Soldier of Fortune Platinum Edition
If we’re going to do a review on a very violent game perhaps I the reviewer should put on my Slipknot Iowa CD. Ahhhh, there we go!!! Let’s do some killing.
Name: John Mullins
Objective: Use any means necessary to find and secure four stolen nuclear devices. Track and kill the terrorist organization responsible for the theft before they can carry out thermonuclear holocaust. Failure is not an option.
Welcome to Soldier of Fortune Platinum, a bloody and violent first person shooter that has you assuming the role of John Mullins, a one man killing machine. SOF Platinum comes packed with 10 covert missions that take you through five different countries during 26 levels of play. If that’s not enough killing and maiming for you, then you also can take your skills online at GameSpy and kick your friends' (or strangers') butts all over the place.
I’ll briefly run down the new additions to the game from previous versions: SOF Platinum has five new multiplayer maps, the entire Brady Games Strategy guide on disc and a preview of SOFII: Double Helix. The game also includes all of the Gold edition updates, which are basically new options for multiplayer. Alright, let’s stop blabbing like schools girls and get to the review.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
SOF Platinum is just like any other FPS with regards to the controls. All functions in the game are done using a combination of the mouse and keyboard, which you can alter to your preference. One of the highlights of SOF has to be the main menu and how easy it is to change options in the game. Even the newest computer gamer can adjust and change the options with ease.
In regards to gameplay, SOF Platinum is pretty straightforward: just aim, click and kill. As John Mullins, you are given an assortment of weapons to use on the enemy, but after a few gaming sessions I quickly found out that not a lot of skill is required in order to be successful at SOF, if you can kill them before they kill you, then you pretty much win the game. I was very disappointed with the lack of thinking that was required in this game. One of the things that made Rainbow Six such a huge success was the planning and personnel choices that had to be made in order for the mission to be a success. In SOF there is absolutely none of that. I found the most challenging part of SOF was figuring out the tunnels and mazes in the different levels in the game.
One thing that the game designers failed at was the storyline, it just never seemed to reach out and grab me. Some games have you hanging on the edge of your seat waiting for the next awful thing to happen, but when you’re playing SOF you’re just trying to kill the bad guys to get to the end of the mission. I’d also like to point out that if you increase the difficulty level, the computer AI doesn’t get smarter, they just throw more men and weapons at you. Oh well, maybe the game designers can talk to the fine folks that released Max Payne or Operation Flashpoint.
Probably the most fun I with SOF Platinum was playing online. There’s nothing I love better than matching my wits and my trigger finger against a human opponent and SOF brings it all right in your face, 100% full tilt boogie. No matter how you like to play online, SOF has a game mode for you. Whether it is death match, capture the flag or control and conquer, there is something for everyone. Playing online is a snap because SOF now uses Gamespy which makes connecting and playing with friends quick and painless.
Oh, boy!!!! Now I get to do the graphics section of the review. Please, someone hide the women and children because this isn’t going to be pretty. First off, I really have to ask the folks over at Raven Software what exactly they were thinking when they decided to have graphics in the game be so disgustingly gory? Never in my reviewing career have I seen a game with such disturbing graphics of blown off heads and severed limbs. I didn’t find anything one bit useful about showing that kind of sickening destruction. Before all my readers start sending me e-mails saying there is a parental control to turn this option off, let me state that I’m well aware of this but still could not understand why such carnage had to be shown in the first place.
Once you’re done being sick from all the gore you can really appreciate the effort that went into building all the levels in the game. My favorite mission, for the graphics, has to be the one that is in Russia. I loved all of the snow effects, not to mention the use of shadows and colors to really emphasize the frozen wasteland. I also enjoyed how each level was different from the last, so you never have the feeling of seeing it again but with a different maze. Another thing that really stands out is the modeling of the characters in the game. Each person or group of people looks different from the last and the attention to detail is fine. I’d have to say that the last time I saw character models this nice was in Max Payne. The last section to cover in the graphics is the modeling of the weapons and sadly I must inform you that they suck bigger than Pro Bass Fishing. All of the weapons in the game come across as looking very fake and not one bit like they are supposed to look in real life. I can’t believe that with how great the characters looked in the game that the weapons weren’t also awesome. If Raven Software needs any help in the weapons department, perhaps they should take a look at either _Rainbow Six or Half-Life: Counter-Strike because that is what real weapons look like. Okay, all the women and children can come out now, I’m done ranting.
Reviewing the audio section of SOF Platinum should be fairly quick. Most of the noises I heard in the game had to do with blood curling screams after I had just blown someone's leg off, or massive explosions from various weapon. You do get to hear gun sounds from the different firearms in the game but they suck just as bad as the weapon graphics look. (Pro Bass Fishing comes floating to mind again.) I’m not going to go into a lot of detail here because SOF is a standard FPS with all the standard sounds with nothing to write home about.
P233 MHz or higher, 64 MB RAM, Win 95/98,ME,2000, 800 MB hard disk space, 4X CD-ROM, 3D Video card with Open GL support, sound card, and a modem.
If you’re looking for a mindless game or something quick to play while the wife gets ready to go out for dinner then by all means pick up SOF Platinum and you won’t be disappointed. If you’re looking for something in the FPS section that takes some skill and actual thinking, than perhaps you should check out Rainbow Six or Rogue Spear because both of those games really show what counter-terrorism is about. Another reason I wouldn’t waste another five minutes on this game is because of the useless gore, for which there really is no need. It’s too bad, because Raven Software had a potential winner on their hands and they ruined it with the lack of challenge and revolting gore. On that note, I give SOF Platinum a score of 52/100.