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Soldier of Fortune: Payback

aka: Mercenaries Wanted
Moby ID: 31204
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

When a routine escort mission goes horribly wrong, freelance mercenary Thomas Mason finds himself battling an insidious enemy that knows no boundaries. Traditional armies can not handle these extremists – only underground guns for hire can fight a war this dirty and get results.

Soldier of Fortune: Payback evolves the signature gameplay of its predecessors with refined controls, tension-packed warzones, and an enemy damage system that may be shocking to even experienced FPS players. Boasting more weapons options than any previous Soldier of Fortune installment, the arsenal includes more than 30 weapons. These include sub-machine guns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, projectile explosives, weapon attachments and cutting-edge tactical weapons.

Soldier of Fortune: Payback features the most common online multiplayer modes including Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Elimination, Team Elimination, Capture the Flag, and Demolition. Additional online options include maps tuned specifically for multiplayer action, persistent stat-tracking throughout the gamer’s online career, and many server settings for custom online play.


  • Солдат удачи: Расплата - Russian spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

293 People (221 developers, 72 thanks) · View all



Average score: 46% (based on 49 ratings)


Average score: 3.0 out of 5 (based on 30 ratings with 2 reviews)

Gloriously bloody (and mediocre) violence

The Good
Obviously, the violence. The SOF games were noted for their extremely graphic violence and gore at the time; and Payback is no exception to that rule. It's difference is that the violence is more cartoon-like and exaggerated in contrast to the realistic depictions of it in the previous games (particularly SOF II). I mean, the violence is so exaggerated, it's the "9mm bullets from a handgun is enough to eviscirate someone" type than the "you can survive a 12-gauge blast in the chest" one. It makes for a unintentionally well-done comedic device.

The weapons selection is pretty varied, and some are really fun to use, even if they share the same gory results in the end. The dialogue is also corny as hell, almost reminiscent of a low-budget action flick from the 80s.

The graphics and audio aren't bad for a budget title; though there's barely any music. Gunfire effects are meaty and pulpy; though I wish there was more 'splat' with the gore.

The Bad
When coming to realization; Payback is very mediocre, even for a budget title. The drab environments ranging from brothels to stereotypical Arabian warzones, the fact that every weapon is the same, and the game has less depth than a port-a-potty. While the previous games were more storydriven, this one is just a budget title, and it doesn't hold a candle, if any, to the previous games (even if SOF II was more clunky than the previous game, but that's for another day).

There's also a conspicuous lack of a discernible story. I know, it's a budget game, but even Super Mario Bros. had a better plot than what Payback could come up with. Betrayal my pasty butt; it's just an excuse to shoot the nearest crook with a M16.

The Bottom Line
Payback isn't very good, but fortunately what it makes up in it's sheer mediocrity is a heaping helping of blood and guts, and maybe a jingoist attitude. Maybe. Just leave your brain at the door for this one, and come in expecting something really funny.

PlayStation 3 · by Tony Denis (494) · 2016

Soldier of Fortune: Payback - Not perfect, but very funny

The Good
Soldier of Fortune: Payback is the third game of the Soldier of Fortune series. The game isn't excellent as Soldier of Fortune 1 and Double Helix, but is funny enough; it's a fast FPS, and can give some hours of fun.

The Bad
The graphic isn't very good; the game is, overall, very simple, and takes only a few hours to complete it. Only some final boss are hard to hit. The intelligence of the enemies is low.

The Bottom Line
Soldier of Fortune: Payback isn't a bad game; try it if you're a fan of the Soldier of Fortune series or if you want to play an old-school FPS.

PlayStation 3 · by PeppersRiffsMullins (20) · 2012


Australian version

Soldier of Fortune: Payback was originally rejected in Australia, but a censored version was later rated MA15+ (Strong violence, Coarse language and sexual references, Gaming experience may change online). This version featured reduced rag doll physics, no dismemberment of enemies (alive or dead), and toned down blood effects.


The game was never meant to be based on the SoF license. It started out as a budget game and was being worked on under the Mercenaries Wanted title. A few months before the game was released, Activision felt the game had potential for a full priced release and decided the game should use the SoF branding. Everything was done last minute. The game was not runnable on Windows Vista and the README.txt file shipped with it had sections copied from their previous game.

German version

The game was officially not released in Germany and is unrated. However, the PC version can be bought over Steam in a censored version with the same changes as the Australian version described above. The Steam store states that the game can only be played in German language, but actually there is only English text and audio.

Information also contributed by Karthik KANE.


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  • MobyGames ID: 31204
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Raj Anand.

Additional contributors: Katakis | カタキス, Sciere, Klaster_1, Patrick Bregger, Starbuck the Third.

Game added November 23, 2007. Last modified March 31, 2024.