Shellshock 2: Blood Trails Review
- Posted February 17th, 2009 at 14:14 EDT by Steven Williamson
- 33 Comments
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Shellshock 2 will shock you, but for all the wrong reasons. Even if you're a fan of the genre, it's a technically inept and totally unenjoyable experience.
- The zombie-themed storyline
- The lack of exciting moments
- The poor visuals and lackluster audio
- The sub-standard A.I.
From this point forth I need to remind myself not to review another first person shooter straight after playing Killzone 2. Following a four hour stint immersed in Guerrilla Game’s epic first person shooter, Rebellion’s Shellshock 2: Blood Trails is probably the worst game I could have picked up. The lack of a multiplayer mode, the omission of Trophy support, the dumb A.I. and ugly visuals are the first indications that publisher, Eidos, probably didn’t have its heart and soul in the project from the outset. Perhaps it had its mind on other things? Whatever the case, there’s no excuse for releasing a game that doesn’t even attempt to hold its own against other PS3 first person shooters.
While it’s slightly unfair of me to compare Shellshock 2 to Killzone 2, as they’re worlds apart in terms of development budgets, you’d expect most developers to at least try to implement some of the features that the current generation of gamers demand from a modern day shooter, or failing that, to concentrate on making the gameplay exciting and technically acceptable. Shellshock 2, however, gets a lot of things wrong and doesn't even try to attempt to stand out from the crowd, or take any risks. This is a FPS-by-numbers approach to the genre, complete with uninspiring visuals and bland design that would have looked out of place five years ago.
Where do I start? The lack of a cover system means that you just run around like a headless chicken picking off lifeless (in both senses of the word) zombie-fied soldiers. The closest you get to employing strategic tactics is being able to crouch, but as you can't lean around or over objects it's worthless, unless you get a cheap thrill from 'tea-bagging' the undead. You can also vault over should-be cover spots to evade the enemy, but you'll soon get bored of watching the same short animation that kicks in every time you do so and you'll curse at the way it clumsily interrupts the flow of the game.
It wouldn’t be too bad just running around shooting zombies if it was actually exciting, but it's not. The shooting feels sloppy and the weapons and grenades lack weight and potency. At times, the A.I. is all over the place and proves to be a frustration rather than a challenge, shooting at you from blind spots or sneaking up behind you at inappropriate times, normally when you're trying to deal with those enemies in front of you. Zombies also have the uncanny knack of being able to spot your position the moment you walk into an area, even though the locations are covered in a dark veil. It's annoying trying to work out where the gun-fire is actually coming from, before battling with the loose targeting mechanic to try and get an accurate shot on your target.
Depressingly bland locations and the lack of destructible environments are further indications that the power of the PS3 hasn't been harnessed. While the latter isn't always needed to craft a great first person shooter, it certainly helps to create realism. Shellshock 2 lacks realism in abundance, and at no point captures the feeling that you're involved in something significant. It's a limp experience that feels like you've stepped back in time to where the technology that makes things crumble and look war-worn wasn't available. With the power of the PS3 at its fingertips, you'd expect a lot more in terms of visual and audio impact. Overall, aside from some nicely rendered cut-scenes, and some decent voice-acting, it looks and sounds like an average PS2 game.
All of this could be forgiven if the gameplay were any good, but it’s not. There are no memorable moments (apart from the one where I turned it off,) there are no intense firefights, and there’s little to experience in terms of excitement. There's actually no real need for me to go on because Shellshock 2 is an instantly forgettable title that will end up in the bargain-bin graveyard of video game stores across the country. That's a guarantee. For the sake of completion, however, and to give you the option to make your own minds up on whether to ... (continued on next page)
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- 9:19am EST - February 17th, 2009
Wow thats a harsh review ? Lol 3.0 ! hahaha
- 9:26am EST - February 17th, 2009
It can't be that bad.
- 9:57am EST - February 17th, 2009
follow your name and trust me
it realy is that bad
- 10:20am EST - February 17th, 2009
Just 3.0? lol
- 10:40am EST - February 17th, 2009
if its anything like the first one then i will like it
- 10:46am EST - February 17th, 2009
"..the omission of Trophy support,..."
How does this happen with a game released in 2009? I thought it was mandatory for all games released this year?
- 10:53am EST - February 17th, 2009
Ohhh snaps! This game makes you cry blood.
- 10:56am EST - February 17th, 2009
- 10:57am EST - February 17th, 2009
Damn I had moderate hopes for a Vietnam set FPS.
Purple Haze wasn't that bad was it?
- 11:00am EST - February 17th, 2009
Trophy support should be mandatory. I heard that this game was finished over a year ago, but Eidos has just sat on it. Probably why.
- 11:05am EST - February 17th, 2009
Oh come on, this game deserves at least a 3.5 for effort!
- 11:08am EST - February 17th, 2009
how can you suck that badly?
- 11:29am EST - February 17th, 2009
- 11:52am EST - February 17th, 2009
Knocking a first person shooter for not having a cover system, in my opinion, is hitting below the belt. How many FPS's can you count with well-implemented cover systems? I bet you wont even need your second hand to count. Some of the best shooters of '08 didnt have cover systems. Resistance 2, CoD: World at War, Far Cry 2, Fallout 3, and Battlefield BC seemed to do fine with the standard crouch/prone system, not sure why its cast in such a negative light in this review.
Im by no means defending the quality of this game, but attempting to make points like that is kind of misleading.
- 12:33pm EST - February 17th, 2009
Someone FINALLY makes a Vietnam shooter and they screw it up! Uhhhh. Is 1 decent Vietnam shooter for the PS3 so hard to ask? Would Call of Duty: Vietnam be too much to ask for? Come on, all you have to do is give us some decent weapons, good controls, some jungles and rice patties to fight in, a soundtrack full of 60's music, make it multiplayer and you'll be set. You don't need to put zombies in it, or aliens, or any of that BS. Just give me and M-16 and let me shoot commies in black PJs.
- 1:20pm EST - February 17th, 2009
@ 15. YES!!! i get you!!!! I dunno if IW would take a step back tho. I think if teyarch will make COD7, Vietnam is their target. They make another WW2 game then I wont buy it. I can live with COD5, but I aint buying another WW2 game. Barely anyone has done Vietnam, there was Battlefield Vietnam and various other one offs but thats it. The combat will be limited for sure, all Vietnam was wuz hiding in bushes and fighting on open fields. But If they make it tense enough, it could work, the reason why teyarch should should do it is because they made COD gritty and gory and Vietnam wasnt pretty. plus, Napalm was used a lot and that could replace teyarchs love for the flamethrower. use a good sad theme (like samuel barbers 'Adagio for stings' for the platoon theme) and be riding in huey gunships listening to 60s music, you got yourself a decent vietnam game
- 1:36pm EST - February 17th, 2009
64 was bettar!
- 1:55pm EST - February 17th, 2009
The original S*ellshock was way better than this ****
why is sh e llshock a banned word?
- 1:56pm EST - February 17th, 2009
I don't agree with this review. Its not a great game but its not a 3. Its more of a survival horror than a FPS along the lines of Forbidden Siren theme.
- 2:07pm EST - February 17th, 2009
Really? a 3?
What a waste of time!
I wish people would take more more time a making a game that is wroth playing!Not just make it to get rich.With all the lay off and cut back this company isn,t going to be around much longer!
Make a good game and make more time and heart into it!
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