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Platform

PC

 

Genre

Shooter

 

Publisher

Groove

 

Developer

Elixir Studios

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

August 2004

 

 

- None to speak of

 

 

- Surplus of bugs and glitches

- Horrendous AI

- Graphically weak even for a budget game

- Poor frame rate

- Too easy even for the weakest of gamers

- Repetitive action and weak gameplay makes it a very boring game

 

 

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Marine Sharpshooter II: Jungle Warfare

Score: 2.5 / 10

 

I admit that even before playing this game I did not have high expectations. I'm very rarely surprised by a budget game. But Marine Sharpshooter II: Jungle Warfare surprised me. It was not a bad game like I expected - it was a horrible game! When the opening scene started, I thought my video card had broken. It was really that bad. I have not seen graphics like this since my days gaming on my Pentium2 with its top-of-the-line 4MB video card. Then again some graphically challenged games have deep and enriching gameplay to make up for its shortcomings. Marine Sharpshooter II does not.

 

marine sharpshooter 2 review          marine sharpshooter 2 review

 

You start off as a Marine sharpshooter assigned to the very small task of preventing civil war in Burundi. To do this you must rescue the President of Burundi and vanquish the rebel forces that have kidnapped him. But not to worry because you have been granted an impressive arsenal of a sniper rifle, a pistol and a knife (A knife that is useless even if you sneak up behind an enemy). Apparently rebels in Burundi all look alike. Well aside from a little diversity, you will see the people you sniped a minute ago again. Maybe they look alike because I am not a native of Burundi but that's highly doubtful.

 

What exactly is wrong about MSII? Actually it would be a lot quicker to tell you what is right. The music and voice acting are average.  Now take a deep breath because there's not going to be a lot of praise in the rest of this review. Playing this game feels like playing an alpha. You will not believe how it got to retail in this condition. MSII is rampant with graphical glitches and bugs that significantly hinder its playability. It runs at a crawling frame rate even with nobody onscreen. The game is repetitive running and sniping with some occasional excitement. However, most people wouldn't play a mediocre game that long enough to get to exciting parts.

 

Don't worry though. You won't be taking on the rebel forces by yourself. You have a highly incompetent teammate to back you up. He barely ever hits a shot, his annoying repetitive quips invoke murderous feelings and he has a hard time keeping up with you. In fact at one point he even got lost and I got stuck in the game because of it. There was a cutscene that he was in and I had to wait for 5 minutes for him to find my location so the story could progress. He also has some very repetitive voice cues. Oh yeah, if he dies itís game over. Luckily someone had the foresight to see the problem in that and your teammate is blessed with one hell of a tough skin.

 

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The graphical glitches and bugs are the most annoying part of this game. In the very first mission enemy soldiers would disappear just when you have your scope on them, and then reappear a few paces in a different direction. Granted this glitch wasnít widespread, but twice in one level is too much. I'm pretty sure this isn't a throwback to the old days but any enemies shot on an incline will fall horizontally leaving them floating in the air. Another annoyance is that bushes in the game 

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are bulletproof. You could fire at an enemy all day and only see leaves fly because he's standing too close to a bush. The collision detection is spotty at best. You could clearly miss a shot and a rebel will fall to the ground with his head sprouting blood. Another clipping problem that I noticed was that I was able to snipe someone directly through my teammates body. I have never been in the Marines but I'm pretty sure they can't teach you to be permeable.

 

Graphically MSII is very weak although all of that blame can't be put on budget. A lot of this game is about first impression instead of overall quality. The grass looks good when you first see it, but then you realize it's one dimensional. At least it sways with the wind unlike the trees which remain completely static. The water looks okay and it appears that it flows. However you soon realize that it is the reflection of the clouds and it stops moving if you stop moving. The first mission does not showcase all the capabilities of this game although the later missions look respectable. However each mission is so long and tedious that I had to force myself to play through. I doubt many gamers would do the same.

 

The AI in this game is so horrible that it's almost funny. They will miss at point blank range. I had enemies that I didnít see shooting at me from two meters away. I had enough time to switch to a pistol and dispatch them without taking a single hit. I did the same thing another time, except this time I had time to zoom in with the sniper rifle to see the lines on his forehead. A good 25 seconds elapsed from the time he started shooting at me to the time I killed him - again without taking damage. In a game with so much long range sniping you would expect the AI to be responsive. However if someone near them gets shot they most likely will not respond and just stand there. This makes it a simple task of target practice. I walked up to an enemy soldier sitting down on the ground. He was staring right at me and kept watching as I took out the pistol and shot him executioner style. To top it all off there is a cache of health packs and ammunition just lying around. You might think a military plane collided with a Red Cross plane. When you take so little damage and use so few shots it's just not necessary.

 

There is one happy thought I had playing this game. It is a sequel and therefore there should be a game that is much worse than MSII. Maybe I am a cruel person to be happy that someone has suffered a poorer fate than I have but so be it. Do not waste your $20 on this game. Buy a lot of pens and try to get them stuck on the ceiling. It's a lot more fun and a lot less aggravating.

 

- Stefan Shetty

(December 1, 2004)

 

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