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Soldier of Fortune

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Here it is, The DC version of the 1999 PC classy violent and politically incorrect PC game. This long-awaited First person shooter finally hits (DC) home with a bump and a shot to the head.

You are placed into the shoes of one of the world best mercenaries in the UN branch, John Mullins and you are battling various deadly missions against a terrorist organization, with an unfolding story as you approach each level. Armed with an arsonal of weapons, each one capable of much carnage, John’s missions reach around the globe such as Japan and Iran, Rescuing hostagesand dis-arming nuclear warheads on fast moving trains. Placed into battles with skinheaded thugs and Mercenaries such as yourself, its a gun-feast to the end. A one man against an army.

The game takes its title and ideas from the popular war magazine of the same name. As soon as play starts, you can tell what games inflewenced the programmers such titles as Halflife, which the Dreamcast version is stuck in development hell, seems to have a longlasting effect on these guys.

The game is tightly designed as a full-on-shootemup with no puzzles to solve (No find the guy to open that door here, thank goodness) and lays the baddies on thick and fast.
You can shot the guys anywhere on the bodies and the person will react to it such as shoot them in the leg, they hop around in pain before you finish them off, Shoot them in the “downbelow” regions and well..you can guess the rest. This is a good thing but it goes almost comical when four skin-heads are bouncing around to the same animation and same FX. This brings me to the graphics, For a Dreamcast game they are very good to excellent in places (Loved the train level and the passing scenery) but you cannot help thinking that they couldhave used a bit more DC magic into the pot. The soundfx is bang on coolness, The soundtrack fitting and magical, it fits like a glove.

The AI is very good indeed. The enermy hide behind objects and takes pot-shots at you, and if making too much noise, come running to find you too. In the heat of a battle, you wonder just who is hitting you with a machine gun and see a head popping over a crate adding some needed realism to the game. Although the interaction between yourself and other people within the game alis, is minor.

Sadly and rather anyoying, is there is no Online play as in the PC game. This upset many Unreal Tornament DC players and the same goes for me. Unreal Tornament, as good as it was, just did not help itself losing the online multi-player (The game was designed for online gaming for God’s sake) and Fortune’s major fault is this too. A shame as the potential for such a game like this online would be massive. Stupid to lose it.

Another fault lie in the loading times too. Wayyyyy to long to wait for the game to start and load another movie segment in. Get yourself a brew (or beer) while waiting.

The main selling point of the DC version then, has to be its violence. Its very heavy on it and kids must be crying out for it as its bloody for the start. Limbs fly off at an amazing rate and you cannot help but wonder if this is going to get worse. It does, Level two starts with a bloke getting his head blown off (full view too!) in the begining scene!

Well In view of it all, I really enjoyed my days playing this title. It does not offer a mind – blowing experience (then again, what games do?) but as a good night in with a few beers and the video-nasty voilence of it all, on the Dreamcast at least-its now cheaper than most PSone titles if you look about, its a must have.
Now where’s my gun?