(This article is originally written in Dutch, in 2002)
SOF1 will undoubtedly be remembered by everyone. It caused a lot of commotion because the ‘gore’ content was so high. With SoFII this goes one step further … We finally got our hands on a Multiplayer beta and then also tested it extensively, because the screenshots on the net already looked / look great, but the gameplay is also what it should be to be? The UV Members already tackled the multiplayer beta in true CS style …
No servers … WTF? Yes of course the beta has no servers, you dumbass! Therefore host ffe itself (this is also possible via network). The first impressions once you have your feet on the ground next to a helicopter and you say “Go, Go, Go!” hears his “wooowww” shout … It really looks like the Quake 3 Team Arena engine is far from over! (see Jedi Knight II, MOHAA, RTCW, …) Also in this multiplayer version there are two teams (DM -deatchmatch- is in the full version but we have not been able to test that yet … Here is the Team DM) ; the terrorists who have to rob a suitcase with important papers and the ‘shop’ members (the CTs here) who have to prevent this. Unfortunately there was only 1 map in this preliminary version, which makes it boring after a while because you know the map rats by heart …
How multi works at SOFII
As mentioned, we play with 2 teams, just like with CS. Here too you can start your outfit before you start, namely from tough bald negro to John mullins with his clack. Bon, once skin is chosen we come to the weapon stuff. Here it goes a bit wrong: there are two primary weapons - WTF ?? You can choose a sniper, AK47, M4, … and as a second weapon a shotgun, uzi, … (but limited number of weapons in the beta). We are not used to this! In addition, you can also choose your standard pistol along with 1 type of grenade and your outfit (armor, night vision -which is ridiculous because you badly need armor-).
The weapon models look cool … The AK47 looks cool (although you look at your weapon more ‘from above’ here) and the M4 with grenade launcher built in is also very nicely finished. But there are also outrageously ridiculous weapons like that auto shotgun (see screenshots - USAS 12) that doesn’t really pull off much. The weapons also shoot way too hard which seems unrealistic. Your feet also play a role here: your footsteps hears someone else close to you and that is not good … But here Raven drops a stitch: the footsteps sound as if you have steel bones on all the time. on wooden floor succeeds !! And hard … Not really logical. But yes, this is a beta and my PC has problems :-p. By the way, you can run this game smoothly at 1024 pixels - the specs required are not as high as it seems. Which is good on the one hand, but also a shame on the other because the textures look less great. Speaking of textures …
Some are great like the boxes scattered all over the hallways. But some are also downright ridiculously badly finished like the ‘round’ oil barrels which are more hexagonal than anything else … But yes again it is a beta and multiplayer and it may be that Raven has dropped a bit of graphic violence because this too must be smooth playable via the internet (which they have succeeded in anyway, although if the server PC occasionally has trouble with the graphics, the entire clients jerks with it … yeah!) gets to see something very nice flat … Exactly the Quake engine is starting to slack a bit, although your first impressions are still wow. But half-life is no longer graphic splendor, so I don’t think this is really negative. SoFII single player may be a bit better, but for mulit it is fine.
Euuh more than 25 limbs that can be shot off - WTF? The only gore I’ve seen is beheading with a sniper (damn * Moi * don’t shoot me! LOL) and the occasional arm or leg through a shotgun shell. But if you stab someone in the back with a knife, do you see blood? not at all! That guy just falls down and no more fun. You can’t even work him on the ground …. Grab a shotgun and shoot in the throat - the opponent falls down nicely grabbing his throat but some blood? nuu, nothing! Hopefully the final release is a bit more “correct” when it comes to announcements … (ambiguous boy :-)) Another (small) comment: the soundtrack of this map (shop under siege) was beautiful in the beginning but on the last so exciting that some users of misery had to turn their sound off … The track comes back every 30 seconds and there is almost no variation in it. But here again this was only 1 folder and it can change.
Temporary conclusion: this game is great over the internet. But the mediocre graphics (ridiculous textures) and the not too great sound means that the single player mode is in danger … This is a multiplayer beta version, so (hopefully) things will change. For the rest: nicely finished weapons, beautiful bangs (albeit too loud), fast action. Good job!