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Shellshock 2: Blood Trails

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Shellshock 2: Blood Trails
Shellshock2-X360.jpg
There is nothing to be afraid in this game.
Protagonist(s): Sergeant Caleb "Cal" Walker
Genre(s): First-Person Shooter
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Release: EU: February 13, 2009
NA: February 24, 2009
Developer(s): Rebellion Developments
Publisher(s): Eidos Interactive
Series: Shellshock
Predecessor: Shellshock: Nam '67

Shellshock 2: Blood Trails is a 2009 first-person shooter video game that is set during the Vietnam War. It was developed by Rebellion Developments and published by Eidos Interactive for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Microsoft Windows. It is the sequel to a 2004 video game, Shellshock: Nam '67.

The game was formerly banned in Australia and Germany for high-impact gory violence throughout the game. It is also the last game from Eidos Interactive as an independent publisher, before they were acquired by Square Enix in November of 2009 and rebranded as Square Enix Europe.

Plot

In the Fall of 1969, a special operations team led by Sergeant Caleb "Cal" Walker, vanishes after being sent into the jungles of Cambodia to retrieve a mysterious cargo known as "Whiteknight", which was lost after the U.S. transport plane carrying it was shot down by a North Vietnamese Air Force jet. Cal lost his men to the earliest victims of Whiteknight, the downed U.S. plane crew. It is then up to Caleb's younger brother, Private Nathaniel "Nate" Walker, to find him and unlock the secrets of Whiteknight.

Why It's Shellshocked

  1. The story is pretty much clichéd, boring and bland, with paper thin and unlikable characters, especially the protagonists Caleb and Nate Walker, who lack any experience in a field. And the premise of a lost bioweapon plaguing the jungles of Vietnam, while it is an interesting concept, is badly executed.
  2. Ugly and blurry visuals with an terrible framerate on the console versions, especially for 2009 standards, making it look like a unfinished Left 4 Dead custom mod.
  3. The console versions also suffer from horrible controls, especially the PS3 version, as this version has clunky SIX-AXIS controls that barely work. They're not better in the PC version, as the camera is very floaty and hitting enemies is harder than it should be.
  4. The game has a lot of quick-time events where you must press W, A, S or D (if you're playing the PC version) to prevent getting killed, but instead of showing arrows, the game will show you the actual keys instead, which can confuse most of the players.
  5. During the end of the game, it focuses more on zombies, while at the start of the game, there's too many shootouts with the Vietcong forces that go on for too long.
  6. The game is very short and barely has any extra content. You can finish the whole campaign in less than four or five hours, and there is no multiplayer mode. Even worse, it costed a full price of $40, too much even when looking at the quality of this game.
  7. Numerous bugs and glitches. The most common glitch is the one that results you on being unable to pick up enemy weapons or ammo.
  8. Awful gunplay that resembles the gunplay of Postal 2, only with recoil, mag size and iron sights.
  9. The iron sights of the weapons are pointless. All of them are misaligned from the center of your crosshair and for some strange reason using the iron sights of your weapon will increase the recoil, this is more noticeable in the M60 because the recoil you get while aiming is so uncontrollable that you would rather use the normal crosshair instead.
  10. The zombies are incredibly fast when they chase you to the point that is completely impossible to pass through the levels without killing them before, and because of this, you will often feel that they spawn from nowhere or even teleport. It's also worth to mention that shooting them in the torso is a nightmare because they can take a lot of hits before dying, specially when using the shotgun, because you need to take four shots just to kill a single zombie.
  11. As stated above, the zombie AI is incredibly annoying, but there are times where they'll behave like complete idiots.
  12. The level design is linear and confusing at the same time because of the abuse of mazes and vegetation where you can get lost very easily.
  13. Terrible and uncharismatic voice acting. For instance, the Vietcong forces sound like if they were dubbed by Bugs Bunny.
  14. The game has a staggering amount of plot holes; Why would the Vietcong forces shoot down the plane that was obviously carrying deadly cargo?

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The atmosphere is surprisingly decent, given the quality of the game.
  2. The tension of waling through the jungle in a Vietnam zombie shooter at night (with some traps) sounds good, even though Half-Life modification, Heart of Evil did it better.
  3. A tolerable soundtrack, including various songs such as "Freebird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Reception

Shellshock 2: Blood Trails received generally negative reviews from critics and players alike. It holds a Metacritic score of a 30/100 on the Xbox 360 version, a 35/100 on the PS3 version, and a 40/100 on the PC version. Eurogamer gave the game a 2/10.

Trivia

  • Roger Clarke, the voice actor of Griffin, would later go on to voice Arthur Morgan in the critically acclaimed Red Dead Redemption II in 2018.

Video

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