Soldier of Fortune
Written by Shigamoto   
Thursday, 30 June 2005

Soldier of Fortune was developed in cooperation with an ex special forces member, and was presented in the Quake II engine, dressed for success? Read our review to find out.

Gamers are becoming spoiled with great and realistic first person warfare games, when this game was released in 2000 there wasn’t as many as is the case today so this game definitely stood out from the crowd.

The story in the game is pretty straightforward and chillingly authentic. Four nukes have been stolen from the former Soviet Union. Terrorist organizations and dictators have acquired them and are now threatening or are about to threaten the world with them.

Obviously the expert John Blade and his guns for hire are called in to retrieve the nukes. The game will take you from the New York subways to Iraq. Some of the hotspots in the game are a bit old, for example Kosovo.

Raven Software made a big deal about what they call gore zones when they released Soldier of Fortune. There are different zones on the enemy, so if you shoot the enemy in the arm he will only be wounded and not killed. This is pretty much standard in most shooters today.

When the enemy is wounded in Soldier of Fortune he starts to jump around screaming. It’s pretty violent but at times it just looks so stupid that you burst out in a laugh. To tell you the truth the gore zones doesn’t always work that great. For example you can fire a whole magazine at an enemy soldier and he will still be standing there, wounded in the arm but alive. Sometimes they just stop their jumping and screaming and starts firing at you, just like that.

If you judge this game by the first level you will get bored instantly. Because quite frankly the first level sucks. It’s just a run straight through it and shoot kind of story. However when you complete the first level and move in the second with a freight train transporting a nuke that you have to stop the game starts to get interesting.

The problem with the levels is that they are not even. Some levels are close to total boredom while some are absolutely brilliant. Overall the levels lack open spaces, this is probably because Raven used the Quake II engine, which simply doesn’t model open spaces very well.

Sometimes it’s hard for the player to figure out where to go or what to do. It’s easy to get stuck in endless walking around the level trying to figure out what’s the next step is. Sure it can be a challenge and fun in some games, but here it’s just stupid because the stuff you have to do is so simple yet very hard to figure out.

There is certainly no lack of weapons in the game. You get to choose what gear you want on each mission and you can choose from submachine guns, shotguns, grenades, assault rifles and much more. The weaponry is pretty accurate but have fictional names, possibly due to copyright reasons.

When it comes to the graphics Soldier of Fortune does feel a bit old, the shading and effects are not as good as in Unreal or Halflife.

I think Soldier of Fortune is sort of like the stock market; it has its ups and downs. Sometimes it’s incredibly boring and too easy. However from time to time the game and level design really surprises and you have a blast, at least for a while.

Developer: Raven Software
Website for Game:
Publisher: Activision
O/S: Win 95/98/ME/2000/XP
Cost of Full Game: N/A
Year of Release: 2000

Pentium 233 MHz, 64 MB RAM, OpenGL Supported Graphics Card
Tested on:
Pentium 4 2.4 GHz, 512 MB RAM, ATI Radeon Graphics Card

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