Review by Garand

"Whoops i lost my bullet in your brain!"

Introduction: As the second installment of the Soldier of Fortune series i had high expectations for this game, perhaps too many. Both Soldier of Fortunes are the brainchild of Raven Software as well as the ground breaking GHOUL system. The games both boasted great success and are a credit to the FPS genre.

Story line: Playing as a world's premier mercenary, John Mullens (real person by the way), you take on a variety of missions from the 'secret' organization called the Shop. The Shop is an anti-terrorist coalition (...heh) of highly trained intelligence officers and field operatives, often fighting against the normal government agencies can't fight. With the help of your allies Sam Gladstone and a emotionally deprived Madeline Taylor as your partner. The mission can take you anywhere and mostly everywhere, Siberia, South America even a Super Tanker in the middle of the ocean. SOF2 begins in Prague, Germany in search of a defecting scientist. It only gets more interesting from there.

Game Play: As a high paid mercenary as you can very well guess you get to maim or shoot people. There are a few game types to choose from. The Campaign mode consists of mission that could require stealth and suppressed weaponry or just sitting on the back end of an M60 and removing the smile from many, many Colombian cartel faces. None of the missions are particularly hard but i found myself wandering about a map wondering which way to go a few times.

SOF also includes a Random Mission Generator, it takes a Random Seed value and creates an entire map and enemy placement, your objectives are to either Assassinate a target, Demolish a high explosive building or Escape from a enemy holding cell.

The GHOUL system is a unique system of point of impact on a model, this allows very accurate texturing on a body part that is hit. This also allows for body part to be removed completely, limbs and the head can be dismembered with a powerful enough weapon. This system makes SOF1 and 2 a very unique FPS and possibly more enjoyable for more sadistic among us.

SOF2 takes a more realistic approach to weaponry then SOF did. All of the weapons in SOF were imaginary weapons to an extent, slug thrower and four-tube rocket launcher. SOF2 uses real weapons and real weapons models, AK-74s, Colt .45s and the infamous OICW which in itself is a mini-game to get working properly. The OICW is the only weapon in SOF2 that i disliked due to the general complexity of the weapon during heated combat.

Flash Value: Along the warpath you'll find yourself look at some well textured brains more then once, thanks to the GHOUL system. The models in the game are very well done, the canned death animation gets a little annoying after awhile but is tolerable. Each weapon being accurately depicted, brass flying from the breach looks amazing as it trickles to the ground. As you spray your leaded pain about the room the death cries are plenty. Ricocheting bullets and impacts to the bodies are intense and the explosion sound effects are possibly the most best I’ve heard in any FPS. After a bit of research I found that all the weaponry sounds in SOF2 are accurate, a testament to Raven Software’s dedication to game design.

Overall: Soldier of Fortune 2 can be defined as ''The FPS that should have received Unreal Tournament attention.'' The battlefield is real and high-tech, very detailed models and the implementation of the GHOUL system. War... is a beautiful thing. I suggest all FPS fans pick this up, Campaign, Random Mission Generation and online play will keep attentions for awhile.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 03/24/04

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