on 2 August 2002
SOFII never ceases to amaze when considering the atmosphere and level of playability, simply a great FPS. There are downsides to it as well but for me it reaches a 4 star review if only for its size and variety of worldwide locations in superb and luscious detail, surround sound effects are put to perfect use eg. overhearing conversations in the midst of an evening rain storm or the light breezes through the trees while creeping through a jungle.... weapons modelling is spot on with all their own well thought out advantages/disadvantages, and grenades have never been as much fun as this, with literally 'side-splitting' results in confined spaces. The storyline although a little weak on originality still keeps level flow smooth as you play out the private eye in between blowing the brains out of anyone who stands in the way of your investigations!!
Only small annoyances detract this from being a 5 star game :
-AI really could and should have been fined tuned before release to give this game the edge on the competition, there is just too much of a gung-ho attitude with no sense of self preservation, racing round corners into your shotgun blast, never retreating (if given the chance) when outgunned or wounded.
-Stealth tactics could have worked brilliantly in this game but more often than not silently taking out the first couple of guards or terrorists inevitably results in all AI characters within 100M making a 'B-line' to your location.
-Some end of level carnage like inside helicopter gunships taking out land targets, while great fun, do seem to tax the processor and graphic card more than expected...options setting need some patience to keep entertainment levels high.
-No threats of this game crashing, but there are hints of weakness elsewhere with enemies caught in doorways or not reacting when a knife or two is thrown into their necks!!
-One personal dislike is the automatically closing doors after a few seconds, all of them, whether its a barn, hospital, mansion.... this sometimes limits the enjoyment to be had with the various grenades.
-Options of graphics and 'eye candy' can only be exploited realistically with a V6 twin-turbo super computer, which is not a problem as I intend to keep hold of this game until the technology arrives (...at laymans prices).
on 27 January 2003
Plenty of SOF2 reviews, so I'll keep it simple. The single player game is involving and well executed. However, it takes a monster Pc to get the most out of it as it is (in common with all Quake based games) running the server and the client on your poor little PC. However, in multiplayer, SOF2 comes into its own.
Multiplayer is breathtaking in SOF2. The maps are excellent and the gameplay requires thought, tactics and commitment. Skill is key here, rather than rate of fire (although that counts for a lot too). Unreal, Wolfenstein and so on are just a fragfest, but in SOF2 an accurate (and cunning) player can take down a guy with 3 postol shots, even if the target is spraying you up with an AK74 at the time. Use of cover and playing the opposition for suckers also works for you.
The game types are involving. Deathmatch is a total frag fest with attitude. The other games are better for established clans and genuine teamplay.
Moreover, this is perfectly playable on a modem as well as broadband, as SOF2 lets you adjust the Quake environment settings to suit your connection.
on 2 May 2003
The original SOF was good for a laugh, what with the OTT gore et al, but as a game in its own right it wasn't particularly outstanding. Well, Raven have really turned things around for the sequel, as SOF2 features vastly improved storyline, gameplay and enemy AI. The action is far more realistic - you can't just go running around enemy territory blasting away , as you're likely to be picked off very quickly. Accuracy is also important now, as enemy soldiers can be killed with a single shot to the head. The AI is pretty good; for example, soldiers sometimes throw your grenades back at you before they explode, and they all come looking for you if you retreat. The special forces that you fight use advanced weapons and tactics to try and kill you.
Raven have also introduced an element of stealth - alright, it's been done time and again in numerous other games, but it certainly adds variety here. One level requires you to assasinate a Columbian Escobar-type figure without being detected, making the game more like Hitman 2 or Metal Gear Solid than Quake. Best level is the hospital: you're visiting your boss who's just survived a bomb attempt on his life. When you're in his room, a team of special forces soldiers in SAS style kit (gasmasks, body armour) abseil down the building and come in through the window, shooting your partner and almost killing your boss. You're unarmed, with the building now swarming with soldiers and have to fight your way to the roof a la Die Hard. This level is brilliantly done, is exceptionally exciting and it is worth buying the game just for this level.
