Review by SSMaster
"WICKED SICK? Oh yeah!"
Before I begin, I'd like to say for the record that I'm not the biggest fan of FPS games. I'm more into RPG games. That said, I still find this to be a high quality game that doesn't get the respect it deserves. This game has enough different ways to keep you entertained for a long span of time, and the game has eliminated something that most other FPS games have in spades: waiting for something to happen. There is always constant action going on at every corner of every stage, so you won't have to wait in that corner for someone to come in range of your gun. And if such a fast paced game isn't for you, they also have several modes that go slower than the rest. This adds up to a game that even non-FPS gamers like me can enjoy for a long period of time.
The graphics to this game are of high quality, but not too high that it goes at 11 frames per minute like certain other games. They can show off their quality during the stages, where every mountain, tree, and redeemer bullet is rendered in high quality (for example, the surrounding desert walls on the Convoy stage). You will rarely see two sections of the same stage that look identical (unless it's a symmetric stage). There is also the character design, which is well done for each of the games characters that each look differently. I've lost count of how many there are, but there's a lot, as theres a lot of stages. It's almost a shame to blow the heads of the models and scatter their remains across the stage.
The music in this game fits perfectly in with the stages they're played in. Some more than others, but they're noticeable, but not so loud that they obstruct the gameplay. The same can't be said for the voice actors, however. There are only a few character actors, not nearly as many as there are characters, and there's only one for the announcer, so you'll be hearing the same quotes over and over. Enter a lagging map and you'll hear the same quote 6 times in slow succession. Theres also the fact that the game supports microphones, which can either be entertaining or very, very annoying, depending on who speaks. In short, music good, voices bad.
This game has somewhat of a storyline, but not really. It's more of the type that explains as much as it needs to in order for you not to be walking around aimlessly. Basically, there's a tournament (that's unreal, apparently) that is going on between several races that has been going on several years, and you are one of those competing in it. It also goes on to say some things about the Skaarg and the past few tourneys. It's not that much of a story, but you won't be spending much time in single player anyway, so:
This is where any game truly shines, because you don't buy SotC for it's visuals. Does this game have good gameplay? Yes, but only if you have online capabilities (and why wouldn't you?). Here's why. The single player mode of this game will seem fun at first, but will fizzle. Quickly. Single player campaign doesn't even have some of the modes that you really want to play, which is odd, because they would fit right in. It's the multiplayer that you get this game for. Multiplayer has you facing off against actual people who can actually fight. This way, you're actually challenged and can enjoy what this game has. In terms of the different modes, this game has them in spades. The most basic is Team Deathmatch, where the players are split in two and pitted off in a battle to the death, respawn, and death again. The more hectic modes are regular deathmatch, last man standing, and mutant, where it's everyone against everyone. In Deathmatch, you'll be aiming for most kills, and boy, will there be a lot of killing there. In Last Man Standing, you aim for least amount of deaths. In Mutant, it's everyone against a chosen player, who has to get as many kills as he can. Then there's the "Team Strategy" modes: Capture the Flag, Double Domination, Bombing Run and Assault. In Capture the Flag, you need to steal the enemy flag and bring it to your own base. In Bombing Run, you need to deliver a bomb to the enemy base. In Double Domination, you need to have your team capture and hold two points for 10 seconds. In Assault, one of the most popular modes, your team has to accomplish a set number of objectives while the other team has to stop you (or vice-versa). The two weird modes are Invasion and Onslaught. In Invasion, all the players are on one team against a horde of monsters, and you have to kill them before they kill you. In Onslaught, the other really popular mode, you'll have to capture and control power nodes to link your way to the enemy power core. Weird, huh? Like I said, it's all better online, especially when you see the many ways Assault is done.
This game has some good effects with how the physics are interpreted, but, like the Burnout series, this game shines in how the death effects work. No other game will let you send vehicles and other players flying with such ease and grace. This game uses a system called "ragdoll physics" which makes the movements of all the characters be as realistic as possible. You may not see that when you kill an enemy with a link gun and their skeleton falls to the floor, but you will when you are shot off the top of a tanker and whack into everything on your way down, then are in a Redeemer blast and thrown back up. Or when you are in a car that is blown so far off an edge, you reach the other side you were heading to (boy was my opponent pissed). It will never cease to amaze how your characters will continue to do such abnormal movements even when dead......or it'll make you sick. Either way.
This game will keep you entertained for a long, long time. At least as long as you can go online. Otherwise you'd be better off renting it. With ten different gameplay modes, many different maps, and many, many, many ways to die, you'll be entertained for many months to come.
Like I said, I don't know that much about FPS games, but I know what I like, and I like this a lot. It shows how games shouldn't be limited by how much you can waste your opponent. If you like FPS games, you'll love this game. If you like the Ratchet series, which is like this, you'll love this game. If you don't like FPS or Ratchet games, you'll still really like this game. This game just makes a 10 (yeah, I round up).
*offline* 10 + 7 + 8 + 3 + 10 + 2 = 40/60 = 7/10
*online* 10 + 7 + 8 + 10 + 10 + 10 = 55/60
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 01/30/06
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