Review by Coolhand

"A solid if un-spectacular shooter - let the gibs fly!"

No review for Soldier of Fortune? Not even from Gamespot? Oh, no, this will not do.

I'm a massive FPS shooter fan, and have owned every one that's come out for the PS2 to date. For some unknown reason I couldn't bring myself to buy SOF, but the problem was solved for me when it was purchased for me as a Christmas gift. I noticed the lack of review...and, well...that's just not right.

Soooo, without further a-doo-doo:

Story: 7 of 10
SOF's story is better than the average shooter's for PS2. I didn't care for the Unreal Tournament or Quake III storylines (''OK, there's this big bloodfest deathmatch, right?'')...the story's real-world references and relative timeliness add value to SOF as a single-player game. I liked Red Faction's storyline better, however (Half-Life had a better story, too, but Half-Life is, well, really old now, at least as far as the story goes).

As far as the storyline goes, good for the genre.

Graphics: 6.5 of 10 (7.5 if you like lotsa gore)
Strictly sub-average compared to the other FPS games available for the PS2. The baddies aren't as well-rounded and realistic looking as other games, and sometimes the levels (the first one is the worst in this regard) look like the original Castle Wolfenstein - all pixels and right angles. The framerate is fast, but the graphics are thoroughly average.

Disclaimer: Gibs. Lots of them. Flying everywhere. Blood and Guts o'plenty. If you dig ultraviolence, you might like the graphics a bit better, hence the double-rating.

Sound: 8 out of 10
The sound is pretty solid. The enemy's yells get a bit repetitive, and the voice acting is good but not great. The various firearms, however, all sound good. Great bass and boom where there should be.

Gameplay: 7.5 out of 10
The gameplay is fair. There are plenty of challenges, but the game has zero in the way of brain-requirements. The game moves fast, and a run-n-gun strategy works as well as using cover (I was disappointed that the game didn't require as much dodging as the manual indicated it would). The AI is sometimes pretty bad (some enemies won't hit you when their gun is poking you in the chest), especially in the player-vs.-bots deathmatch mode (bots sometimes get hung up on walls and the like).

Multiplayer, however, with 2-4 people, is very very nice - as good if not better than any other FPS games for the console. The game moves fast and the maps are very well done.

Replay Value: 7 of 10
The game has about the same amount of replay value as any other shooter. Neither very good, nor very bad. 'Nuff said.

Buy or Rent?
I'd say rent-to-buy. Rent it (should be easy to get), see if you like it, then look for it used if you really like it before running out to drop $50 USD on it.

In summation, SOF is a solid shooter that doesn't offend overly, even while it doesn't dazzle at any level.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 12/28/01, Updated 12/28/01


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