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Soldier Of Fortune Gold Edition PS2 PlayStation2 Playstation 2 PStwo

Soldier Of Fortune Gold Edition

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Review of Soldier Of Fortune Gold Edition

The hunter becomes the hunted... Youre the worlds deadliest Soldier of Fortune and your mission is clear: survive. Track your prey across the globe in a series of secret missions to take down a fanatical terrorist organization... before it takes you down. Welcome to the secret world of mercenary combat.

Soldier of Fortune Gold Edition is a port of the hit PC game that received critical acclaim just over two years ago. It’s basically a 3-D first-person shooter developed by Raven Software, immersing players into a covert world of international intrigue. As mercenaries for hire, players must embark on insurgent operations in political hotspots around the world.

The story behind Soldier Of Fortune almost touches a nerve of reality as the player takes on the role of the main game character, John Mullins. He’s supposedly a consultant hired by the US government to do the jobs that they aren’t really meant to be doing, if you know what I mean. His main mission is to seek out and destroy four stolen nukes and then eliminate the terrorist groups and those responsible for the theft, so expect the occasional polygon appearance of a certain Iraqi dictator throughout.

As far as the visuals go my initial reaction was that the graphics look mighty similar to Quake 2 on PS1, so I wasn’t really surprised to later learn that Raven had utilized ID’s Quake II engine technology for this game. Much of the worldly themed scenery looks sharp and colorful, while the view has been purposely kept at a minimal distance to avoid any problems. This means that most of the game is played within the confines of four walls (corridor, room, courtyard) until later on, where fogging is then used to keep the rate up.

What Soldier Of Fortune does have in abundance is more blood and guts in one level than your average abattoir sees in a month. If you thought Resident Evil was gory then just wait until you cast your eyes over this massacre. By using the ‘GHOUL’ system each enemy model has been divided into multiple hit-boxes and therefore can be disassembled limb by limb. Shoot an enemy in the foot and he’ll hop around like a cat on a hot tin roof. Hit mid-leg and the guy is instantly kneecapped leaving him to squirm around the set in obvious distress. An accurate mid-shot puts a bullet right between his legs making him fold in unimaginable pain and, get this… your mercenary actually makes more money for gruesome throat-kills and messy decapitations.

The game characters take on a photo-realistic appearance and using the sniper-rifle scope to zoom right into a face can prove to be quite eerie, especially when you know that the targets head is just about to be blown apart like a bullet through a pumpkin. However, all throughout the game I kept thinking there was something dated about the whole proceedings. Maybe this was because the main character looks like a 70’s porn star, while his partner in crime bears more than a similar resemblance to the movie cop Shaft from the same era.

The sound effects are fine using realistic weapon noises, a nice chunky reload sound and terrifying screams of agony as limb becomes parted from body. This may sound crazy, but I’ll swear the groan associated with a full body shot is identical to the moan from Grandpa in The Simpson’s.

The handling is remarkably slick, but actually takes a little getting used to at first as I found myself over-running corners… straight into trouble. For beginners there is an auto-lock-on target system that tends to occasionally lock-on just OFF target - great assist! Of course this can be switched off in the options to offer further realism.

The gameplay is that of a typical arcade shooter with posted enemies reacting immediately upon sight, although I found that by edging very slowly through a doorway several guards could be taken out early by sniping their partly viewed limbs. Once an area has been totally cleared reinforcements are often triggered into action by simply crossing a set point or attempting to exit the location. They may burst through a previously locked door, jump from a rooftop or even magically appearing out of thin air. Scores are awarded on completion of a mission before a new selection of weapons may be chosen for the next outing.

The first few levels reminded me so much of the lame Fighting Force 2 with it’s underground theme, but thankfully this horrid thought gradually disappeared as I ploughed further into the game. It’s turns out to be one of those ‘path-shooters’ in which the player is rarely allowed to stray from the restricted route where lies the main objective (tunnels, passages, ducting…), requiring all brawl and little brain. In fact had I written this review during the early stages of play then this Soldier Of Fortune may well have been well and truly assassinated without a fair trial. However, there is something within that makes you want to delve further and further into this game. Maybe I just wanted to pull the trigger on Saddem Hussein…

OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'Soldier Of Fortune Gold Edition' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.

This review was written by Martin © Absolute PlayStation


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SOLDIER OF FORTUNE GOLD EDITION

73/100

Review Summary:

"Soldier Of Fortune gradually crept up on me rather than smacked me straight in the face and after a poor start it actually turned out to be an OK first-person shooter.
Missions are fairly straightforward… reach a specific checkpoint alive, shoot lots of baddies… certainly nothing a Big Brother contestant couldn’t do.
It also includes a four-player split-screen multiplayer Deathmatch mode, which is ruined by some awful slowdown.
Overall the gameplay (like its main characters) seems a little dated, but still goes on to provide a reasonable challenge."

Score Breakdown:

Graphics  10/20
Playability  40/50
Sound  8/10
Lastability  15/20

Our Recommendation:

This is a good solid title that should still appeal to those who like this type of game.

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SOLDIER OF FORTUNE GOLD EDITION

Soldier Of Fortune Gold Edition was created by Raven and is a Shooter game.

SOLDIER OF FORTUNE GOLD EDITION FEATURES:

Great story-driven plot with realistic weapons and tons of enemies and environments

Covert Mercenary Missions: Enter the world of a soldier-for-hire, a deadly killer who journeys across the globes most dangerous, political hotspots-from a speeding freight train in Africa to Iraqi oil refineries to Russian chemical plants. Take on 30 deadly missions in a race against time that could determine the fate of the world.

Brutal Weapons and Violence: Tear your way past enemy lines utilizing the worlds most lethal weaponry, including a sniper rifle, white phosphorous grenades, and prototype microwave pulse guns. Real bullets do real damage: shoot someone in the leg and he falls, writhing and grasping his wound; shoot someone in the head and he falls down dead.

Living 3-D Environments: Infiltrate foreign locations as non-player characters go about their daily lives as if you werent there until you blow your cover. Beware, you may find yourself tracked by the very organization you were sent to hunt down. Hollywood motion-capture animation by House of Moves adds realism and intensifies the visual impact.

Multiplayer Hunting: Infiltrate the ranks of the Internet via Deathmatch or innovative multiplayer games, including Assassin, where you track and kill a pre-determined player while someone else hunts you; and Arsenal, where you race to be the first to kill an opponent using each of your available weapons.

Revolutionary Shooter Technology: Reap the benefits of the 3-D accelerator-optimized Quake II engine, upgraded with Ravens new GHOUL rendering system for unprecedented enemy detail and violence, faster gameplay, and the most amazing 3-D graphics to date.

Reviewed and authenticated by Captain John Mullins

New AI, physics, scripting language, model system (GHOUL)... GHOUL is a new model system being developed by Raven technology programmer Gil Gribb. It allows for better model physics than Quake II previously supported and also gives us a wealth of new lighting, movement, and destroy-ability options.

SOLDIER OF FORTUNE GOLD EDITION OPTIONS:

• DVD Media
• 280 KBytes required on Memory card per save (min)
• Up to 2 Players (without Multi-tap2)
• Up to 4 Players (with Multi-tap2)
• Up to 4 PS2 can be linked together (with iLINK)
• 4 way split screen multi-player option
• Uses Dual Shock2 Pad Buttons
• Uses Dual Shock2 Pad Analog Sticks
• Uses Dual Shock2 Pad Vibration facility

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