Review by GBishop

"Eidos has skillfully produced the first office furniture demolition simulator."

In promoting Fighting Force 2, Eidos tried to distance this game from its predecessor. Whereas Fighting Force was a throwback to the scrolling beat-em-ups of yesteryear, this new game was supposed to be more out of the Tomb Raider mold, but this game doesn’t quite live up to Eidos’ meal ticket franchise. Fighting Force was a mindless game; Fighting Force 2 is a stupid one.

The hero of Fighting Force 2 is Hawk Mason, genetically enhanced mercenary and all around Very Bad Dude. Hawk, and his game, are all action, so perilously little thought is required to get into this game. Each level is prefaced by a description of Hawk’s mission objectives and what not, but what it boils down to is that you’ve got to run around and beat up anyone or anything that gets in your way. Now, I don’t really have a problem with this sort of simplistic setup, but Fighting Force 2 really takes it to an extreme. There is almost no challenge to be had in this game at all.

I’m not even sure where to start with what’s wrong here. Fighting Force 2 is plagued by some incredibly uninspired level design. You move from one similar looking room to another beating up guys and stuff. There’s really nothing to figure out as far as what path to take or anything; the layout of each level is fairly straightforward. You do have to find keys to open some doors, but it’s usually impossible to miss them because you’ll get them from guys you have to beat up. When the key is hidden somewhere, there is no real strategy to finding it other than look everywhere until it turns up. That means smashing crates and office furniture indiscriminately until you find it, which gets tedious quickly.

And you will smash a lot of crates and office furniture, vending machines, photocopiers, computer monitors, desk chairs...pretty much anything you see you can beat up, all of which explodes after a few hits from Hawk’s bare fists. Most weapons and power-ups are hidden in these various things (yes, guns and grenades come flying out of monitors and chairs), so you’re forced to do this a lot. This is all quite amusing at first, especially seeing Hawk kick a bed so hard that it catches on fire, but the joke’s on you. I honestly don’t know what Eidos considers to be gameplay these days.

Not helping matters is the game’s AI (Artificial Idiocy). The enemies in the game are some of the dumbest losers you’ll ever encounter. I thought that the AI in Metal Gear Solid was pretty weak, what with guards that forgot they were looking for you two seconds ago and have since gone about their business of walking back and forth. Well, in Fighting Force 2, the guards either don’t take any notice of you at all, even if you’re right in front of them, or they line up single file, obediently waiting to get the tar beat out of them. I swear, some guys would just walk up to me, get pounded until they dropped, and then just get back up and act as if nothing had happened.

It’s clear that the programmers spent more time on Fighting Force 2’s graphics than anything else. It looks really nice, but that’s irrelevant. The good graphics only make the problems with gameplay all the more infuriating. I’m sick of pretty games that play like crap.

Aurally, the game is nothing special. Lots of generic explosions and grunts from guys getting pounded. The music from the game becomes completely erased from your memory as soon as you turn off the Playstation.

Fighting Force 2 is more similar to the original Fighting Force than Eidos lets on, except that this game has no multiplayer option to let a friend join in on the beating. But let’s face it, anybody who wants you to play this game with him is no friend. Fighting Force 2 is another blight on Eidos’ declining record. Avoid it at all costs.


Reviewer's Score: 2/10 | Originally Posted: 08/18/00, Updated 08/18/00


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