Soldier of Fortune official page: http://www.activision.com/games/sof/
The Multiplayer Update
Earlier this week we posted our Soldier of Fortune review, but with promises to look deeper into the multiplayer feature once the online scene materialized. Now that the game's been out for a couple of days, we've finally had a chance to give the multiplayer side of SoF a proper look.
Turn it down a notch
The first thing we noticed is that the game tends to chug quite a bit with a lot of players on screen. On my P3 450, 128MB RAM, and G400 Max, I had to turn down the texture detail and lighting quality a couple of levels before I could get an acceptable framerate. The screenshots you see in this article reflect that reduced quality. We're not certain whether to pin most of the blame for lackluster framerates on the game engine or on the G400 Max (which is a generally poor OpenGL performer). To Raven's credit, it's worth noting that SoF is an OpenGL game, and there's currently no TurboGL driver from Matrox to help boost the framerate. If and when such a driver update comes out, we'd expect SoF to play smoothly enough at 640 with all the goodies turned on. Voodoo 3 and TNT2/GeForce users should probably have fewer problems than I did.
Welcome to the barbecue
If you want better looking shots, head over to our full SoF review. The shots in this article will help illustrate what interface changes to expect in the various multiplayer modes of SoF.
Most of Soldier of Fortune's weapons are hit scan - this concerned us a lot in the beginning because of the great advantage it would give to low pingers. However, after playing Soldier of Fortune online for a couple of days, it doesn't seem like that game favors low ping players any more so than other games like Quake 3 or Unreal Tournament. We made sure to play on a variety of servers with pings as high as 180 or 200; we were still able to play a decent game. There were a couple of hiccups here and there, but nothing overly annoying. From that experience, we'll give Raven a thumbs up for a job well done in the network code department.
Smoking microwave gun
Burned him just before he got away
There are a total of 20 multiplayer maps in Soldier of Fortune; 13 are DM maps, and 7 are for CTF. The overall level design of the DM maps was decent, but we did take issue with how dark certain areas of certain maps are. The fact that many player models are dressed all in black exacerbated the problem greatly. At times we'd be staring into pitch black, and the only way we knew someone was in front of us was because the crosshair turned red! We realize that those dark areas are supposed to give an advantage to people who find and use the night vision goggles, but frankly, we wouldn't have minded if they were left out entirely.