Your name is Nolan Daneworth and you are on a mission to revenge the death of your wife at the hands of B.O.S. Champions. B.O.S. stands for Bet on Soldier, which is a TV show that shows one-on-one military match-ups that you compete and bet on, along with other people, for money. Talk about taking reality TV to the extreme. Money is key in Bet on Soldier, and you will need to earn it by killing enemies and winning B.O.S. events you bet on to buy weapons, armor, and even save game tickets to save your progress in the game.
Bet on Soldier: Blood Sport for Windows PC will have you proceeding through different military missions similar to any other first person shooter game on the market. But, thrown into the mix here and there are B.O.S. match-ups that are kind of like end-boss battles, but they can happen in the middle of a level also. These battles are what you bet on before you start a mission and they are made up of you going one-on-one with a powered up opponent in kind of a cage match to the death. This style of gameplay brings something new to the first person shooter genre, but it is really just a glorified end-boss/middle level boss battle.
The graphics in Bet on Soldier look decent on my computer that has a Pentium 4 1.6GHz CPU overclocked to 2.1GHz, nVidia GeForce 6800 with 128MB RAM, and 1GB system memory, but they are nothing special. I definitely think that Unreal Tournament 2004, Half-Life 2, Doom 3, and Quake IV look better. The levels are comprised of military style bases and themes and you will be inside and outside them. There is also a decent amount of shadows and lighting effects in the game, but some of the textures didn’t seem as detailed as I have seen in other games. The game isn’t totally ugly, but I have seen better graphics in recent days.
Bet on Soldier’s controllers are decent and follow the same keyboard and mouse layout that most other PC first-person shooters follow. The standard W, A, S, D keys control forward, left, back, and right, with the surrounding keys allowing you to reload, use items, crouch, etc. Your mouse controls the aiming and the firing of the weapons as usual. Aiming is pretty easy also and you will find that you can pick people off from a good distance with a hand gun, sub-machine gun or other guns in the game. This will kind of make you wonder why you would ever need a sniper rifle. This option may irritate the purists out there that feel that you should only be able to use a sniper rifle for these types of situations. Being able to use any type of weapon for this task makes the game seem a little unrealistic, but I guess having a reality TV show that glorifies people getting killed is also pretty far fetched.
The music and sound effects in the game are also okay but nothing spectacular. The voice acting is not that great and for some reason the subtitles don’t always match what the voice-actor is saying. The soundtrack is made up of the patented dramatic instrumental music that seems to show up in all military games. There is also a bit of flashy music when the B.O.S. match-up appears in the level, but it is forgettable. The sounds effects of gunfire, people and objects getting hit by bullets, things exploding, etc. are decent and you shouldn’t really have any complaints about them, but none of them really stand out as above average.
The game also features a multiplayer mode for playing after you have beaten the single player campaigns, but unless you have some friend that you can convince to buy the game and get online with you, then you shouldn’t expect too many people to compete against online. I got online one night to test the multiplayer functionality out and found two other people online on the five B.O.S. servers you can find within the game by default. Each server can hold up to 32 people but there were a grand total of 3 people including myself online when I tried it. As you probably figured out already, the multiplayer aspect of the game leaves a lot to be desired especially if there is nobody to play against online.
Bet on Soldier I have also read has a lot of bugs in it and it supposedly won’t even run on some people’s systems even with the latest 1.2 patch. The game does have a lot of really long load times and it did crash on me once when I shot a canister. The canister exploded and took the game down with it. I had to reboot to get back into the action. Luckily, I had saved recently, so it wasn’t that big of a deal to get back into the game where I left off.
That leads me to another thing you may not like about the game. Because everything is based on money in the game, you even need money to save the game when you get to designated save game spots in the levels. So, if you don’t have enough money to save then you are out of luck and if you die you have to go all the way back to the last time you did have enough money to save. I understand having the money relate to buying weapons and armor upgrades, but I don’t think they should’ve made you pay to save, since this feature is more annoying than anything.
The concept of earning money and betting it on matches in Bet on Soldier is different and adds another layer of strategy to the game, but this innovation is integrated into a game that really doesn’t have anything else new to offer. The graphics, controls, music, and sound effects are decent, but nothing special and with so many other high profile first person shooters on the market these days it is hard to recommend Bet on Soldier. It isn’t the worse game I have ever played, but it just doesn’t bring anything new to the table beyond the B.O.S. one-on-one matches that really aren’t that exciting anyway.
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