Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bet on Soldier - Blood Sport

In this 3D shooter, the most important thing is CASH!
Review By BOSS

First person shooters are not easy games to make. The genre has been around for a while and it seems like the chances of a developer coming out with a new smash hit grow smaller every year. The balance between gameplay and graphics is one reason for this problem. There are FPS games with beautiful graphics, but suffering from average to substandard gameplay. At the opposite end of the spectrum, there are FPS games with great gameplay but lackluster graphics. To really hit it big, the developer has to put both together. Bet on Soldier: Bloodsport tries to make this happen, but sadly falls short of greatness because of small annoyances and basic problems.

The graphics in BoS: Bloodsport end up looking pretty choice on the optimal settings. This is a bonus for the developer Kylotonn because you, as a typical gamer, should be able to run the game at its optimal settings because it only calls for a Geforce 6 and an Intel 3.0GHz or AMD equivalent. For some gamers this distinction may be important, especially considering other FPS games like Quake 4 can take far more than a Geforce 6 to run at optimal settings. The environmental detail in BoS is on par with the best games out there. During combat the fire, light bloom, hallucination, and dizziness are all pretty smooth. Overall the game plays pretty smooth with the occasional hang or stutter upon encountering a BoS competitor. 

The character detail is average, the players seem to glow from sweat constantly, and they look a little like plastic action figures at times. The maps themselves are pretty expansive but still very linear. Additionally the objects around the map are plentiful and done well, but your level of interaction is next to zero. This basic problem of object interactivity is a good example of how BoS falls short of the mark from a small annoyance and basic problem. Forget picking up a box, you can hit the use key repeatedly in a weak attempt to nudge the box, but even this basic object interaction is missing.

The story behind the game is pretty simple and it sounds similar to both The Running Man and Bloodsport. In BoS: Bloodsport you play as Nolan Daneworth, a mercenary fighting in the Bet on Soldier televised competitions. You live in a world controlled by two multinational corporations that specialize in nothing but defense equipment and weaponry. Everyone in this world works for the war machine somehow. BoS is a creation of the corporations to appease the people similar to the movie The Running Man. Since you enter into competition with other soldiers, each with a various skillset in the hopes of becoming champion, the game also parallels the Jean Claude Van Damme classic, Bloodsport. 

Somewhere in there is a quest to uncover the mystery of your wife’s death at the hands of BoS competitors. Don’t bother yourself with these minor details though…  As you progress through the game various cutscenes move the story along. At the conclusion of the cutscene you are brought to a world map where you can choose your next mission. After choosing your mission you choose your BoS opponents, weapons, and fellow mercenaries. The actual Bet on Soldier action comes during the missions at various points along the way. The game will stop and introduce your opponent, countdown from 10, and then competition will begin. 

This storyline and features feed directly into the gameplay discussion. BoS is a typical first person shooter with some fairly common weapons. Each weapon though, and all its ammo cost money, so you better be at your best when taking on the BoS competitors. Win more money, and you buy the best of the weapons and plenty of ammo. Movement and control is simple, almost too simple. Compared to the movement in Quake 4 or Half Life 2, BoS looks pretty clunky. Again bringing up the simple problems, movement up and down a ladder or on stairs is a problem. The character seems to move OK, but the movement is clunky, often awkward and it doesn’t seem to have the same smoothness as the other FPS games currently on the market

Additionally the gameplay is rather linear, yet still slightly confusing. You pick your mission, your team, and your weapons and you are given objectives. As you move through the mission you must be prepared for interruption and sudden combat with other BoS competitors. The competition pretty much comes without warning, though it will always occur at the same point on the map. It seems disjointed and confusing to have the game play in this fashion. 

It almost seems like it might have been a better idea to organize the game in such a way that the BoS portions occur separately from the mission, either before or after, as some sort of addition, furthering the storyline or increasing your character. The game tries to interweave the missions and BoS competitions with some dialogue and text, but if you’re like me, you skip all that and go straight for the action anyway. You may also find yourself becoming a little bored moving through the maps because the game plays on a fairly straight line. There is only one correct path, it isn’t that difficult to find, and most of the time it’s your only choice.

There are some aspects of the game that really do standout and add a unique twist though. For one, the mercenary aspect of the game where each bullet costs money and how you kill an enemy determines how much money you earn can be enjoyable. Working toward killing the enemies with headshots will earn you a ton of cash, and the headshot box is pretty big. It’s pretty easy to tag most of the enemies on the fly with just about any weapon. If you’re lucky enough to sport the Sniper Rifle (hint: buy the sniper rifle more than you might normally in an FPS, it’s really handy and not that cumbersome) with zoom and even double zoom you should easily be able to pop the enemies, even behind their shields and other objects. 

Another aspect of the game that is different than some FPS games is that after you choose your weapons you are stuck with them for the entire level. You can’t pick up the enemies' weapons, and you won’t find a weapon on the map to use. Taking this even further there really are no health packs. You occasionally will run into refill stations for ammo, armor, and grenades but they won’t increase your health. A good tactic during the game is to get a mercenary engineer at the start because they can fix your damaged armor during the game and save you some cash. 

BoS does bring some unique twists to the typical FPS game by adding the Hollywood flair from the movies. However the game falls short, as so many FPS games do, when examining the gameplay and graphics. It really is not easy to balance the two and create a winning combination. Although BoS shows some promise, it will need to work on the small stuff and basic issues before it can try and stand among the greats.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 75%.  Bet on Soldier: Bloodsport borrows from the Hollywood movies The Running Man and Bloodsport and then blends them with the characteristics of a traditional first person shooter. The result is a bit like most Hollywood movies, fair to good at best.




  1. You know, i kinda like the slide that has more than 3 panels now!
    10 Slides, 10 Posts!
    Cool!!!! +1 Like for that!

  2. 11The slide bar rocks!!!!