Soldier of Fortune: Payback

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a game by Bohemia Interactive, and Cauldron HQ
Platforms: XBox 360, Playstation 3
Editor Rating: 5/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 10.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: Soldier of Fortune Series, First Person Shooter
Soldier of Fortune: Payback
Soldier of Fortune: Payback
Soldier of Fortune: Payback
Soldier of Fortune: Payback

A game known for its off-the-charts levels of gore and violence, Soldier of Fortune: Payback is back with a vengeance. However, nice visuals and copious amounts of gore can only go so far in making a good mature shooter. This soldier is lacking in some of the most important elements of an entertaining gaming experience.

As a tech demo, Payback might be one of the best-looking FPS of its time. That said, in an industry that has set a certain standard for how first-person shooters should play, this Soldier of Fortune might be a relic from a bygone era.

Guts and Gore

You can talk about the Soldier of Fortune franchise without mentioning its ridiculous violence. Back when Raven Software released the first Soldier of Fortunes, many dropped their jaws when they saw just how gory the game could be, and how good the violence looked in that game.

Raven has nothing to do with Soldier of Fortune: Payback: this title was developed by Cauldron HQ, a Slovak game studio. This new team did a great job keeping the violence intact, yet most of what made the games enjoyable in the first place seems to be missing.

Shooting Galleries

There’s not much in the way of the story in Soldier of Fortune: Payback. As many FPS games have taught us, story is just a nice bonus, all that matters is that the gameplay feels good. Just look at how later Call of Duty Black Ops games have taken out the single-player campaign and you’ll notice that the plot here doesn’t really matter.

Still, gameplay should complement the lack of a solid plot, and that’s not the case in Payback at all. While the shooting mechanics are fine and well, the enemy AI is so brain dead that it makes playing the game feel like a chore.

It’s simply not fun to go through dozens of shooting galleries decimating what could basically be cardboard cutouts that either stand still or run towards your gun. Sure, blowing up enemies and watching them become pools of blood be morbidly fun, but that’s not enough to keep you invested in a game that has very little to offer besides its shock factor.

Cinematic Presentation

Soldier of Fortune: Payback takes a page out of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s book with its presentation. Through most of the game, you’ll be traversing brown streets filled with terrorists. There’s very little in the way of visual variety, but at the very least, graphics look up to par with other FPSs of its time.

The game’s plot also features a cinematic narrative, and by that, we mean that it’s quite linear, with very little variation or surprises. Sure, the story might not be the focus here, but when you get terrible voice acting and a subpar script, you get yourself a recipe for disaster.

Also worth mentioning is the somewhat frustrating checkpoint system. There’s no quicksave option to be found in Payback, so if you die, you must restart from a checkpoint. However, checkpoints are few and far between, making every death feel like an exercise in frustration.


Soldier of Fortune: Payback is nowhere near as good as the last two games in its series. Although the graphics look good and the dismemberment system is better than ever, there’s little else to enjoy beyond that. That said, you might get some enjoyment out of it, even if it’s just for a while. This soldier needs to go back to boot camp before it’s worth your time.


  • Nice visuals
  • Excellent dismemberment system


  • Short campaign
  • Terrible AI
  • Lackluster story

Download Soldier of Fortune: Payback

XBox 360

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Playstation 3

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Snapshots and Media


Playstation 3 Screenshots

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