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3D Spotlight : Games : Soldier of Fortune review

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Soldier of Fortune review
Posted by Thomas McGuire on April 26, 2000

Yet another FPS shooter is released into this somewhat crowded market. Raven are well known as the makers of Heretic and Hexen games. Has their latest game, Soldier of Fortune got what it takes to stand out above the rest ? If so, why so ? Read on.

Story

You're John Mullins, the world's deadliest soldier of fortune and your mission is clear: survive. Track your prey across the globe in a series of secret missions to take down a fanatical terrorist organization - before it takes you down. Maintain your cover as a covert warrior in a startling variety of explosive missions ranging from underhanded sabotage to stealthy assassination to full frontal assaults where skill marks the difference between the hunter and the hunted. Welcome to the secret world of the mercenary. At least that'd what Activision says about it.

Like most good action films you can cut this "wrapping" off and summarize it like this. 4 nukes have been stolen by a mad terrorist group with intentions of world domination, find them and get the bad guys behind it. Use whatever means are necessary, those means usually involve punching holes through people with high caliber weapons. Are we excited yet :) ?

Getting it running

No problems at all with this, although I felt it should be mentioned as I installed and ran this game in Windows 2000. After installing the latest WickedGL it even ran quite well on this backup system of mine (Pentium 233MMX, 128MB RAM). There was no custom installation option though and it required 700MB or so of free space to install on the NTFS partition.

During the install you can read information about John Mullins (the character you play in the game), I found that to be quite interesting (I thought so at least). pretty nice touch.

Raven recommends that you play this game after you have logged in as a Power User, not as Administrator. My experience is that it made no noticeable difference.

Graphics

Given the setup that I ran the game on I had to change a few settings to find a good trade off between beauty and speed. I was very happy with how it looked even after that and turned up the details/resolution after that just to see how well it could really look. It's hard to believe that this is the Quake 2 engine in action, Raven were right to say the engine is "Quake 2.9".

Raven have added their "Ghoul" rendering system and it allows for many stunning effects in the game and other nice touches such as advanced lighting and hit location based damage. You can read detail information about the Ghoul rendering system at Raven.

While location based damage is nothing new (Sin had it for example), this game offers true visible benefits to aiming for specific locations, e.g. Up close firing a shotgun blast at someone’s legs will blow a leg off, which is instant death. Aim for the head, the head should come clean off, or half off depending on your aim. Different weapons have different effects however, don't expect to chop a limb of with a throwing knife or 9mm.

 


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