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March 3, 2008 | by  | in Games | [ssba]

Games Reviews

The early installments of the Soldier of Fortune Series (I and II) were brilliant. There was something intensely satisfying about shooting an evil terrorist in the stomach and watching him clutch his intestines as he stumbled about before dying. There was even an engaging story concerning international intrigue and backstabbing. Soldier of Fortune 3 follows the same trend without any finesse. A mercenary (you) is hired to kill lots of people, and solve an evil plot along the way. It’s formulaic and bland but it worked before – it didn’t work again.

Soldier of Fortune 3 is a shadow of the previous installment’s glory. Firstly, the good things: the graphics are acceptable, and the game runs well. The texture design and weapon animations are very good. But that’s to be expected from a game bearing the Soldier of Fortune name (a famed international mercenary magazine). I especially like the protagonist tapping his M16 magazine against the breach before reloading. It’s realistic, and slightly innovative.

But that’s it. Everything that’s barely interesting about this banal game is purely cosmetic. The level design is poor. First Person games have evolved into something more than the corridor shooters of the Wolfenstein 3D era. Fantastic shooters like Call of Duty 4 have implemented creative levels that hide the trigger-based linear design of most titles in the first person genre. SoF3 doesn’t live up to this. There are invisible walls everywhere, you cant crouch under houses, and there is no tactical imperative to any of the level design. There was better design in Pac Man. Sigh.

Secondly, the gore is pathetic. I managed to get a copy of the game that was not the censored version (the Australians banned it, and got a censored version released) but it really didn’t impress me. The death animations were poorly designed, the gore was more a caricature than a realistic depiction of warfare and the severed limbs looked false. When someone is shot in the face, their fucking entire head does not explode, leaving only a bleeding neck. Get real, seriously. It’s the kind of gore that would impress a 15 year old, and no one else.

The Artificial Intelligence is fucking awful. The enemies are incredibly accurate, with no reason for being so, and the only way to kill something is to charge into constantly respawning drones while firing blindly. That is not fun, that’s a chore.

There are two kinds of games in this illustrious industry. Those that you sit down to play, and then only stop playing when you realise dawn has broken (i.e Civilisation Four) and then there are the games you stop playing thirty minutes in because to continue playing, would be offensive to your leet gaming conscience. Soldier of Fortune 3 is the latter. What a pathetic game. Do not even think about buying it.

3.5 out of 10

Ever wondered what it would be like to be in the Killer Beez? Have no fear, the answer is here. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is the ultimate and most realistic gangsta simulator ever created.

San Andreas is all about the return of Carl “CJ” Johnson to his crib and streets that he used to run. His crew, the Grove Street Families, just ain’t the force it used to be so it’s your job as CJ to rough up some mo’fuckers, pop some caps in a hoe’s ass, get your game on and provide the Grove Street Families with some street cred again. Balla Balla ‘yo.

The gameplay is the similar to previous Grand Theft Auto instalments (run around jackin’ cars, going on a mad mish killin’ thugs, and causing general ruckus to fuck da po-lice off) but it feels way more epic with a map three times as expansive as previous GTA games. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is more pimped out than its predecessors, featuring gambling on horse races, ‘Pimp my Rides’, player customization, and essential turf wars with rival gangs. The missions themselves are polished, burgling a house, conducting drive-bys, chasing trains on motorbikes, and killing thugs are all included. The graphics are kinda shit but as a whole, the game was never about how good it looked but how much detail and thought went into the game. And it shows.

Little things like the dialogue (which features cool cats like Samuel L Jackson, The Game and Ice T), subtle parodies of pop-culture and the radio stations with music that defined the 90s act as your soundtrack. There’s no other game that manages to fuse unique humor with controversial violence like GTA. Even if you will need the social life of a physics student to complete the game, just immersing yourself into this virtual world is good enough for a couple lols on a Saturday night when Shooters isn’t pumping. Go hire/buy/steal now! You’ll feel less of a poser when you decide to pump out ‘Straight Outta Compton’ by NWA, even though you actually grew up in Khandallah.

By Ryback

Soldier of Fortune 3: Payback

Developer: Cauldron HQ
Publisher: Activision
Specifications: Moderate

Grand Theft Auto – San Andreas

Developer – Rockstar Games
Hardware Specifications –
Console (PS2)
Genre – Third Person Shooter


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