UberSoldier PC DVD-ROM
Published by CDV
Developed by Burut
Release Date: Out Now
UberSoldier, an introduction.
World War II flavoured FPS games are quite numerous nowadays. They range from the type that tries to recreate (within the boundaries of a game) some of the well known battles from World War II to the completely fictitious titles, such as Return to Castle Wolfenstein. UberSoldier (as you may have guessed) is a World War II flavoured FPS that firmly falls into the fictitious category. Without the added charm of being able to claim it's based on real life events, a fictitious WWII FPS needs to be something special to win gamers over. Does UberSoldier have what it takes?
What's the game about?
The game puts you in the shoes of Karl Stolz, a German officer who at the beginning of the game is killed. Luckily for the mad Nazi doctors, Stolz's death left him with an unscathed brain ripe for experimenting with. This experimentation was to see if an ultimate breed of soldier, the UberSoldier, could be created. Nazi scientists discovered that the initial moments of death give the deceased supernatural powers to make the transition to the afterlife. The idea is to revive the deceased with these powers intact and to harness them for their own purposes with Stolz being one of their test subjects. The only catch is that Stolz will only obey the first person he sees after he awakes from the operation the Nazis have performed on him. However the first person he sees is a female allied soldier, who has just raided the Nazi hospital. As a result Stolz becomes the Nazis worst nightmare instead of being their UberSoldier.
What's good about the game?
UberSoldier plays like a traditional FPS in that the enemies come thick and fast and usually go straight for you. For the most part UberSoldier is run of the mill FPS stuff with the temporal shield adding to the game's touch of novelty. Basically the temporal shield is a force field that, when activated, has the ability to trap incoming bullets and send them back to those who fired them. In effect this gives you a powerful weapon that can take out many enemies simultaneously. Thankfully the temporal shield has to be powered up (if you could use it all the time the game would be far too easy). Doing three headshots in succession will increase the power of your temporal shield so in effect, it rewards your accuracy. The only side effect with the temporal shield is that as the game progresses and you increase its power, it does take away some of the challenge. In fact the challenge in UberSoldier is being able to deal with large numbers of enemies charging toward you. It's never as hectic as Painkiller but definitely more so than most modern FPS games.
What's not so good about the game?
Whilst UberSoldier can be fun in places for the most part it's fairly dull and doesn't have that ability of making you want to continue playing. The first level (always a key level in any game because it needs to grab the gamer's attention) when you are in the psychiatric hospital feels like a real chore to play through. The enemies you face don't really seem to be that interesting either. Yes there's Nazis here but this certainly isn't anywhere near the enjoyable experience that Return to Castle Wolfenstein was. As there is no multiplayer game here, you would hope for a compelling single-player experience but sadly you're not going to get it. The AI doesn’t pose much of a challenge and whilst the temporal shield that Stolz has makes things slightly interesting, its novelty soon wears off. Sometimes you'll have AI comrades but again their intelligence is sadly lacking and they struggle to be of much worth.
How does it look?
Whilst UberSoldier isn't the best looking FPS game we've seen, there's no denying that the game looks good. Running the game on full detail is going to take a decent PC specification though if you want a smooth frame rate which is a bit surprising seeing as we could run Doom 3 and Half-Life 2 without too much trouble at all (and both of them are arguably better looking than UberSoldier). The game boasts advanced rag doll physics and I have to say the physics are as good as in any game I've played to date. Whilst the physics look impressive when you're knocking chairs and trolleys over, the human character models don't always fall to the ground in a convincing manner. The temporal shield effect is very good. You'll notice that many enemies look the same, which is disappointing. Overall though the physics do impress and there's no denying their quality.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
Disappointingly UberSoldier is a mixed bag for deaf gamers. The game does offer subtitles and they are enabled by default. So far so good then, but as you begin the game you'll notice the introductory cutscenes are not subtitled. There are subtitles in the game but there is plenty of dialogue that has been left unsubtitled. Such inconsistency is annoying and of great disappointment, although it's fair to say that deaf gamers will be able to play through the game, as all of the dialogue that's crucially important is shown in text. Tutorial messages are exclusively in text which is good to see and as the game pauses when they appear, you'll be able to read them in your own time. Objectives are shown in text and can be recalled at any time by pressing the Tab key. Pressing the F1 key will bring up the list of controls which is handy for the first few times you play, although to be fair the game sticks to the regular FPS key configuration. Red directional arcs indicate what direction an enemy is firing from, which is useful. The HUD is quite informative offering a mini-map and all the necessary gauges to keep you informed on ammo and your temporal shield charge.
Whilst UberSoldier has a few things going for it including the price of £19.99 and graphics that are going to make most PCs sweat when the details are turned up to the maximum, it doesn't really have the quality to keep all but the most dedicated FPS players interested. It's a bit of a shame really because the game definitely had the potential to be enjoyable but what manages to put the mockers on it are the rather dull levels that simply don't keep you interested. The game should have been fully subtitled too.
Overall Game Rating: 5.5/10
Deaf Gamers Classification:
(Click the letter or here for details)
Despite the addition of the temporal shield and some impressive graphics and physics, UberSoldier is spoilt by dull missions that never manage to hold your attention for too long. With no multiplayer game here to rescue the package, it's not a game that's easy to recommend.