In Iron Soldier 2 you pilot a 42ft mechanoid and your job it is to carry out various missions against the enemy, this time it is the PENTA corporation since you destroyed the Iron Fist organisation in Iron Soldier. It really takes over from were it's predecessor left off and drops you right into the action with little time to get aquainted thus you may find it difficult to start with but you soon get into the swing of it.
On first inspection the packaging is a little disappointing, a catridge sized box showing, on the front a picture of a Iron Soldier and on the back lots of explosions. The manual is a text only affair in white with black script obviously written after Atari pulled the plug and the disc itself comes in a standard CD ROM case, no more neat little booklet style cases.
A nice Batman-esque intro, flying over the Iron Soldier 2 logo then zooming away to find the intro screen was really a billboard on top of a building in a large city. This gets quickly blown away by a passing helicopter gunship and then you watch as your Iron Soldier struts its stuff through the city. You can bypass the intro and get straight to the setup menu were you can load a saved game (ten save slots), adjust the controls or start a new game.
Scenes relating to the twenty missions are grouped in four blocks of five missions around a scene of the currently selected mission. You must complete each block of five missions before the next block becomes available. These maybe played in any order except for the last block which must be played in order, all missions can be replayed as desired.
At this point you are given the objectives of the mission, ranging from protection to wholesale destruction. There is a wireframe map of the area displayed so you can orientate yourself with your objectives and plan your route, unlike it's predescessor there are NO arrows pointing the way! After reading the brief either accept this mission or go back and select another.
You start with a Assault rifle and some Badger grenades along with your fist, as you progress through the missions you are awarded more weapons. There are a few new weapons to be gained and like the originals some have a fixed position and others can be mounted at your descretion, you have to decide which weapons suit which mission.
The new weapons are: Sherry 00 Gauge Shotgun; Corinne Automatic Grenade Launcher; Ferret homing missiles and the Carlisle 75mm Heavy machine gun.
Graphics - There is a greater variety of objects in the game all having been texture mapped ranging from trees to water towers and various buildings. All the enemies have insignias service hatches etc and all explode very artistically especially the fast attack vechile.
Music - You don't really have time to listen to the music but when you watch someone else playing you can enjoy it more and it is very good, each track seems to heighten the mood of the mission. Having some good stereo speakers on a loud setting really does justice to the game.
Sound - Gut wrenching explosions are the order of the day and you really duck when the fighters soar overhead before dropping their payload on you. The effects are gorgeous and being directional really adds to the realism of the game.
Enemies - More enemies with more in the way of intelligence, some employ Hit and Run tactics which dramatically change your preconceptions and strategies within the game. Watch out for the ROC transport plane parachuting in some heavy ordanance into your local area just when you thought you had survived!
The new enemies are: 'Wyvern' Jetfighter; 'ROC' Transport plane, 'Basilisk' Fast Attack Vechile, 'Satyr' War Strider and the 'Cold Iron Gunner' PENTA's new secret weapon.
If you own the Jaguar CD drive then you should really add this CD to your collection, apart from the disembodied legs bug still in there I cannot fault Iron Soldier 2. I found the advanced turning movements a little slower but it wasn't that noticable and for the glorious graphics it's a small price to pay. One thing I must say is that I am finding all the missions so far, ( as I've only just got to the second block of five missions! ) no way as easy as the first missions in Iron Soldier, maybe I'm still a little rusty thats all! The second block of missions are even HARDER!
It is a shame we had to wait so long for this excellent game, lets hope that more will be forthcoming and we should be able to look forward to their release.
|Iron Soldier 2||Jaguar CD Game||90%|
|Jaguar CD, Memory Track and LOUD stereo speakers recommended|