The Soldier of Fortune series isn't as popular like the Half-Life series, but it was definitely memorable for it's unique gore system and a fun multiplayer experience too. The first two game was definitely a blast to play if you're looking for some fun action-packed old school shooter with a rather engaging storyline or you can jump to the multiplayer and have some fun. Sadly, this game is a true disgrace to the first two games. It's just not that fun to play, it's frustrating, it has nothing to do with the series too, and it just felt like Activision forced the developers to call it a SOF game to get some cash.
The story is terribly retarded. It's a revenge of a revenge story. First you gotta defend some guy by some terrorist attack I suppose and then all of sudden, your right-hand man betrays you. You soon found out he's in some other clan, and now you're after them for more revenge and it just builds upon it! The set pieces aren't memorable, and the voice acting is mediocre at best. Also, it has a cliffhanger-bad idea.
Graphics...ehh.. not that great.
Graphically, it's fine, but god the lighting is just bad, I can't stand it. Although the textures and models seems fine though, and it's not too dated. The sound is sooo LOW BUDGET. I mean...The first two games had amazing sound effects for its weapons, and this is a disgrace, I mean some of them sound don't sound too bad, but it'll get old very fast. The music quite enjoyable, and it was the main reason why I didn not give up playing this game.
The gore is still there!
My AK killed them!
They didn't let me in the club. So I had to bring out my gun.
Who wants some??
Okay, the gameplay-the most important part of the game. Let's start out with the good things, it's playable, it's gory just like the previous games, there are a lot of weapons to use and you can customize them by adding like a scope and so on, and that's pretty much it. The game lasted me only about 4-5 hours long, and it's SOOO short. It only has four levels too for a campaign, I mean whose bright idea was that? Now, I said the sound wasn't that great for the weapons right? And this hurts for the gameplay because you are spending most of your time shooting, and it just doesn't feel that great. I mean the first two games were better and it plays better too. The level design feels pretty bad compared to the earlier games too, it just feels like the developers didn't put too much creativity into the levels. Also I just don't like how they "CODized" this game. It just feels awkward especially when your aiming down your sights and most of the weapons have no recoil at all and it feels very awkward if you ask me. It should've been like the previous game where all you had to do was just AIM. Another problem with this game is that it's CHEAP. I swear, I would check everything before I go on to the next area and then all of sudden, there will be some soldier magically appear behind me and he would sometimes kill me just for to make the game even more annoying to play. Oh yeah and what's worse than playing a bad game is playing a bad game that's actually tough, this game got some pretty brutal parts and I'm definitely not coming back to master it because there's really no reason to play this game if there are a bunch of other shooters that are much better than this game. Oh and trust me, I HATE IT when I'm in a very tough situation and I'm trying to regen my life (it's similar to Halo), and all of sudden a guy MAGICALLY APPEARS behind me and kills me. It's soo bulsh**, I swear. Sorry if I'm repeating my self, but this game was just a pain to play. I mean it's not the hardest game in the world, but games that give you challenge makes you want to keep on trying because the developers usually know how to not make the game too frustrating. When you die, it's not the game's fault, it's your fault. This one is frustrating and challenging=just makes you want to give up really.
The multiplayer, good luck with that. There's only 5 maps, and almost nobody is playing it. Have fun.
There you go, that's SOF: Payback for you. 4-5 hour campaign, it's frustrating, bad storyline, disappointing multiplayer, and it's basically a disgrace to the series. I'm just going to imagine that this game doesn't exist at all. I can't tell who to blame...the developer or the publisher. Maybe, Bobby wanted to rush the developers to fool in the fans so he could get a lot of cash and he would put it in his empty swimming pool and just swim in it and he's basically laughing at all the people that bought the game. I'm blaming it on Activision because Cauldron HQ actually developed a little game called "Chaser" for the PC and believe it or not guys, I've played it and it's actually a game that's worth playing if you're into the old-school shooters. It's the complete opposite of this game for sure. So in the end, the game sucks. Stay away from it. If you want to get into the Soldier of Fortune series, get it on PC or the Dreamcast for the first game, and the sequel, get it on the PC or on the Xbox. 3.5/10
Seriously, try out Chaser though. It's a wonderful game, and if you like the original Half-Life, you will probably love this game.