Soldier of Fortune

aka: SOF, Soldier of Fortune: Tactical Low-Violence Version
Moby ID: 1331
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

A terrorist organization has stolen nuclear weapons from a facility in Russia, intending to sell them to various third-world nations, initiating a global conflict. The player takes the role of John Mullins, a US mercenary working for an organization known as "The Shop". The goal is simple: hunt the villains across the globe, thwart their evil plans, and save the world!

Like most 3D shooters, Soldier of Fortune consists mainly of exploring the environments and killing the enemies that try to impede the player's progress. It is one of the first shooters to isolate over 20 different body regions and show/inflict damage to those regions. For example, if the player character shoots an enemy in the foot, the enemy will limp. The game was also notable for including realistic gore animations resulting from the injuries sustained by the enemies.

Spellings

  • 命运战士 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

169 People (140 developers, 29 thanks) · View all

Project Director / Creative Director
Creative Director
Project Coordinator
Art Director
Animation Director
Level Design Director
Programming Director
Technology (GHOUL)
Gameplay Programming Director
Sound, Music and Localisation Director
2D Artist
3D Artist
Additional Artwork
Special Thanks
Animator
Additional Animation
Level Designer
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 80% (based on 43 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 111 ratings with 4 reviews)

The most satisfying shooter ever created

The Good
The body animations are awesome, and so realistic there is a violent and non-violent version of the game. Heck, it's more satisfying than sneaking up behind a camper in Quake 2! Other than the gratious violence, there is a fun, terrorist-killing game, and a good multiplayer. (It's VERY fun to shoot the arm off your opponents in multiplay.)

The Bad
Sometimes too mindless; not as good and suspensful Half-Life.

The Bottom Line
Kill terrorism in a first-person view with realistic blood and gore.

Windows · by Dragoon (106) · 2000

Controversy or not, SOF is one kickass action game.

The Good
Soldier of Fortune's most famoust achievement comes courtesy of the reworkings Raven did to the Quake 2 engine by adding it the Ghoul hit-detection thingie, as a result of it you don't just kill enemies by just blasting in their general direction, but you can hit them in any of their 20 isolated areas to trigger a realistic response and get a realistically modeled graphic effect. Previous shooters had us used to making the heads a more sensitive hit-area, but that's as far as it went, now with SOF you can remove someone's legs and leave him crawling around, shoot an enemy in their funny bone and see how they get pissed off, or just blow a hole (and yes, I do mean a hole) through their skull or stomach so you see some guts (and I do mean guts, like intestines and stuff) fly around.... These hit areas provide some interesting strategic oportunities, but in the end the feature's there mainly for the adrenalin rush and ego-satisfaction factor of just really, really, REALLY messing up someone's anatomy with firearms. Thank god for technology, eh?

However all fears are put aside once one realises SOF thankfully never merges the bloody and gory gimmicks with it's action-oriented Robotron-like gameplay. Wisely (at least for me) Raven went with the Old school FPS concept, and while there's a plot an scripted sequences just like in everything after Half-Life, this is an action-fest with little to no brains in it. Like the previous reviewer mentioned, this is a very "Chuck Norris" game, you know, captain steroid saves the world, restores democracy and kicks serious ass for no apparent reason... the whole thing is terribly B-movie, with action sequences that rapidly devolve into stupid stunts (like jumping on top of moving trains, etc.), cheese-filled conversations and characters (the comic-booky neonazi villain or the big bad black buddy that your character always has around), etc. etc. And all this is actually very good because it grouds everything into a non-realistic "entertainment-only" enviroment despite the settings, and just like Mortal Kombat, SOF ends up being a funny hyper-violent experience instead of a sick and twisted bloodbath with no redeeming features to it (though unfortunately nobody morphs into dragons here...).

The level design is super-solid as on everything done by Raven, and the final package is very well produced with good (if dated) graphics, good sounds, a nice interface and a good selection of difficulty options which allow you to set up the number of savegames, enemy skill, etc. There's also the option to tone down the violence for the squeamish, so there's no excuse not to play this game if you consider yourself an action gamer.

