Söldner: Secret War
Söldner: Secret Wars is
set in the year 2010 where the United States and Russia have abandoned
their role as the “world police,” due to the instability it caused
within the countries to which their troops were deployed. Since some
can’t seem to keep themselves out of trouble, however, offensive
operations are now carried out by Söldner, the German and much cooler
sounding word for mercenaries. As one of these Söldner, it is your
responsibility to keep the world safe from harm. Armed to the teeth with
an explosive arsenal of high tech weapons and a gargantuan list of over
seventy available vehicles, you step onto the battlefield ready to
unleash a world of pain on your opponents. Does the game deliver
everything that it promises? Read on and find out.
Söldner features both single and multiplayer modes, but before you do
anything, you have to dress your söldner for battle. You can choose from
a variety of faces, hats, jackets, pants, boots, pads, backpacks, camo
types, and insignias to try making your söldner look like a killing
machine. Most of your options result in a modern looking soldier,
although you can also make a pretty convincing cowboy as well as five or
six different types of Nazis, complete with trench coats and Nazi
In the single-player campaign, you appear in an abandoned base with some
training equipment and a house. There is no tutorial and no one to tell
you what to do. Eventually, you’ll discover a little panel that takes
you to a ‘Mission Select’ screen. From here, you can select a mission
such as ‘Blow up a gas tank in China.’ You select the mission and boom!
you’re on an abandoned base in China. Right down the street there’s an
enemy gas tank, so you cruise down there and blow it up.
Graphically the player models and graphics are on par with other war
games, such as Battlefield: Vietnam, however it is a sad day when one
sees brilliant design fall victim to poor coding. Not only is the game
plagued by a variety of different graphical errors and bugs, the game
itself takes an excruitiating couple of minutes to load and is also
plagued by various frame rate issues that sometimes make the title
virtually unplayable. With that said, there are some nice lighting
effects that do enhance the gameplay of the title but unfortunately it
came a little late.
While the game manages to produce all of the sound effects common to war
games, like explosions, whizzing bullets, and the screams of enemy
soldiers as they fall victim to an air strike, nothing memorable comes
out of the affair, making the presentation average at best. With that
said, the voice acting of the title is also over the top, especially the
sounds of the Germans which really sounded forced and contrived.
In conclusion, Encore’s Söldner: Secret Wars has the potential of
becoming one of the greatest war FPS’ of all time, the poor execution
destroys any great idea contained therein. Great gameplay ideas, such as
being a commander to your troops and radioing in support, and being able
to hinder enemy movement by destroying the environment are overshadowed
by buggy gameplay that makes the title seem rushed and unfinished.
Though many patches have already been released to help solve its many
problems, in it’s current state, Encore's latest offering appears to be
nothing more than a beta. Hopefully next time the developers will wait
until all is fixed before rushing it into the market blindly.