Acceptable Targets: The NK soldiers might as well be Orcs of the White Hand, and General Song himself doesn't have a lot of depth. The executive even says it in the board meeting which opens the game: "The guy's evil."
In the second game, Fiona can approach this if you decide to wander around aimlessly without really doing anything.
Coming too close to even a 'friendly' faction commander will cause him to negate that disguise, sometimes at inopportune times.
Complacent Gaming Syndrome: Mattias was always the most-visible of the mercs, to the point where he's front-and-center in the box art. But in the sequel, he becomes mandatory due to healing faster than the other two.
Critical Research Failure: Mattias' backstory, as written, is impossible. Both when the first game was released and when Nilsson's service in the Swedish Army was supposed to have happened, Sweden did not have a professional army and you definitely couldn't join the army at 17. The Swedish army at the time conscripted its recruits at age 18 or after high-school, and the only career soldiers were officers. None of this information would have been impossible to find with a quick internet search. Also, someone with Nilsson's history would most likely have been declared mentally unfit.
Ensemble Dark Horse: Josef in the first game, a Russian straight-shooter who always deals you a fair hand. For the opposite reasons, his temperamental boss Sergei also has fans.
Franchise Original Sin: World in Flames. There were good and bad things about it: bad in that minor gripes from the last game—bugs, poor AI, last-gen graphics, Bush-era politics—are a lot more noticeable in the sequel.
Harsher in Hindsight: World In Flames depicts a Venezuela plunged into a civil war and national power struggle by an opportunistic dictator riding on nationalist sentiment with considerable contempt for the people he'd be ruling. As of 2017, Venezuela is teetering on the brink of open civil war and societal collapse thanks to U.S. sanctions and the bungled socialist policies of the aloof and dictatorial Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro. Worse still, in 2019, the U.S. Government and media were beating the war drums for an invasion of Venezuela for the sake of oil, which was only-narrowly averted due to American antipathy toward regime change and President Trump's receptiveness toward that base.
Most of the funnier lines have gotten a following of their own, but Mattias Nilsson has gotten by far the most, particularly his hijacking line of "This is an emergency! A Viking emergency!"
Sequelitis: World in Flames. The missions lack variety when compared to the flavorful PoD. Pandemic also made big promises in the lead-up to the game's release (such as being able to pilot any vehicle you see) that they didn't deliver on, which pissed the fans off. The game featured online co-op play, but no local multiplayer. All three characters now behave like Mattias, whereas in the original they each had distinct personalities.
That One Sidequest: The Pirate cargo missions from 2. All of them. Not only are you required to drive a rickety pickup truck laden with various cargo through twisty, uneven roads (the better to make the cargo slosh out) practically infested with hostile vehicles (your truck can take approximately -5 damage before exploding and is easily flipped through collisions and near-miss explosions) and helicopters (see previous parenthetical, add homing missiles) while unarmed, but the majority of the problems would be solved if the player character were simply able to lash a tarp over the truck bed.