Reviews : ShellShock 2 "Blood Trails"

ShellShock 2: Blood Trails spices up Vietnam with a liberal application of zombies, but the controls and the generic shooter gameplay leave a lot to be desired.

Vietnam shooters allegedly charge added than aloof Charlie bit-by-bit through the boscage these days. ShellShock 2: Blood Trails takes a aciculate larboard about-face abroad from its gritty, astute 2004 predecessor, ShellShock: Nam '67, and throws crank hordes into the accepted mix of AK-47s and rice paddies. Combining abhorrence with academic first-person ballista action does little to accomplish the bold angle afar from the crowd, however. While there are a few thrills and chills here, this is too abundant of a shooter-by-numbers to be agreeable to anyone but the atomic acute beat gamer, and both the 360 and PS3 versions are bedfast with abhorrent controls.

The artifice introduces avaricious zombies into what is contrarily a accepted Vietnam War cine storyline about a kid experiencing the horrors of war for the aboriginal time. If you tossed Platoon and 28 Canicule Later into a blender, this is appealing abundant what you would cascade out. You comedy as Nate Walker, a raw recruit who touches bottomward in country and is anon alien off to a bound abject beneath annoy by the Vietcong (cue the accepted all-overs about war actuality hell). But again the bold accouterment aback from one average into another, with Walker actuality alien to his crank brother, Cal. As you ability expect, this isn't abundant of a ancestors reunion. Aloof as you're advancing to agreement with a brain-chomping bro who won't be absorbed in bistro turkey on Thanksgiving anymore, the VC blast the party. Your brother escapes, and anon you're active through the boscage to action the crank affliction and amount out what the abstruse Whiteknight is afore the agnostic Commies do.

Sound like a appropriate base for a shooter? It is, and the Source-engine-based visuals are analytic good, admitting a continued way from article avant-garde like Crysis. The attending of the bold is appealing abundant identical on both the 360 and the PS3, although the closing seems to be a fair bit murkier in corners. While you can crank up the gamma to array of abode this issue, it never absolutely works on the Sony animate and you wind up flailing about in the aphotic too often. The akin architecture is adorable too, alike if it seems like you're active from one Vietnam cine set to another. One moment you're antagonism through a bleary jungle, again you're ambidextrous with booby-trapped VC tunnels, and again you're in a abandoned village. You get the picture.

At atomic abundant of the backdrop is chilling. Bloody trails are everywhere, and it seems like you can't airing two anxiety after encountering a beheaded soldier army on a wall, a associate with his legs absolute off, or some poor guy impaled on a agglomeration of bamboo spikes. The audio doesn't accept anywhere abreast the above impact, though. M-16 and AK-47 blaze can about be heard at times, and there isn't any adduce to the rat-a-tat-tat or explosions. There ability be some bugs in the sound, because some furnishings like the beat of a machete cannot be heard at all on either console. Most of the articulation acting is able-bodied done, however, at atomic by B-movie standards. The amateur arena Walker sounds a lot like a adolescent James Woods, which adds a bit of Hollywood chic to the proceedings.

But there isn't abundant bold here. ShellShock 2: Blood Trails is actual short. The abandoned attack can be accursed through in four or bristles hours, and there are no multiplayer modes, so aback you're done, you're done. Replay amount is absent due to the simplistic attributes of the akin design. Actually, "design" is apparently too able a chat for how these levels accept been slapped together. There isn't any ability here. Every akin is a beeline run from point A to point B, with pauses forth the way at asphyxiate credibility area you accept to crouch bottomward for a few account and gun bottomward respawning enemies. Basically, you run forth until you accommodated up with a agglomeration of adolescent Yanks, again you angle still and advice them shoot the band of VC and/or crank wannabes that alpha breeding from adjacent rooftops, boscage pathways, and the like. Enemies never accord any anticipation to what they're accomplishing and about aloof run out of their spawn locations like clowns out of a funny car.

Yet alike these baleful bad guys aren't abundant to atone for the abominable gamepad aiming controls that agonize both the 360 and PS 3 versions of the game. Although there is an abetment advantage to advice aback you aim with the appropriate analog stick, it doesn't assume to bang in until you accept your architect about altogether lined up already. It's so bootless that it can be adamantine to acquaint if you accept the abetment on or off. Either way, you about wind up berserk flailing about aggravating to attach enemies with abundant shots to put them bottomward afore they accelerate you aback home to Uncle Sam in a flag-covered box. Since those above asphyxiate credibility are about loaded with a dozen or added baddies advancing at you from all directions, apprehend the closing to appear a lot added than the former.

About the alone arresting aspect of action is a minigame that ancestor up whenever you get into abutting action or you activate article like a VC bedlam trap. If you appointment one of these situations, the bold surprises you with a affair claiming area you charge to acknowledge anon to abstain assertive death. This affection is best accomplished on the PC and 360, as on those platforms you use simple keyboard and gamepad button combos to avoid off doom. On the PS 3, however, close-up reactions are initially handled by fluctuant the Sixaxis ambassador to activate the motion sensor. Interesting idea, although the Sixaxis doesn't assume up to the task. You accept to agitate the ambassador so adamantine to get a acknowledgment that you accept to be accurate you don't accidentally let the affair go and backlash it beyond the active room. Thankfully, you can about-face off the motion-sensing advantage and go aback to the simple button presses absolutely the above as on the 360.

Chances are acceptable that you won't abhorrence ShellShock 2: Blood Trails. But allowance are additionally aerial that you won't decidedly get pleasure it, either, due to the arresting controls and the forgettable bold design. Alike if you're absorbed in the Vietnam War and accept a crank fetish, you can acceptable acquisition a more good use for your money.

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