Review by ChronosX

"This is a Joke Right?"

Playing “Soldier of Fortune” makes me appreciate games like “Return to Castle Wolfenstein” even more; for I now see what a disastrous PC port it could have turned into. This is undoubtedly the worst game I’ve played so far in 2003, and should easily hold that mantle throughout the duration of the year.

About three weeks ago I referred to “Castle Wolfenstein” as a cave-man natured “run-and-gun” game, and I meant that in a good way. “Double Helix” is “run-and-gun” to the lowest common denominator, and its gameplay never exceeds a pre-school equivalent level. There are your typical variety of levels and weapons, which is fine in the hands of a more capable developer, but here it’s like watching a “Simpsons” re-run for the 30th time. It’s as monotonous as a whack-a-weasel game at a cheap fair. Every level is as dull as the last, and all that’s changed is instead of infiltrating an ugly train-station, you’re in an ugly jungle.

I greatly stress the word ugly, because “Soldier of Fortune” is possibly the ugliest game on the Xbox. Whoever gave the green-light for this game to be released on the Xbox with these graphics should be beaten into submission. There are times when it doesn’t even surpass a Nintendo 64 quality, and when it does, it hardly outdoes the original “Soldier of Fortune’s” graphics released back in 1999. I also have to mention that the body-damage that made the original such a blast has gone horribly wrong. Unlike the first, when a blast with a shotgun to an enemy’s leg would send him screaming to the floor, clasping his wound until he keeled over, in “Soldier of Fortune 2” there’s no sound effect, or even body-damage to speak of. Two out of ten times when engaged by an enemy, you’ll miraculously manage to dismember someone, and when you do, it’s yawn inducing.

When you’ve finally suffered through the single player mode, there is Xbox Live to turn to, but it’s hardly anything to fuss about since the same aspects that killed the campaign mode are at work here. In fact I have to kick myself for playing “Double Helix” as long as I did, for it was six good hours I could’ve spent back in “Castle Wolfenstein”. With other fantastic first person shooters available on Xbox like “Halo”, “Unreal Championship”, “Red Faction II” and “Return to Castle Wolfenstein”, there’s really no room for trash like this. Don’t bother enlisting in this disaster.

Graphics- 5.0
Gameplay- 4.5
Sound- 6.0
Overall- 4.0

Reviewer's Rating:   2.0 - Poor

Originally Posted: 07/04/03, Updated 07/04/03

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