2000 Reviews

Soldier of Fortune

  • Review Date: 2000-04
  • Release Date: 2000-03
  • Developer: Raven Games
  • Rating: 9.5

I had read quite alot of reviews before I managed to get a copy of Soldier of Fortune. Most said basically the same thing. Design is average, AI is terrible and the GHOUL system and gory effects got old pretty quick. So with the many reviews already that are all quite similar, I decided not to add another review to the bulky list. But as I completed the game I changed my mind. I totally disagree with most reviews I have read.

I thought the gameplay was very good. Sure, it is the same tactic killing every enemy as they are almost all the same. There are some with more armor, some with better weapons and some which can dodge a little better. Compared to games like Quake2 with many different kinds of enemies, you would think killing the same human 1500 times would get boring, but it doesn't. SOF bring you back to basics, with not much strategy and simply a big rambo-style blastfest. You can also poke your head around corners to spot enemies to snipe without them seeing you - a small bug but even better because of it.

Now to the GHOUL system. Alot of previous companies have raved that their upcoming game will be very gory. But I think SOF is the first game to actually tap into something which I would consider gory. Obviously, gore is not going to make a game. It is gameplay and design which will do this.

The design of the levels is superb. Most reviews have not really dug into the great design. It is based upon realism, like Half-Life was. However the levels in SOF totally blow those of Half-Life into the dust. There are many places chosen where great architecture could be achieved, such as Iraq, Siberia, Germany. I think the layout is also spot on, as you usually know where your going and it is quite linear, but there are many off-roads to explore. The most obvious route is not always the right route, as often you need to climb through air ducts or pipes. I really can't see the Quake2 engine in this game. It is hugely improved, even the textures, upon close inspection, are far more detailed. Compared to Quake2 the levels are much bigger and I think the improved engine is not far off of the Quake3 engine, going by looks.

Overall, Soldier of Fortune is one of the best first person shooters to date. It has fantastic design and very fun gameplay, a place where many FPS' fall. And in the Half-Life vs SOF war, I think SOF has won.