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ups: Great graphics, interesting arsenal
downs: No multiplayer, terrible voice acting

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UberSoldier! Review
gone gold
game: UberSoldier
four star
posted by: Tristan Mayshark
publisher: CDV
developer: Butut CT
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date posted: 12:57 PM Mon May 1st, 2006
last revision: 04:42 PM Wed Apr 12th, 2006

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Click to read.There is a split in the world of FPS games between traditional \"Doom-like\" games such as Painkiller, and more cinematic, story driven efforts like F.E.A.R.

Fans of the latter camp may find little to like in UberSoldier, but anyone who enjoys traditional, brainless first person shooters will find that for $29.99, UberSoldier is worth buying.

The story in UberSoldier is so ludicrous and inconsequential to the gameplay that it\'s not really worth detailing. You\'re a Nazi zombie in a drug induced state of suggestibility, and have been hijacked by a big-breasted redhead from the German resistance. You are now personally responsible for making sure that WWII doesn\'t end with an Axis victory.

As I said, it\'s not really worth detailing.

What makes UberSoldier work is that it gets the basic Doom formula right in a way that Doom 3 did not. It\'s fast, frantic, and has a couple other interesting quirks in its favor. For one thing, the arsenal of weapons is fairly diverse and includes at least one I\'d never seen before in a first person shooter. However, the grenade system is flat out crippled compared to most games, you have no control over the velocity of your toss, only the angle. Luckily, the diversity of arms makes up for this.

Additionally, you carry your knife \"at ready\" and can use it even while reloading another weapon, meaning you won\'t get brained by a zombie when you\'re out of ammunition and juggling guns. Secondly, as an \"UberSoldier\", you can, for some reason, project a shield around yourself that stops all bullets from any direction (this is never explained beyond someone shouting \"Use your powers!\" at you). Depending on your timing, you can release the shield and fire all the bullets in whatever direction you\'re facing. These two minor features make the game feel more fresh.

It\'s not that UberSoldier does anything new, it\'s just that it picks some of the best elements of the genre and combines them in a way that is easy to pick up and, at the same time, addictive enough to encourage you to beat the game.

I was skeptical that the graphics would hold up to recent games, but I was pleasantly surprised to find an engine that has not only dynamic shadowing, but fundamentally solid level design that looks nearly as good as anything else on the market. The ragdoll physics engine makes bodies flop around and into buildings in a very satisfying way.

UberSoldier encourages players to avoid just blindly spray bullets with its rewarding combination of knife kills or head shots and permanent stat increases. This system plays out well, because it means if you take the time to kill your enemies skillfully from the beginning, you have the necessary health and stamina to do so throughout the game. Whether or not you pursue these goals does not substantially affect your ability to win the game, only how you play it. This is really the only way in which UberSoldier lets you customize your experience, but it\'s a nice perk.

UberSoldier\'s two pitfalls are its brevity and its voice acting. I can forgive its relatively short duration (10-15 hours on easy or medium for most gamers) given its budget status, and the same forgiving reasoning applies to the terrible voice acting. But it can\'t get me over the feeling that the audio was recorded by the pre-alpha testing team in a bathroom at 3 AM.

As far as budget titles are concerned, UberSoldier is a prime example of everything working correctly. It plays completely into an established genre, and while its production values wear through in a couple places the overall experience is riveting. Fans of fast and furious shooters won\'t be disappointed.

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