Shellshock 2: Blood Trails Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
Shellshock 2: Blood Trails box art
System: X360, PS3, PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Rebellion 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Eidos Interactive 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Feb. 24, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Even with fully loaded guns in hand, the actual act of dispatching enemies doesn't work as well as it should in a first-person shooter. Using the game's iron sights feels incredibly sluggish and rarely seems accurate. Firing at nearby enemies is often frustrating due to the combination of the slowness of the controls, frequently respawning enemies, the quick and erratic movements of attacking zombies, and the sheer amount of damage necessary to take them out without scoring a hard to come by headshot. Even at a distance there are some serious issues with poor hit detection that can keep what seem like respectable shots from finding their marks.

Shellshock 2: Blood Trails screenshot

Aside from the sloppy gunplay, the only other action you can expect from this game comes in the form of quick time events (QTE). These will actually occur quite often, usually instigated by hidden traps or enemies that are unavoidable for the most part. If the QTE is caused by a trap, you'll likely need only to quickly press one specific button in order to dodge an otherwise fatal blow. However, when fighting off an enemy you'll need to swiftly and successfully press a series of buttons in order to survive (nine when playing on normal difficulty).

While the game's level design is the very definition of linear and it does often seem to place checkpoints directly preceding these QTEs, it certainly isn't always a guarantee. Successfully making your way through large firefights just to get killed by a swinging log covered in spikes because you've pressed the wrong button, or taken too long to press the correct one, can get quite maddening. This is especially true when you are forced to play back through the same firefight multiple times just to get another shot at it.

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If you are looking for a shooter, you would be much better served picking up one from the multitude of better shooters that are already available. There are plenty of better options out there, no matter what your system of choice may be. With its iffy gunplay, often frustrating gameplay, linear level design, short completion time (four to six hours max), clichéd and uninteresting story, and complete lack of multiplayer, only the most desperate of players should attempt to squeeze any enjoyment out of this lemon. While I would've loved to have played a great survival horror/ shooter based around the Vietnam War, Shellshock 2 simply felt like it hadn't quite fully ripened yet.

By Adam Brown
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
2.5
Graphics
While the environments and characters don't look terrible, they aren't amazing either. However, you will see the same zombie and Vietcong soldier character models reused more times than you'll care to count.
1.7
Control
Aiming your gun is sluggish at best, requiring a button press to pick up ammo is obnoxious, and having your weapons automatically switch when ammo has been picked up is infuriating.
2.7
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Although much of the game's dialogue was poorly delivered, some decent ambient sounds and classic Vietnam era tunes help to keep your ears happy.
1.6
Play Value
Shellshock 2 is incredibly short, largely unsatisfying, and even painful to play at times.
1.9
Overall Rating - Avoid
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Psychological horror: Gameplay simulates the perceptual effects of fear, drugs, and your shellshocked state due to combat. Experience the true chaos, horror, and disorientation of the Vietnam War.
  • Surviving the Vietnam War: Every shot counts, and every bullet is precious. Fight off fear and push forward not knowing what unspeakable horror could be waiting to claim your life.
  • Complete immersion: A very limited HUD combined with the first-person perspective allows players to become completely immersed in their surroundings, intensifying the horror experience.
  • Raw wartime brutality: Fight a cunning and elusive enemy that takes advantage of everything at their disposal. Napalm attacks, intricate tunnel systems, and vicious homemade traps; it's cruel, violent, and unfiltered war. Realistic body damage effects allow limbs to be blown off.
  • Vietnam infected: Fight the victims of Whiteknight, an enemy that has no side, one who is brutal, insane, and ready to rip you to shreds.


  • Screenshots / Images
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