Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix

Overview

If you have noticed a slight trend in hit PC shooters starting to make their way onto the consoles, Soldier of Fortune 2 is doing just that. Soldier of Fortune 2: Double Helix was released for the PC last May and was an instant success. It was a game that just combined great First Person Shooter action with great action. Now Activision has decided to take its hit PC title to the Xbox and gave it Live Support. It’s Soldier of Fortune 2: Double Helix, a less then impressive title that will fail to impress fans of the series.

Gameplay

In Soldier of Fortune 2: Double Helix you play as John Mullins, a professional consultant who is known for cleaning up the governments mess. John had a very distinguished career in the Amy Special Forces but now you are going at it alone, and throughout the game you will be fighting terrorism around the world. Your job is to uncover the terrorism group that has developed a deadly virus and find out what their plans are.

Soldier of Fortune 2 is mostly known for its multiplayer modes but that’s not to say you’re going to be left without a Story Mode. The game includes not only the Double Helix (story mode) for the single player modes but there is also a Random Mission Generator as well as a tutorial mode. The tutorial mode is good for people who don’t feel comfortable jumping right into the game.

The random mission generator is exactly what it sounds like you pick the type the place and the time of day you would like to do a mission at and you get to go out and play through your mission. The mode is pretty straightforward and is a good place to fall off to after you have gotten done with the Double Helix Mode.

The Double Helix mode like mentioned earlier is the main single player mode of the game. The missions throughout the mode stay about the same throughout, and become quite repetitive. Basically the normal mission consists of you going to retrieve an item and then leaving with it. You are going to be doing a lot of escort missions, which just lose there flavor after only a few missions.

Soldier of Fortune 2 is a game that has a lot of problems with the gameplay itself. The computer AI is quite awkward, because they don’t seem to react to your shots like you would expect. The game is supposed to be quite realistic, but when you shoot a guy in the head most of the time he isn’t dead. I had several encounters of shooting enemies in the leg and them mysteriously dying, and other times where it took multiple shots to the head to kill them. There are these problems throughout the game that just make you wonder what is going on.

What has made the Soldier of Fortune series popular is not the single player mode, but the extensive multiplayer mode. Along with the Live support you can also have system link. The multiplayer modes include Capture the Flag, Demolition, Deathmatch, Elimination, Infiltration, and Team Deathmatch. So as you can see a lot has been put into the multiplayer portion of the game. With all of these game modes you will have plenty to keep you busy.

The controls of Soldier of Fortune 2 are pretty standard to what most first person shooters seem to control like. You move and aim with the analog sticks and you fire with the right trigger button. They do have the tutorial mode for those who don’t want to just run in guns blazing; otherwise you should be able to get the controls down in no time.

Graphics

The PC version of Soldier of Fortune 2 wasn’t anything marvelous - just pretty standard FPS graphics. Now that the game has made its way onto the Xbox it can be considered just plain bad. There are numerous problems with the game’s graphics that they just seem to add up into one big mess.

To start out with, you will find right away that the load times are extremely long. This is not a problem you find in most games on the next generation consoles but they are very apparent in Soldier of Fortune 2.

The outdoor environments are not all that bad, they seem to have a good bit of detail and they seem to just overall look pretty good. On the other hand the indoor environments we all could have done without. As you play indoors you will find everything looks extremely bland. You can easily become lost in these levels because the levels become so cluttered that you lose your direction.

The character models are actually quite funny to look at because they are just that bad. It reminds me back in the days of the N64 and Playstation where characters faces looked more like squares rather then an oval. There also is little to no detail to the enemies which will make it seem like your shooting the same people over and over again.

Fun Factor

If graphics have no meaning to you, and you don’t mind some major flaws that hold Soldier of Fortune 2 back from being realistic then you can have fun with this one. In the end it is still a FPS that has its ups and downs. The multiplayer stays quite interesting and there is very little lag to be found. The single player mode you will be able to do without because it is just very repetitive.

Overall

This is an example of taking a PC port to the Xbox and not making it work. The single player mode is an utter mess, and the multiplayer can barely hold on its own. I would recommend looking else where for a good FPS because you are not going to find much in this one.

The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.