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     " ...The myriad of issues and glitches bring the whole experience down to a ho-hum affair at best. "

      Title: Delta Force Xtreme 2 by Novalogic

      Format: PC Sandbox Shooter

      Reviewing Monkey: Our Ape Masters

      The Hype: The original Delta Force, and its first couple of sequels, were pretty damned groundbreaking for their day. Their HUGE sandbox environments, vehicles, and modern weapons were all innovative when the games launched. But it's been four years since the last Delta Force title hit our desks, and almost twice that long since the franchise was a powerhouse of the online gaming world. So can this latest sequel pass muster and live up to it's best of the best namesake? You'll have to read on to find out.

      What This Monkey Thought...

          I know you monkeys don't really care about the intricacies of this side of the business, but reviewing budget titles is hard. Way harder than doing a write up for the latest high-end launch title, no matter how good or bad that game may be. The reason, simply enough, is that you constantly have to measure the quality of the title with the discount that it's being sold at. It would be unreasonable to judge a $30 game, which Delta Force Xtreme 2 (DFX2) is, against a $50 power title from a major developer.
          But how much leeway does that 20 bucks buy you? Does it justify massively inferior graphics? I think so, and that's good--because DFX2 has them. Does it justify a downright tiny singleplayer experience and sparsely populated online servers? That ones tougher. Maybe. And both of those are problems, because DFX2 has those, too.
          But what about some seriously sloppy gameplay elements, massive bugs, and an interface that could've been designed by the instructor in my high school programming class? No. No, all of that is still absolutely unacceptable. Which is too bad, because as you unquestionably guessed, DFX2 has all of those, as well.
          The problems, really, all stem from the short singleplayer. If the singleplayer experience was better--if it was longer, richer, and more engaging, you wouldn't notice how horribly awkward the multiplayer parts are.
          You also wouldn't notice what a game-breaker the game's antiquated graphics are--which are so lacking in smoothness and textures that enemies stand out like trees in a desert when attacked at some of DFX2's impressive multi-kilometer rendering distances and turn every online battle into nothing but a snipe fest.
          Nor would you realize how unbalanced and underdeveloped the game's weapon mechanics are, which make everything equally lethal--giving pinpoint accuracy to sniper rifles, assault rifles, and machine guns alike (which leads to some amazing 2 kilometer submachine gun shots).
          But, most importantly, you wouldn't realize how down-right shitty the game's online verification system is, which forces you to log in to the internet regardless of how you want to play and host everything you do, including LAN, through their servers. And if you didn't notice that, you probably wouldn't notice how horribly broken all of those systems are, and how they'll frustrate you damned near every time you try and use them...making you load and reload the game to get a viable connection, struggle to find low-lag servers, and--at least for us--make you give up on trying to get LAN play to work entirely.
          And if none of that was the case, you'd be free to focus on the game's good points. Like the amazing looking iron sights, which are unquestionably the most realistic I've ever seen in a game. Or the nice assortment of vehicles. Or the fact that, when you can actually find a server filled with fifty people and connect successfully, the multiplayer can be quite a bit of fun.
          But, instead, the myriad of issues and glitches bring the whole experience down to a ho-hum affair at best. One that's not terribly overpriced at 30 bucks, but one that would be a helluva lot more appealing at 20.

      The Verdict:

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