Soldier of Fortune. For most gamers this means blood, violence and gore, walls painted red and limbs flying off. For me it always meant more. Of course, the graphical violence was always a trademark of the series, and that's a good thing, since there's no alternative when it comes to brutal but always credible dismemberments and chunks of meat flying through the air, but this was just part of the franchise and not it's main selling point. After the first contact what kept gamers playing was the very solid and satisfactory gameplay, and also the attention to detail (try shooting enemies in the hand to see them drop their guns). SoF gameplay was so addictive that in the second game they even added an "instant mission" mode, that randomly generates new simple missions, for players to pass time without having to repeat the campaign levels over and over again. Great.
Well, now that you know this you can imagine my pure joy when a new SoF was announced. I jumped, I screamed, I dreamed of how a SoF game with a next-gen engine would look like. Then came the fear, when they announced that Raven, the software house behind the franchise, wouldn't be making the new game and that it would be a budget title. OMFG! The 3rd game in one of the best FPS series of all time, a fucking budget game!
Still, there was hope. The first screens appeared and the game didn't look that bad. "Just wait and see for yourself", I thought. Well, now I've finally played it, want to hear my opinion about Soldier of Fortune: Payback? The mere fact that they made a joke out of one of my favourite franchises made me want to kill myself, that's what I think about it! How could they fuck it up so bad? What the fuck were they thinking when they made this piece of shit???
Sorry if I look like the Angry Video Game Nerd right now, with this abnormal quantity of swearing, but honestly, I can't help it. Where should I start? The IA is a fucking joke. Most of the time enemies will run right at you or, worse, run by you, completely ignoring your presence until they reach where the hell they wanted to go to then suddenly turn around and start shooting.
The "gore zones" are also a fucking joke. SoF1 had 26, SoF had 36, Payback has 9. 9, for Christ's sake!!! While in the previous games you could accurately turn the bodies of your enemies into big piles of meat, here you just can rip the legs(knee and waist), arms (elbow and shoulder) and heads off. The official site says "Enemies will not only react to the specific area they’ve been hit but also to the power of the weapon they’ve been hit with". That must be why you can pop heads off with your pistol...
I could go on and on about how the graphics are just average, the gameplay is barely entertaining and how they fucked up this game so bad, but honestly I'm already tired of writing right now and the game just doesn't deserve the effort. Just take my advice and stay the fuck away from this game. Want gore? Go play Sof1 or 2 instead and forget this one even exists. In fact I think they didn't name it SoF3 for a reason, for the fans to just keep it out of the picture when they take a look at the whole franchise.