The story is much better this time, with an evolving plot involving espionage, terrorism, assasinations and corruption. Admittedly, it's no Le Carre novel, but it makes the game more engaging and isn't merely bolted on to justify the violence.
My only gripes are that the screens jogs up and down to simulate walking/running - realistic, but hard on the eyes - and that the game requires a pretty powerful pc to get the most from it.
Soldier of Fortune shocked the world; not because of its game play (which was good, but it had its flaws), no, because of its gore. Simple. I know a few people who claim to be hard-core gamers, but when it comes down to it, they judge a game solely on its graphics. If it has bad graphics or effects, or simply old, they won't touch it. This is the kind of game that would instantly appeal to them.
SOF2's much-hyped Ghoul 2 game engine allows the most realistic (supposedly) damage to be caused to enemies than ever before. Its the gaming equivilent to an Arnie film, then, I hear you ask? Well, kind of. The gore appeals to many, and disgusts many, a kind of Marmite dilema. In my opinion, it isn't all its cracked up to be; a machine gun doesn't slowly remove chunks from a person's head, even at close range while firing at the same spot; sure, it'll make a hole. And the shotgun only dismembers if you hit the right coordinates on the model; for example shooting someone's elbow will remove their lower arm, but shooting someone in the chest will only 'paint' red spots on him.
On the plus side, the gameplay isn't too shabby. While the terrorist-fighting storyline involving biological warfare might not be too popular at the moment, the story is there. Not quite as well narrated as some games like Jedi Knight 2 and Half-Life, but you have a sense of purpose throughout. If you cast John Mullins as James Bond in the same scenario, I doubt many would say the story line doesn't suit.
The various 'types' of gameplay that you end up doing, stealth, the inevitable 'lets take all his weapons away and make him escape from jail because it will be fun' mission, protecting VIPs, and of course the running round shooting people in the head missions add an interesting if underdone variety.
And of course, one has to take note of the singleplayer random map generator, an unusual but welcome extra for first person shooters. This may well guarentee its SP life far beyond that of the main game.
The graphics are, apart from the let-down of a gore system, typically excellent of a Raven Game; they take the Quake 3 engine further than anyone ever dreamed, to Jedi Knight 2 levels. The sound effects are not really very good, however the weapons 'feel' powerful; its hard to put in to words, but the noise they make, the muzzle flash and the size of the kickback make the weapons actually feel like weapons. This level of quality in weapons design is hard to find, for example in Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza, the weapons really do feel like staple guns. You will feel dangerous with these, I assure you.
All in all, not AS promising as it could have been. Raven relied far too heavily on their Ghoul 2 modelling system and simply left too much out of the single player campaign to warrant 5 stars, though it is a good alternative to some of the Game of the Year 2002 candidates. As a sidenote, those of you into the multiplayer scene will find that Raven gives SOF2 some good support in terms of patching; you will find entirely new weapons in several patches, including the silenced MP5.
on 3 August 2002
When I originally played this game the first thing that struck me was its similarity to, in my opinion the greatest ever
first-person shoot 'em up, Goldeneye for the N64. I don't think it's as revolutionary as Goldeneye but the way the SOF2 first feels is similar.
The A.I. is some of the most realistic i've ever seen with enemies sneaking up on you, hiding behind objects, and covering themselves with gas grenades. They match you step for step.
The graphics and the soundFX are superb. The detail is outstanding and characters are all very crisp and lifelike. Splinters and shrapnel fly out of whatever happens to get shot and the diagetic sounds also add a very realistic atmosphere the to game, especially the level in the Columbian jungle.
Not only are the levels very well detailed but the designs are some of the best i've seen. Each one is very challenging in it's own way. Some rely on stealth and others, purely running round shooting everything that moves. Also, the game boasts a Random Scenario Generator which means that every time you re-start a level the enemies and surroundings are always in slightly different positions which means you can never rely on your memory to get you through them.
