The Nazi/occult setting has been a mainstay of computer gaming since Blake Stone ate his first bowl of dog food, but UberSoldier II actually manages to remove the joy from foiling Hitler’s mystical shenanigans. FPS cliches abound: battle environments include a moving train, a war-torn city, and a Goldeneye-style communications platform. AI-challenged baddies differentiated only by the weapon they carry and their durability run directly into your line of fire as you pick them off with your pistol, single-shot rifle, machine gun, or flamethrower. Those are ho-hum trappings even for a budget title.
The Nazi’s chief enemy isn’t your in-game persona, resistance fighter Karl Stolz - it’s carelessness. They’ve stashed enough ammo around each level for you to decimate the fourth and fifth Reichs even if you only hit one out of a hundred shots, making “spray and pray” a very practical tactic. And while baby-RPG stat-boosting elements, like XP rewards or invulnerability for scoring multiple headshots or melee kills within a short amount of time, could have mitigated things, they actually end up furthering the problem: While invulnerable, you’re rewarded for melee kills with XP you can use to goose up your health and the amount of time you can stay invulnerable. Eventually, cover and tactics become pointless - you can attain godlike power by running around battles waving your knife back and forth.
The frenzied bloodbaths are adequate, although the game’s graphics are as badly animated as the title’s single “big battle” musical theme is repetitive. The closest thing to physics you’ll see is a moving barrel or box, but there are some most-excellent comic book-style cut-scenes. If the rest of this Nazi shooting gallery had as much flair as its between-level vignettes, UberSoldier II could have secured an uber-spot at the top of the bargain bin. As is, it’s much closer to the bottom.
PC Gamer scores games on a percentage scale, which is rounded to the closest whole number to determine the GamesRadar score.
PCG Final Verdict: 47% (tolerable)
Sep 30, 2008