Radar. It’s being developed for the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. There’s no release date yet.
More about the titles can be found at the official site.