Review by red_elbermung
"It's worth a rent if you have xbox live"
I guess there was a first game in this series (seeing as how this is the second) but I've never played it, or even seen it for that matter. The story doesn't seem to be connected between #1 and this game though, so it doesn't affect any part of this review.
GAMEPLAY -- Choppy and repetitive. It seems like they kind of rushed through this part of the game. Reload times are a little long, and it gets really choppy every time you turn too fast and too far.
Weapon switching can be a pain if you run out of ammo in the middle of a gunfight, because you have to go through the list from the gun you have selected to the one you want to use, which takes up a little too much time. It really never mattered, because you seem to be nearly invincible (in normal), each time you are shot your body armor loses a small fraction of its "life", and then you have your actual life meter to go through. You could run into a room with a large group of enemies and still be able to take your time killing them without really having to worry about dying or coming close.
Double Helix (story mode) is really repetitive, and the levels are all bland and boring. There isn't really any cover or anything to hide behind, there's actually not much of anything in the levels. Also, the story is rather generic and never really has any plot twists or any exciting moments.
Random Mission Generator is the worst mode on here. You can select from four different mission types (demolition, assassination, infiltration, and escape), but the only one that really feels different is the escape mode. You have a choice between 4 different locations (desert, snow, jungle, and hills) but they are all exactly the same. It seems like they didn't spend any time on making the different modes worth playing more than a couple times, because any location you choose is the exact same layout as all the others. They give you a choice between night and day for these, which has no effect on gameplay (they can see you at night just as easily as during the day, and the same goes for you). Inventory selection wouldn't make much of a difference either, because all of the enemies have horrible aim and die very quickly. 1 more thing to add to this is in demolition you get a teammate that seems to spawn out of nowhere and is labeled as a threat every time you use your scope with the OICW. Don't worry if you kill him (since the enemies can't, he seems to be invulnerable to them), he's not much help anyway. His ammo is more valuable than him.
Online play is definitely the best mode in the game (no split-screen multiplayer). There aren't a huge selection of levels, but there's still a descent amount. The level designs are actually good and not bland and repetitive (it looks like they spent most of their time on online gameplay). I haven't seen anyone glitching or anything like that in any games either. The levels are expansive and you can go just about anywhere in the levels (getting a good sniping spot on a roof never hurts).
STORY -- The story in this game is very clique. You work for some secretive government organization and are trying to stop terrorists from spreading a deadly virus.
GRAPHICS/SOUND -- This has to be the worst looking game i have seen on the xbox. The textures are horrible, the characters are all blended together (no bump-mapping here), and the weapon graphics are revolting. The enemies all look the same, death animations are volatile, the graphics are just horrible. The only thing that really made the game look better than a playstation game was the "limb damage", being able to shoot off part of an enemies face after a head shot, and run up and butcher him with a knife was great. The only problem with that was that sometimes you couldn't shoot off an arm because of how (or where) they died. Sometimes you could cut at it for five minutes, and if it was bent just the wrong way or pushed up against a wall, the only thing that would happen was a red color would appear somewhere on the arm, not necessarily where you were cutting it. Sounds were nothing special, i have heard a lot better in other games.
PLAYTIME/REPLAYABILITY -- It is a surprisingly lengthy game, but you just never really feel motivated to finish it (you find out your main target and all the other "important" story details very early on in the game). There is no replayability whatsoever. I struggled just wanting to complete it the first time through.
FINAL RECOMMENDATION -- If you find this game for $5 new it's worth a buy, but since that is not likely to happen in the near future (or possibly ever) i would just rent it, and only if you have Xbox Live.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 12/08/04
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