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Soldier of Fortune: Payback


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GF Rating

1975 ratings

Critic & User Reviews

GF Rating


Good Weapons, Bad Antagonists

posted by Mattius (CARLSBAD, CA) Nov 19, 2007

Member since Nov 2004

86 out of 93 gamers (92%) found this review helpful

I agree with the reviewer before me - this game is too short for its price. Luckily for us, gamefly steps in and saves us from buying it.

This game breaks from the traditional first person shooter in several respects:

1) Bosses. I was just thinking the other day that if I could design a video game, I'd bring back level-bosses. SOF shows us why this is a bad idea: no non-armored, non-cyborg, non-exoskeleton human should take 400+ rounds to defeat. FPS games should be about tactics and strategy, not about who can pump the most rounds out fastest. It should be about highground and cover and knowing your weapon's limitations and strengths. I'm glad Activision experimented with bosses in a FPS game, I just think there needs to be more than an outpour of bullets between gamer and antagonist. A boss who shrugs off 300 rounds, or 10 grenades, or both, doesn't make for a unique gaming experience.

2) Blood and dismemberment: Remember when gore was cool? SOF capitalizes on the lack of gore in other FPS games. Every hit results in bodily dismemberment, decapitation, and/or opened arteries with requisite bloodspray. Blow off a bad guy's arm and he'll shuffle away to bleed out. Nice touch, SOF.

3) Weapon Realism: This is one place SOF balanced realism and fantasy with good results. Weapon switches and reloads are fast, grenades are plentiful, and weapons are well balanced in their prescribed role. In other words, shotguns are excellent in close-quarters, assault rifles are excellent in medium range, and sniper rifles are effective at long range combat. This sounds simple but plenty of games make shotguns too slow, or make assault rifles out of control with recoil, or make sniper rifles useless unless the shooter scores a headshot.

SOF does a good job designing weapons: from scopes to silencers to grips to grenade launchers. The scopes are particularly cool. All-in-all, an excellent prototype game to see where FPS are getting stale and where they're strong.

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GF Rating

Above Average

Definitely worth a try

posted by infp76 (SAINT PAUL, MN) Dec 12, 2007

Member since Nov 2007

12 out of 15 gamers (80%) found this review helpful

I notice that many reviewers (professional or not) tend to be very critical of every aspect of a game. This level of scrutiny has its place, but I'll keep this review on a more real, everyday level.

Some of the game's strengths are the graphics and animation. Compared with all shooters currently available, there is nothing about the visuals that are under par with Payback. The art, effect, framerate, etc are all at least on par with your average current-system shooter.

The gore definitely rates way above average. The gore in this game is from blowing up (or away) your human enemies. Some other games that have a violent and gory reputation use monsters, zombies, aliens, or some other non-human character as the subject of gore. In general, that does count, but there is something extra to be said of gore that comes from a (simulated) human being, just as it would in real life...

...But speaking of "real life" the gore in this game has been criticized for being exaggerated and unrealistic. For instance, a headshot from an AK will literally remove his entire head. In real life, an AK would normally not completely decapitate someone. But the SOF games have all had exaggerated violence. It's just part of the series as an "extra" for those that like that. Also, this is not meant to be a simulation-type game like the Ghost Recon games are. This is clearly more arcade style (just like COD 2 and 3 for example).

The gameplay is decently paced and somewhat difficult but is helped by the regenerating health system. But once the killing becomes routine, the game became pretty boring for me. The story is a yawner and doesn't do much to draw you in to each level. It feels more like you're just always running from point A to B shooting people indiscriminately, which is fun at first but does wear off, at which point the boring story really becomes apparent.

But all in all it's a good looking, action-packed, well controlled game. It's worth a rent because it does offer some fun.

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GF Rating


Soldier of MISfortune.

posted by Action (RONCEVERTE, WV) Nov 20, 2007

Member since May 2006

7 out of 9 gamers (78%) found this review helpful

First off, after playing CoD4 it's going to be a loooooong time before I'm impressed again with a military based shooter.
But heck, we play SOF for the sweet sweet gore.
Pros; You can blow off heads, arms, legs, puncture jugular veins while enjoying gratifying enemy death animations.
Con; I think they only use five animations, by the time I went through the first level I was like "Been there, done that."
Graphics & Sound:
Pros; Beautiful explosions, very interactive environment. rocks the 5.1.
Cons; I've played CoD4, this game is the little dog jumping around the big dog saying "What are we going to do now Spike? Huh huh? What are we going to do now?"
Pros; Very easy to pick up and play, if you've played a FPS on Xbox you can play this game.
Cons: Object interactivity sucks, and why is it that I'm playing a kick-butt soldier but I lack the ability to crouch?
CoD4 has set the bar pretty high and SOF lost the limbo contest, it has some fun moments and the gore is a macabre touch, but the game sends so many baddies at you at once you don't have time to appreciate it.
The gore gets a little numbing after a while, though I do like throat shots.
There's also a severe lack of Achievements for this game, 95% of them you earn in MP.
No one's playing this.
The load time is horrible, I can get up, go to the fridge, pour me a drink, make a sandwich, eat it, feed the cats, go get the paper, head up to the store and get something to fix for dinner, and still make it back before my last checkpoint loads up.

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