Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Soldier of Fortune Returning to Active Duty

Most First Person Shooters do not depict intense graphic violence. When someone is shot there is perhaps a texture change where "blood" appears on their clothing. If you're lucky, a pool of blood may appear under a fallen body. Many games today feature impressive rag-doll physics but still simply react in a manner of jerking the "body" around the floor if you deliberately empty the clip of your assault rifle into your slain opponent; it most certainly doesn't react like it would in real life I.e. explode against the wall with blood, flesh, bone and internal organs freed from the confines of the body as you spit white hot leaden death at it. This tame approach taken by most developers has ensured that FPS games are at least released everywhere as very few of them are banned even in the countries with the "stupid" laws like Germany and Australia unlike Manhunt, Postal or Grand Theft Auto.

With the dawn of the new millennium, Raven Software created Soldier of Fortune, ranked #6 in Colonel Creedon's Top 10 Games Of All Time. Its plot may well have paled in comparison to most other games and its graphics were pretty standard for the time but its hook was that the whole game was a gun-porn lovers wet-dream. It was one of the first games (with the like of Counterstrike and Rainbow Six) to take almost all it's arsenal from real world weapons as opposed to the previous efforts of the genre like Doom, Quake and Duke Nukem 3D and it also had GHOUL. From Wikipedia: "The GHOUL engine enables depiction of extreme graphic violence, in which character models are based on body parts that can each independently sustain damage (gore zones). There are 26 zones in total. A shot to the head with a powerful gun will often make the target's head explode, leaving nothing but the bloody stump of the neck remaining; a close-range shot to the stomach with a shotgun will leave an enemy's bowels in a bloody mess, and a shot to the nether regions will cause the victim to clutch his groin in agony for a few seconds before keeling over dead. It is possible to shoot off an enemy's limbs (head, arms, legs) leaving nothing left but a bloody torso."

...as I said. It's #6 in my top 10 games :)


The third installment will be entitled Soldier of Fortune: Pay Back. Disappointingly franchise creator Raven Software isn't making Pay Back, that duty has fallen to an Activision Value studio located in Slovakia. But Raven and a number of other internal Activision studios, including Treyarch and Call of Duty maker Infinity Ward, are said to be contributing some technology and input to the game's development.

Regardless of who's making Pay Back, it has all the hallmarks of the Soldier of Fortune series. Real-world weaponry, story of international turmoil and intrigue, and of course, an ultra detailed dismemberment model that lets you blow the arms, legs, and heads off of your scores of opponents. The new engine can model the break points on enemies' bodies with greater detail than Raven's old GHOUL system used in Soldier Of Fortune II: Double Helix. A leg, for instance, is now broken up into a foot, ankle, lower leg, and two sections of thigh. Headshots don't just kill an enemy, they cause the head to burst in a fount of blood and cranial matter.

Pay Back's story departs from the 'ol John Mullins saga in so far as you're a soldier of fortune and you and your partner have been contracted to head to the Middle East, retrieve a Chinese government official in possession of sensitive intel, and escort him to safety. But no sooner do you complete this mission than your "partner" turns on you, kills your ward, and sets off a whole string of international incidents. You'll spend the rest of the game fighting through more fictionalised Middle Eastern locations, as well as levels in places like Burma and Russia, as you track down the bad guy (or guys--you know there are always more of them) and try to restore global order. Let's hope somebody is paying you handsomely for going to all this trouble.

Before each mission you can select a primary and secondary weapon, a sidearm, and a grenade type. There will be around 40 guns in the final game, and you can customize them with add-on grips, scopes, grenade launchers, and other gear that you'll unlock more of as you progress through the game's 12 missions.

It has already been given a de facto ban in Australia. I'll obviously be "investigating" this further and I'll let you know how it turns out.

Source: Gamespot.

8 comments:

Bruce Russell said...

Slovakia? Slovakia?

Lt. Colonel Creedon said...

Yeah, it sounds as cheap as chips but I'm not going to judge a game based on the nationality of the developers...

...hang on. I am. Eastern European shit!!! It'll crash and burn. Another end to a great franchise :(

Darragh said...

Have you guys SEEN the gameplay footage of this???
There's absolutely no way they can mess this up! They've completely upped the gore level by a country mile!
Double Helix was amazing, so hopefully this'll make the namesake proud.
On a personal note, maybe this'll finally encourage Konami to bring back the dead Castlevania franchise with the extreme gore it so deserves!
(Sorry, I'm just in a bit of a Castlevania frenzy at the moment...)

Master Guns said...

The Colonel uses the SOF series as a simulator. No matter who makes it he'll be there. I saw screencaps of what he did to people's corpses during an investigation last year. This is grand but then he did it for real in Lybia. Sick.

Former Grunt said...

I wonder if it still had the dubious politics. If you killed an innocent bystander in a New York subway you were penalised because you harmed an American. But no matter how many Iraqi bystanders you killed in the market there was nothing said to you at all, in fact it seemed to increase your score. Thank fuck Raven didn't code Iraqi children into the game...

Lt. Colonel Creedon said...

"Thank fuck Raven didn't code Iraqi children into the game...". Well ya see Grunt, there's this downloadable mod, right? And... heh heh... guess what? Heh heh...

Bruce Russell said...

The only thing I know about Slovakia is that it used to be part of CZECHO-slovakia, the national anthem of which was was 'Hei Sloveniji,' which translates into English as, 'Hey, Slavs!' No kidding.

kOkO said...

'The only thing I know about Slovakia is that it used to be part of CZECHO-slovakia, the national anthem of which was was 'Hei Sloveniji,' which translates into English as, 'Hey, Slavs!' No kidding.'
LOL, thats a total bullshit, where did u hear that?