The Sum Of All Fears
The Sum of All Fears is a first person shooter based on the book by renowned writer Tom Clancy and on the movie of the same title staring Ben Affleck and Morgan Freeman. The game tries to cash in on the succes of its predecessors in the Rainbow Six series. After an initial training stage, necessary to master all the controls, there are 11 missions to play. You are part of a FBI counter-terrorist task-force, charged with leading different covert teams into dangerous hostile situations.
You will have to perform missions ranging from simply eliminating terrorists and planting bugs, to rescueing hostages and destroying illegal weapon compounds. In all levels you are required to infiltrate into enemy held buildings and to tred carefully around the corners… or else
Unfortunately, the gameplay isn’t as smooth as it should be and the game has some serious weaknesses. The enemies keep following the same path over and over again, and the action lacks some … well… action. Most of the time you come around a corner or enter a room and the enemy soldier blasts your head of. So it’s pretty much a question of quicksaving and -loading and remembering behind which door that villain with the shotgun stood. The handling of the weapons are a bit disappointing too: a 9mm, a semi-silent submachine gun, flashbangs and regular grenades, a sniper rifle and a grenade launcher… it’s a pity the missions don’t really lend themselves to using that last one more, it was my favorite But I guess the most irritating factor in the game is not seeing your gun, you only see a crosshair and that’s just not good enough.
But it’s not all bad, don’t think that. If you made a judgement error by chosing the wrong weaponary at the start of a mission, then just play as one of your teammates – he might be carrying a more convenient gun . Another positive thing is that you will never get lost. A map on your hud clearly shows you which path to follow. Other good feature is that you can order teammates to undertake actions at your signal e.g. throwing a flashbang or grenade befor you enter a room. You can also order your team to stay behind you, fall back or even take a more aggressive and attack-minded stance.
The graphics are acceptable to good I would say. Sometimes your enemies aren’t really visible from a distance. As in real life, I think . The maps are well thought of and they vary enough not to get bored.
The sounds on the other hand are totally insufficient. Explosions are a mere ‘thud’ and the guns make ‘ploppy’ noises. I’m sorry, that’s the best way I can describe it. Or hang on: imagine some guy hitting a cardboard box with a wooden shelf or board. That’s it…
I’m sorry to say this as a conclusion, but most games based on movies tend to be lacking in many areas and The Sum Of All Fears is not an exception. The gameplay lacks action (for a shooter), the sounds are plain inadequate and the enemy soldiers aren’t flexible enough.