July 1, 2002
Soldier of Fortune: Gold - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Rating Players Price
19/7/2002CodemastersPipe Dream Interactive1-4$99.95

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Expect better lighting in V-Rally 3.
Soldier of Fortune has been one of the most exciting First Person Shooters on PC in the last couple of years. The game was release over 2 years ago and was met with critical acclaim, and concern. Gamers loved it for the action and over the top gore, while parental groups loathed it for exactly the same reasons. Being able to shoot of limbs was not seen as one of the most politically correct reasons for a game, but it helped it sell. Fortunately the gore was backed up with a very solid game with some impressive levels and weapons on offer.

The original Soldier Of Fortune on PS2 was developed using a highly modified Quake II engine called Ghoul. This engine is now a little dated, but can still produce a solid enough game. The game has been ported to include all the features of the PC game including the damage to different parts of the bodies which is helped by the inclusion of a keyboard and mouse support.

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You will see plenty of this.
Soldier of Fortune: Gold submerses Mullins in the deadly world of a gun-for-hire with covert missions spanning five continents. The game's 10 covert missions, covering 26 levels of play, take in the underworlds of political hotspots across the globe including Kosovo, Bagdad, Siberia, Tokyo and New York - although I'm not sure if New York remains or has been renamed after September 11. As Mullins engages in sabotage, stealthy assassination, and full frontal assaults, it's the player's skill as a clear-headed marksman that separates the hunter from becoming the hunted.

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An Iraqi dictator, or poor textures?
During the game Mullins has access to 7 combat items and 12 weapons with multiple attack modes and pinpoint accuracy including a sniper rifle, grenades, plastic explosives and prototype pulse guns. Real bullets do real damage; shoot someone in the leg and he falls, writhing and grasping his wound. Shoot someone in the head and he falls down dead. The detailed enemy characters have hit points all over their bodies; take aim and fire - whether an opponent is left floored or terminated outright is up to you.

The developers have also included a training mode to help you get used to the controls and gameplay. The developers have also been kind enough to include a 4-player split screen mode, which, while the online gameplay remains a distant drooling option, will have to do. While the quality of this port remains questionable one has to ask the question why the developers didn't decide to port the upcoming Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix. Still those looking for some PS2 First Person Shooter action should keep an eye out for a review of this title closer to the mid July release.