Bet on Soldier
The information, movies and previews surrounding Bet on Soldier had awakened the interest of this FPS lover more than normal. The concept where you can bet on the outcome of bloody encounters to afterwards buy new weapons, ammo and armor with your profits really sounded great. It seemed like Counterstrike with a storyline! Too bad the gameplay doesn’t even come close to this source of inspiration and the game also scores low on all other parts.
For those that haven’t clicked away yet after the quite revealing introduction we’ve got of course more to tell. First of all some more about the setting. The whole plays in a rather unclear defined war where now and then all eyes of the world are turned towards a duel between you and an opponent, broadcasted live on TV. The normal shooting stops for some time while everyone starts betting, something you can do yourself at the beginning of the game as well.
Before a mission starts you can choose your opponents from a list (the better they are, the more you earn when defeating them) to afterwards buy new gear with the money you saved from previous assignments. Each kill earns you cash, each use of health or armor, a save-game or ammo will cost you some. To be honest: it’s stupid how the storyline, the concept and the way it’s been brought together are done. It looks like a gathering of ideas that haven’t been properly finished and then just got thrown together. But probably that’s exactly how it was when the makers came up with this game.
Too bad also the gameplay is far from successful. The enemy AI is very limited (“Me see, me stop, me shoot”) so you can easily get the better of them. Seeing their behaviour, your colleagues (you can hire people to help you) haven’t been going to school for a long time as also they shine in being stupid. One they they can do is repair your armor during battle, give support during fire fights or just run after your (if there aren’t any obstacles in the way).
What I always find important for an FPS is the shooting itself. Little surprises here seeing that also here the game fails due to the uninspiring and disappointing weapons. Not only does the fun factor burn low by pulling the trigger but the weapons also show a remarkable unbalanced behaviour. I could shoot people from a mile away with a machinegun or pistol, but when those people were breathing in my neck, things got a lot more difficult to get them down. What I (and with my probably several hardcore shooterfans) could appreciate was the accurate aim and that fact that the game awards this.
Levels are also present, unfortunately leveldesign isn’t. Corridors, open spaces, a camp, it’s all present but so standard and lifeless built that it’s hardly fun to step into a new surrounding or opening a door. The constant reusing of items (I’m starting to develop a trauma due to the strategically placed exploding cans) and the ever repeating animations frustrate you faster than you can empty your clip.
The graphics are technically not bad; high resolutions are supported and the player models are quite cool, but then there’s the framedrops that come to put a shadow on this small point of positive feedback. It won’t surprise you that the artistic value of this game is very meagre and also the auditive part could use a lot of improvement on all parts (the voice-acting!)
Next to the disappointing singleplayer part there’s also multiplayer but this is so mediocre that there are hardly any servers and I won’t go deeper on this. Just trust me when I say that also these options do not justify a purchase!
Bet on Soldier is an FPS and in the world of the first person shooter you need to have balls to earn the right of living. BoS has all but that; on gameplay, graphics, concept and sound there are major shortcomings. Add to that quite a lot of bugs and system crashes, a sucky update system that you need to install seperately, frame drops and a multiplayer part that could have been left out, and you know that there are a lot of titles at the moment that are a better choice. F.E.A.R., Quake 4 and Call of Duty 2 will without a doubt give you more shooterfun than this mediocre game. To bet on this one you will have to be an immense FPS-fan as only the hardest hardcore shooters will find some fun with this!