The Bad
The "stealth" sound-recognition thing is totally useless. I don't think I ever used it once in the entire game and it just seems like a waste of space to me, and the level design while good relies on too many "shooting gallery" moments. Really, there are lots of doors, containers and other things that are there just so they can fly open whenever you come close and let some screaming terrorist jump in front of you guns-blazing! What the hell is this? Virtua Cop?

Multiplayer is good but I could have used better maps and game modes...

Oh, and how come everyone in this game seems to have some sort of hokey mustache? What's with that? Seriously, Chuck Norris-analogy or not, this game feels like an amateur porn convention at times!!a

The Bottom Line
Funny action-romp that entertaints without being truly revolutionary and comes packed with lots of blood and enough guts to hold things toghether. Understand that this game is played more for the sheer fun and humor of it that it's "realistic" elements and you'll be okay. Just be sure that you are the kind of person that apreciates the humor found in shooting a polygonal person's knees off, otherwise steer clear of it since you are just going to start yelling about how this is "too violent" and "sick" and "my mommy doesn't approve of these games" or whatever... 'kay?

Windows · by Zovni (10503) · 2003

Deliberately over-hyped game

The Good
Some levels in the game are a nice change from most of the indoor levels that the game has e.g. the levels with the snow and the final one at the ancient European castle. The violent features in this game such as the fatal head-shots or blowing off limbs can be fun for a while, but then the novelty wears off pretty quick. Besides, this was done years ago in another shooter called Chasm the Rift, which was much more fun. The fights with the boss characters was amusing.

The Bad
Frankly, there is not much to like about this game. I'll give the reasons here. First of all the level design in this game is bland. Some underground levels like the subway and meat processing plant are monotonous and boring. The choice of color for the wall textures was poor too. The weapons which are very important for any FPS game are unremarkable and do almost the same kind of damage. So, whether you use a pistol or shotgun, you can still blow off an enemy's limb without a problem. The music and the sfx were repetitive and insignificant. The voice acting was mediocre at best. In fact, I had a hard time believing this game was released by one of my favorite developers.

The Bottom Line
It's a first person shooter that everybody has heard about because of it's so-called excessive, over the top violence. If that's the sole reason you bought this game, you will be sorely disappointed. Believe me, there are other much better games out there.

Windows · by Roger Wilco (1144) · 2008

[ View all 4 player reviews ]

Trivia

German version

There are a few changes in the German version:

  • All blood and gore effects, especially shooting off limbs, were removed.
  • There are no death screams.
  • No missions take place in real locations anymore, e.g. Tokyo was renamed to Tokono
  • Parts of the animation of a peeing enemy and pictures of Saddam Hussein were removed.

A detailed list of changes can be found on schnittberichte.com (German).

incite PC Gaming review

Steve Klett's review of the game in incite PC Gaming #7 (June 2000) had a somewhat distressing sidebar detailing how his dog was frightened by the blood-curdling screams of dying enemies to the point that he escaped to his master's room and curled up in a ball, scared out of his wits. In his own words, "I guess it's a testament to the fact that the violence is perhaps too realistic."

John Mullins

The game is based (to a certain extent) on real-life mercenary John Mullins. A former member of a Vietnam spec ops unit of the Green Berets, Mullins has written a novel recounting his experiences (Days of Fire, 1991, Berkley Press) and acted as consultant for the game.

References

"Jessica Six'"is a reference to the 1976 movie, Logan's Run.

Weapons

The weapons in this game (except for the more outlandish ones such as the slugthrower and microwave gun) are based on real life weapons, but to avoid royalty issues with the manufacturers, they have fictional names.

Information also contributed by Alan Chan, Foxhack and Jussi Huuskonen.

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  • MobyGames ID: 1331
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by MAT.

Dreamcast added by Kartanym.

Additional contributors: Zovni, Unicorn Lynx, Corn Popper, Cantillon, Patrick Bregger, Plok, Kennyannydenny.

Game added April 13, 2000. Last modified September 17, 2023.