All these so-called "authentic" war-themed shooters are fine and dandy, but what if you're one of those people who thinks the gritty realism of them is a bummer? Step forward square-jawed hero, Sam, for a second outing. With a stash of noisy whack-ass weapons and vehicles, a ridiculous plot that’s so thin you could stick a miniskirt on it and call it Kate Moss, and little more to do than frag your way through a near endless succession of ludicrously designed but grin-worthy enemies, Sam is the perfect antidote to the mass slaughter of your virtual fellow men and won’t give you morality-induced headaches. What Sam will give you is hours of top arcade blasting fun.
The formula here is as simple as you like. If it moves, shoot it. Unless it’s one of the small friendly creatures that you’re charged with helping out during your quest to find the six pieces of the magical medallion that… Hell, you really don’t need to know about the story. No, it’s all about the shooting. On the face of it this is a ready-aim-fire no-brainer but there is actually a fair degree of tactical thinking required, particularly as you get deeper into the game and things get progressively tougher.
Tactical thinking? Yes, thanks to the sheer variety and number of enemies on the battlefield at any time. You’ll need to make quick-fire decisions as to what you waste your ammo on. During any one scrap you’re likely to face a horde of ‘charging’ enemies (clockwork rhinos, mutant footballers, three-headed flaming hounds and so on), who are supported by a squadron of flying enemies (choppers, witches on broomsticks, Orc-carrying gyrocopter - the usual) and they’re backed up by some heavy ordnance and weaker ground troops, such as the brilliant Zombie Stockbrokers. Then of course you’ll face an end of chapter boss...
It’s relentless stuff. You quickly realize that as soon as you pick up a large chunk of health, ammo or armor or hit an objective point it’s likely a catalyst for carnage. The weedier guns feel good in your paws and a diverse array of terrain to smash through (nearly everything can be blown up, from trees to pagodas) guarantee you’ll never get bored. Unless you don’t like shooters. Which is wrong.
In a similar fashion to the Naked Gun movies, the game seeks to parody the oh-so-somber business of the first-person shooter. The game is littered with FPS in-jokes and occasionally quirky banter and one-liners. Likewise, the themes of the vast environments where all the action takes place incorporate every single videogame cliché there ever was - but as they’re so pleasingly detailed and proficiently rendered, you can forgive them nearly anything.