QuakeCon 2001: Soldier of Fortune II update

We get a first-hand look at the latest version of Raven's great-looking forthcoming shooter.


Today at QuakeCon 2001, Raven showed off a new build of its upcoming first-person shooter Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix. The game is currently in a pre-alpha state and is undergoing some final touches before the gameplay mechanics start getting tweaked. Soldier of Fortune II uses the Quake III: Team Arena engine along with the GHOUL2 technology to bring plenty of realism to the surroundings and enemies. As in the first game, you'll play as the mercenary John Mullins, who'll take on terrorists in several real-world locations.

The gameworld is much more detailed than that found in the first Soldier of Fortune. Soldier of Fortune II is using texture resolutions of 1024x1024 and up to 3000 polygons for enemy characters. This gives the artists plenty of freedom to make the game look as lifelike as possible. For example, we saw some enemies with detailed tattoos of dragons spiraled across their arms. Since the game is using the Team Arena engine, the game's outdoor environments run very smoothly, too. Meanwhile, the GHOUL2 technology will let you see actual bullet holes on an enemy character model. It also allows for 36 different damage zones over the enemy's body--of course the dramatic gore effects from the original game have been carried over to the sequel, and will be further enhanced this time around.

You discover that a terrorist organization is behind a virus released in Colombia. While tracking this organization, you'll go to places like the streets of Hong Kong and the snowy Alps in Switzerland. Characters featured in the plot will be brought to life not just with the highly detailed graphics, but with professional voice acting as well. In addition, you'll find 14 different real-world weapons during the game, all of which have alternate modes of fire and are accurately modeled based on their actual real-world specifications. Besides these weapons, you'll also be able to carry grenades and use various stationary gun emplacements. We saw several of the 14 weapons in this version, including a pistol, an M16 with an attached grenade launcher, and an automatic shotgun. The shotgun in particular was extremely powerful--one enemy on the receiving end was seen spinning through the air backwards from the force of the blow.

There will be a wide variety of missions in Soldier of Fortune II. They are based on the experiences of real missions conducted by John Mullins' real-life counterpart. A couple of the missions we saw at the show placed Mullins and several squadmates in a Columbian jungle, where they were trying to find an extraction helicopter. Once in the helicopter, you gain control of its powerful M-60 machine gun. You then protect the helicopter from ground troops firing at your crew until you are out of range.

Soldier of Fortune II looks very promising at this point, and the game is slated for release later this year. For more information, take a look at 2772288our extensive preview of the game.

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