So, first things first. I have not played the first Shellshock game, but was willing, ready and able to give this a go. What a mistake. This has to be one of the most inept, poorly executed and downright unenjoyable war games I have ever played. And I have played nearly all of them. So what's wrong with the game then? Where do I start? Almost everything is wrong with this game right from the laughably inept controls, poor level design, stupid artificial intelligence and woeful graphics. Of course the warning signs were all there: a sequel to an already weak original (according to reviews in most magazines) almost no marketing, and an inferior (or at least highly inconsistent) developer. Add in a Vietnam Wars setting and the fact that it's yet another first person shooter and you've got a world of pain. The Vietnam War has never worked as a video game setting and I personally can't see that it ever will - at least not playing as the Americans anyway. Getting killed by an unseen peasant army and/or malaria in an impenetrable jungle is hardly the equivalent of running around France shooting Nazis, morally or logistically.
Realising all the intrinsic problems of its setting, the developer Rebellion has added a secret ingredient: zombies - akin to Call of Duty 5: World at War. Now although zombies are turning into the biggest cliche since bald space marines we have to admit adding a horror element to this particular game is an excellent idea - in theory at least. Unfortunately there's no real way to prove this, given the execution here is so abominably poor. I honestly don't know which is worse: this or Spark Unlimited's "Legendary" and Turning Point: Fall Of Liberty.
All three suffer from the same basic problems though with wretchedly inaccurate controls, terrible graphics and level design as brain dead as the artificial intelligence. I can understand how the obviously low budget would limit the graphics, but there's no excuse for the rest. Because the game knows it's rubbish at rendering jungles as much as possible is actually set in different locales. This adds what would have been a welcome air of unpredictability in another, better, game but here it's just a master class in bad set pieces. The multiple sieges are probably the worst as the endless stream of enemies run like doomed clockwork soldiers to their predestined firing spots. Incredibly for a first person shooter in this day and age there is no multiplayer mode, although given the quality of the rest of the game it was probably a mercy killing. As you'll probably by now be expecting the game is also riddled with bugs, with glitchy graphics and AI. Please avoid it all costs. I just hope Rebellion sort themselves, and their budgets out for Sega's Aliens Vs. Predator and Battlefront III.