Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix
Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix is a 2002 FPS game by Raven Software and Activision for PC and Xbox, that is the sequel to Soldier of Fortune which was released in 2000. Unlike the previous game, which ran on the ID-Tech 2 engine, this game runs on the ID-Tech 3 engine. Unlike the previous game, which was widely praised for its graphics, over-the-top action, a creative mix between military and sci-fi and most importantly, its level of violence, this game was not very well received.
Despite its critical and commercial failure, there was an unrelated sequel, Soldier of Fortune: Payback, which was worse than the previous two games.
The player once again takes on the role of John Mullins, who first goes out on a mission in Cold-War Era Prague to rescue a scientist involved in bio-weapons research, before shifting into the Present Day, to investigate a viral breakout in a village in Colombia and the origins of the virus that plagued said village, only to reveal that the virus was and is being developed and to be used by a terrorist organization who threaten world leaders for money, and it is up to John to stop them.
- A bland, generic, forgettable and uninspiring story.
- Dull voice acting, which is worse than the previous game.
- Some dialogue scenes also have very awkward pauses.
- Bland graphics, coupled with laughably bad and poorly animated character models.
- The game tries to take on a more "realistic" and serious tone (copying the tactical shooters that were popular at the time) as opposed to the action movie tone of the previous game. This leads to a very inconsistent tone since all it does is take itself way too seriously while still allowing the player to dual-wield Desert Eagles.
- Abysmal weapon handling, to the point that when you rapidly fire a weapon such as the M4, you won't be able to hit enemies consistently unless you play on the easy difficulty or on a custom difficulty with Weapon Inaccuracy turned OFF.
- The controls for the OICW are overcomplicated and fiddly.
- Weird weapon variety choices: for example, there is only one sniper rifle in the game, but three different types of frag grenade.
- Two of the seventeen guns are locked out in singleplayer unless the player buys the Gold Edition. Or knows the "give all" cheat, because it turns out those weapons are still in the normal edition.
- Has a very useless partner who only appears in very few levels before being killed off halfway through, and never engages in combat whatsoever, unlike Hawk in the previous game.
- A very lame villain.
- Unsatisfying final boss battle. The boss battle in the previous game was more exciting than this. Here, you just battle against an Osprey on the rooftop of the SHOP! And with very unfitting music to boot.
- The ending is very unpleasant and unsatisfying.
- Also contains alot of unused voice clips found within the game's files related to certain situations within certain levels, giving the impression that the game was severely rushed for some reason.
- For the very first mission that is supposed to be set in Prague in 1989, there are several inaccuracies: The cars that appear in Prague all look modern, and the soldiers and even the taxi driver in the opening sequence speak Russian instead of Czech. Also, the CA soldiers use the M3A1 Grease Gun, an American weapon. Some other levels have certain inaccuracies to their respective locations and countries they're set in too: For instance, the price for each of the postcards and sunglasses in the Switzerland Airport are priced in Euros rather than Swiss Francs. The same price tags also appear in the Hong Kong market level.
- There are some plot holes. For example: What happened to Hansen? Where did Torturer and Rana go? (fixed in Gold Edition, where they are present as bosses)
- Unbalanced difficulty: At some point during Hong Kong levels, it would be nearly impossible to progress without cheats on higher difficulties, since all enemies would suddenly become incredibly accurate. It is especially problematic during segments like fight with the Torturer in Gold Edition version and helicopter fight on hospital's roof.
- The random mission generator is a neat feature in theory, but in practice the levels are generated from so few elements that they are basically all the same.
- Has some decent level design.
- Still has an awesome level of violence, which would have made the game more barren and lifeless without it.
- The texture work is decent for the most part, despite the poor graphics.
- It has decent music throughout, although the music in the previous game was much better.
- Better modding capabilities than the first game.
- Gold Edition (also released as a free patch) fixes some problems (like some of the plot holes) and improves some things, also adding new things to Single Player and Multiplayer.