At a Glance: You know it’s going to be a great game when you spawn weaponless in a square room next to a giant glowing espresso machine, shortly before grabbing a gun that conveniently got left on a nearby table and running out of the room to assist your white-shirt-wearing brethren in a battle against the evil red-shirted invaders. Sadly, that is the high point of the game, since as soon as you encounter your first enemy the whole thing degenerates into an embarrassingly sloppy mess of a first-person shooter that somehow manages to be even more pathetic than Extreme Paintbrawl 4. And believe me, playing the start of this game and having it degenerate into something even worse is like getting AIDS and then having that condition degenerate into an infection of parasitic alien microbes which spawn bacteria colonies in your stomach that spend all day shooting the inside of your large intestine with tiny rocket launchers.
It’s very sad when you download a demo for a game, and ten seconds after loading it up you realize that the entire game will turn out to be a complete waste of hard drive sectors. Yet that’s exactly what happened when I fired up the Gore: Ultimate Soldier demo and found out that the plot revolved around a war between a government group called the UMC and a highly futuristic, completely fictional crime group called “The Mob.” After a not-too-promising intro that featured spooky white text fading in and out over an intense black background, the game gave me my first mission assignment.
It seems the UMC guys were simply relaxing in their base, known as the ‘UMC Cube’, minding their own business, and some jerks from the Mob invaded your base, hacked into your ‘meat machine’ and stole the ‘UMC database’, whatever that is. Your goal is to get the database back, because databases are extremely high-tech and scary and they aren’t something you want falling into the wrong hands. And apparently ‘hacking’ has taken on a different meaning in the future, since instead of actually hacking into your computers, the Mob hired a guy to physically take your database and run away with it. In order to integrate this intriguing and complex tale into the game, 4D Rulers decided that for every room you enter in the opening level, the first thing you should see is a fruity guy in a purple shirt running away giggling and yelling “It’s MINE!” Then he races into the next room, and you proceed to shoot every enemy in sight while they stumble around trying to figure out what they’re supposed to be doing.
Unfortunately for both me and the six other people who have played this game, the excruciatingly boring cycle continues throughout the entire level. You scurry from room to room inside the building, finding enemies to shoot at and then (oddly enough) shooting at them. There are a few people scattered around the level who don’t want to kill you, and you can tell who they are because they’re wearing white shirts. The invading enemies were kind enough to all wear red shirts, just so we didn’t inadvertently not shoot them. Shooting them isn’t even a particularly difficult task, since the enemies miss about 104% of the shots they take at you, they have no clue how to strafe and they stand perfectly still while reloading. It also helps that your gun has no delay in between shots and will fire as quickly as you can pound the mouse button. Even with the default pistol, you can just stand there clicking your ass off and every time you click, the ‘recoiling from shot’ animation will be abruptly cut short and changed to the ‘firing another shot’ animation, meaning you can easily fire off a 15-round clip in under 2 seconds. There’s also absolutely no recoil, so even when you’re aiming your pistol at a wall 200 yards away and firing more rounds per second than your average minigun, every single bullet will hit in the exact same spot.
But the problems with this game go way beyond the guns. Actually if you want you can ignore the guns and just use your character’s sad little left jab, since for some reason a punch in the arm inflicts more damage than a point-blank assault rifle blast to the face. You’d think your guy could use this amazing superpunch to break down walls or at least open up doors, but punching a wall just causes a little puff of smoke to appear and emit a little ‘piff’ noise that makes it seem like the wall is made entirely of pillows. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the worlds are completely static – there are no doors that you can open, no functioning elevators, nothing. And on an interesting note, when you’re standing up straight and staring down at your feet you can still punch the ground, which suggests that you’re controlling either a chimp of below-average intelligence or Dhalsim from Street Fighter 2.
We might find we have more in common than we think if we just stop fighting long enough to combine our bodies into a singular organism.
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