|Reviewer:||Craig Dudley (Mani)|
|Buy now at Amazon.co.uk|
UberSoldier is yet another World War II shooter, this time the gameplay is spiced up with a supernatural twist. The "ÜberSoldier" project is an attempt by Nazi scientists to create a super soldier by reviving killed soldiers in the hope they will retain some supernatural powers. They succeeded, your character (Karl Stolz) is one such zombie.
Without wanting to tell you the whole story, UberSoldiers are designed to obey the first person they speak to after they are resurrected, and when a German resistance fighter breaks into the facility, Karl is press ganged into the rebel cause and the fun begins.
Karl's voice is monotone and emotionless as you might expect from a resurrected and soulless zombie, he's also the only character to have a German accent, which is bizarre as pretty much everyone is supposed to be German. From the Nazi troops who get in your way to the rebels you fight along side and even the allied naval commander you speak too all have the same cheesy and slightly American accent. In fact, other than Karl, the voice acting is appalling.
From a gameplay point of view UberSoldier starts badly, the first level runs like crap, while that may simply be my system configuration I suspect it isn't as later levels run great. The second suffers from some poor map design and seems rushed. If you were to play just these two levels you would be left with a severely damaged opinion, fortunately as the game progresses it get's a whole lot better. Later in the game we are treated to a few turret levels including a mini section where you control a submarine and must sink a number of Nazi ships. These are nothing ground breaking but are reasonably good fun anyway. Level design also improves dramatically as you continue in your quest to destroy the UberSoldier program.
The slight supernatural twist comes from two powers that Karl now has. Firstly, the "Temporal Shield" is a shield which will block most bullets and indeed traps them in itself, visually it's an impressive effect and it's more than useful, in fact it can make things a little too easy at times, should you get attacked by a number of enemies at once you can just activate the shield and charge, the bullets which are fired at you will be caught and should they touch an enemy soldier, he will die. The shield doesn't last very long at the start of the game, but each time you get three head shots on enemies in a short period of time, the power of the shield will increase. Similarly, killing there enemy soldiers with your knife in quick succession will increase your maximum total health by one point, this can be quite enjoyable but the enemy will attack you in melee fashion too, so beware.
Enemy A.I. isn't terrible, they will on occasion look for cover whilst reloading and switch the melee combat when they get close up, but otherwise it's fairly basic stuff but in this kind of shooter that perhaps doesn't matter all that much.
Where would a first person shooter be without explosive barrels? In uncharted territory that's where! I'm sick of seeing the damn things, what I would say is that at least they are occasionally useful in UberSoldier, in places near to enemy positions and or destructable architecture they can be great fun, I'd still like to see the back of them though. Physics are also becoming the norm in FPS games, Burut have done a decent job with them in UberSoldier, most things that lay around the maps can be moved or interacted with in some way, just don't expect to be making ladders with crates and barrels as you don't seem to be able to pick anything up, Karl can only jump about 2 feet of the ground anyway, so they wouldn't be of much use. Rag doll effects are a little over the top though, watch those Nazis fly, weee!
UberSoldier does look quite good, it makes full use of modern effects such as bump mapped textures and there are some nice flame effects including an impressive heat haze, player models also look ok, though their animation isn't quite to the same standard. I can't pick any faults with the games' sound either, all the guns have great sound effects and a really solid feel to them. The one final point to discuss is the save game system, it's extremely basic and will only auto save at the start of a level and as some of them are quite big, it can be very frustrating if you forget to save often.
UbserSoldier is hardly a big budget, full priced shooter, it can be purchased for around £15 and should therefore be judged on a slightly different scale. That doesn't mean I'll be too generous though as it's less than great to begin with. However it does improve greatly as you progress, it's also graphically good, the sound is decent and the guns have a really solid and authentic feel. The supernatural powers Karl posesses also add an extra element to what is otherwise fairly straight forward shooter fayre. Unfortunately one of those powers (the Temporal Shield) makes things a little too easy at times, not to mention monotonous, some other sections can be frustratingly hard too. Some really poor voice acting doesn't help an awful lot either, that said, UberSoldier is not a total train wreck by any stretch of the imagination. What we have is a flawed but mildly entertaining shooter that doesn't cost a lot of cash.
- Solid graphics
- Guns feel great
- Low price
- Good sound
Not so good stuff
- Starts badly
- Horrible voice acting
- Performance issues on some levels
- No multiplayer
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