Soldier Front 2 : First Look
There are a number of mid-level FPS games out there, the sorts of games that are often quite retro-based both in terms of gameplay and in terms of visuals. You’ve probably played the likes of Wolf Team, you’ve seen the gimmick, you’ve enjoyed it and then wondered where things might go from there. How can they improve on a subgenre that is undoubtedly fun, but rather set in its ways? (*find your free item pack at the bottom of this review)
Soldier Front 2 First Look
Soldier Front 2 manages it, and it manages it in heaps. The graphics aren’t the most beautiful things you’ll ever seen, but the gameplay is silky smooth and that makes is an absolute must-play.
Tactical Shooter – Soldier Front 2 is being marketed as a tactical shooter, and I think it’s important to note that it’s more Call of Duty than Battlefield. If you could take Counter-Strike and remove the impossible headshots and harsh hit markers, you’ll got Soldier Front 2.
This might sound like a negative. It really isn’t. The result is a game that’s enormously fun to play, but which feels like there’s an element of skill to it. Although those looking for a hardcore experience may find their skills wasted, the gameplay is made up of the best of both worlds.
There are so many items in Soldier Front 2, even at this stage.
Silky Smooth – There are a number of game modes in Soldier Front and all of them are pretty well balanced. The MOBA mode, which shouldn’t work, actually manages to represent the genre better than expected. There’s a Zombies-like mode as well, in which you must repel wave after wave of aliens. This isn’t easy – they’ll come fast and furiously – and even with a GM we managed to be wiped out within a minute and a half. The regular modes are as fun as you can expect them to be, even if you’re a Deathmatch veteran. All of these modes work incredibly well, but there’s one that stands out to me…
What the heck! I'll just throw a grenade.
Smashing Stuff – The Fun House is an arena made of glass. You can blast through the walls, through three levels of floors, and you must destroy the enemy team. Far below is a spike covered floor and a series of rotating jump pads which will fling you back up to the walkways if you manage to hit one of them. This mode is amazing fun, but it’s also quite tactical.
Soldier Front 2 - Fun House map gameplay video
You have to think which panes of glass to shoot out, you have to tread carefully, build yourself a path and aim quickly. Every win is satisfying, every loss is a challenge.
Graphical Downsides – Although the gameplay hardly puts a step wrong, the graphics are a completely different story. It’s not just the art style itself – which you can’t compare to AAA shooters, even in the same genre – there’s a slider for actual graphical quality, although that’s about it.
Compared to other, similar games, this one’s a beauty, but you’re not going to be taking beautiful screenshots here.
Shopping Spree – Soldier Front 2 is another of those games that expects you to buy weaponry. You can do this with in-game currency, although there are other options. I didn’t test the store extensively tonight, but the weaponry that I used seemed to be fairly well balanced, so it’s too early to write the store off entirely. Be warned though, there’s definite potential for pay-to-win here, even if only a single gun is overpowered.
You can create a dummy soldier in training map
Ping – We played on a private server with probably less than twenty other people, and there was still a touch of occasional lag. The kill cam will show players falling over for seemingly no reason. It wasn’t too bad, but could become a bigger problem when we get to general release. Considering that this was one of the biggest issues for the original Soldier Front, it’d be a shame for people not to give the sequel a chance based on a little lag.
Are you lucky enough?
Soldier Front 2 is a solid title that tries to do something different, without sacrificing the basic core gameplay. That sounds like something that should happen more often, but too many developers focus on the gimmick before actually making their game fun to play. I don’t think that’s happened here.
You never know...
With that said, there are still a few alarm bells, but these are mostly for things that we won’t truly see until weeks, maybe months after the official launch, when the initial rush has calmed down and people have thoroughly tested it. For now, all we can say is that this is one to watch, and that this is going to be at least a sleeper hit. It more than deserves it.
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