Only playing the demo I didn't get a clear idea of what the storyline is like but if i was to go off the rest of the games aspects i would guess at it also being very well thought out and scripted.
I know one thing though, i'm buying the full version today!!!
And so should any first-person shoot 'em up fans!
on 6 December 2002
And that about says it all. Plenty of style, terrific visuals, jaw droppingly unpleasant damage modelling, some great features are all positive aspects to this game, but it will invariably disappoint those who are looking for more than a run and gun shooter with a lot of blood. The story (single player) is laughable however(and insultingly similar to the original NOLF) despite being much touted as a'cutting edge and chilling' tale of espionage and bio-warfare.
In general, you will be entertained for a decent while by this game, and when you tire of the utterly linear gameplay of SP, the Multiplayer side of things can be great, and there is even a Random Mission Generator to allow players to inject some novelty into matters long after they are sick of single player.
At the end of the day tho, once you have blown the trillionth terrorist's head clean off, and watched him crumple to the floor making a variety of unpleasant gurgling noises, arterial blood spurting from the neck (it is impossible to overstate how violent this game is), you will reflect that this is a game that leaves you feeling very hollow indeed.
Plenty of style, zero substance. A clichéd gore fest for a desensitized age. You are better off with NOLF2 (if you can get it working).
on 3 March 2003
This game is definately one worth considering. Especially; at 15 pounds its a Bargain!!! The single player is quick and messy, and instead of being instructed as to your style for the missions, you decide. If you want to be sneaky, be sneaky, if you want to rage around like a crazed lunatic spraying blood everywhere then you do that! Although broadband or some other high speed connection does help quite considerably in multiplayer, it is not essential. A 56k modem can be used, at the expense of gameplay. Nothing smaller than 56kbps is reccommended. Even if you dont play on the net, this thing is probably the best game ive ever played...Even better than Nightfire or Quake III or some of the other classics. If you're squeemish, you can always turn of the blood and limb-discharge if you really want. I would reccomend to anyone.
on 4 January 2006
It's not perfect - hence 4/5 not 5/5 - but this is a very good FPS/action/strategy for those (like me) who want to play Rainbow Six type games while avoiding the tedium and confusion of having to plan the strategy and control umpteen guys in half a dozen teams...
With SOFII you can just get in there and sort out the bad guys - good fun!
What a great little game, and if you liked the original, you'll love this one!
Improved weapons and more user friendly this first person shooter takes you through a variety of combat areas, the jungle, Hong Kong and Russia to name just a few. Fantasic action linked into a strong story line.
High points included interacting with other soldiers in the jungle and an 'Apocolypse Now' helicopter run.
Few low points, although I did find some of the bad guys took too much killing. In my view a few rounds in someone's chest and they should stay down!
On completion there are also a few custom build missions that the computer will generate for you.
Hours of pulsating fun. Highly recommended.
on 4 February 2003
Wow! is just one of the many positive words to describe this game. It has amazingly improved from the first one, even though the first one was a great game as well. The graphics are quite stunning and the game play is also brilliant.
Online play is great fun espically if you play on a Local area Network (LAN) and you know everyone that is playing. I found that all the missions are really fun to play, and the covert levels are even better. Also bots are now available from a number of different websites, so multiplayer mode can be turned into single player mode. (Thats if you can ever tire of all the random missions in single player mode anyway!)
There are very few bad things you can say about this game, the only thing that I feel is weak, are the night vision goggles. In my view they are more the 'make things fuzzy' goggles rather than night vision. But as I said this is only one bad thing. I am sure that there is about a thousand good things to say to one bad thing so I really recommend this to anyone who enjoyed similar games such as desert dtorm, counter strike etc.
The levels are also quite hard, not like your usual shoot em up. Each level does take time to complete and the enemys are also very intelegent and they pick up on many different things such as sound, light and movement.
The random mission generaters are also very good, so even when you complete all the missions in single player mode, you can keep playing these random missions for hours. In my view this game never really gets boring and if you own the first one and found it brilliant, as I did, then I strongly suggest you get this one.