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Soldier Of Fortune: Payback Review

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Actually, make that Soldier Of Misfortune...

★★★★

A few years ago, death, dismemberment and a dash of gore were all you needed to spice up a mediocre game and earn international notoriety (yes, Mortal Kombat, that includes you). But as ultra-violence and gory dismemberment are the only decent things about this hackneyed blaster, Soldier Of Fortune doesn’t have what it takes to satisfy even the itchiest trigger finger.

Although the game’s PC predecessors provided hours of giddy, gun totin’ thrills, Payback’s shortcomings become apparent after only a few minutes; for starters, your rivals are painfully dumb and will run straight towards you as you pump them with bullets, while continually refusing to use cover and haplessly stumbling into the path of unexploded grenades. And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, the only time you’ll die during this facile adventure is when an enemy spawns behind you and riddles your hero’s back with lead, a frustrating structure that harks back to the cheap and nasty arcade shooters of yesteryear that were designed to rob players of as many 10p coins as possible.

Hopelessly linear missions, a paltry selection of weapons and shaky graphics also mean the game isn’t worth its premium asking price, no matter how much decapitation and mutilation turn you on.