Two years after the release of the multiplayer beat ’em up Fighting Force, Core Design and Eidos Interactive produced Fighting Force 2 in 1999 for the PlayStation and Sega Dreamcast. The sequel dropped the multiplayer but continued the emphasis on the destructible environment and weapons to bash the brains of your enemies. We’re kicking switches and loading clips in this Fighting Force 2 review!
Fighting Force 2 Plot:
In my Fighting Force 2 review I was Hawk Manson, former U.S. Marine who served on duty in the 80s and early 90s. If you recall from my first review of the original Fighting Force, Hawk Manson is one of four featured playable characters to choose from. In Fighting Force 2 Hawk is the only character that you can play as. From my manual, Fighting Force 2 has toned down the ridiculous nature of the first game but kept the futuristic sci-fi approach to mega-corporations.
“Formed from the ranks of the CIA, FBI and Interpol, the State Intelligence Police, (SI-COPS) was created to combat the rising tide of international corporate crime.
Human cloning was banned by international treaty at the end of the twentieth century, but the military’s dream of a soldier capable of surviving in any environment and fighting without conscience is now fueling an illegal trade in biotechnology and cloning.
A Global giant, the Knackamiche Corporation, has just such a project underway. Buying parts and expertise from the small companies around the world, they are assembling and testing the prototypes of what will become the world’s first artificial life form. A human clone.
SI-COPS has spent many years investigating the activities of the Knackamiche Corporation and now has enough evidence to send in an agent. The mission: to seek out and erase sensitive project data and eliminate key personnel.
Due to the sensitive political nature of the Knackamiche investigation, the mission will be classified under the SI-COPS Black Book funding program and will never be acknowledged or publicly sanctioned by SI-COPS directors.
If you screw up, you are on your own.
As a cover story, you and your control team will be working as members of the hard-line environment terror group known as ECO. The group has a history of assassination, hijacking and violent publicity stunts against biotechnology research centers and scientists that specialize in the field. No one will suspect the involvement of SI-COPS personnel.”
Okay, that’s a lot of mumbo jumbo but it means is that a corporation has been illegally cloning humans and as Hawk, you have to destroy their labs and all evidence of wrongdoing. Instead of erasing evidence, why doesn’t Hawk collect it and take the corporation to court? Whatever at least this story during my Fighting Force 2 review isn’t as crazy as the previous entry.
Fighting Force 2 Gameplay:
For some reason, they took away co-op multiplayer for Fighting Force 2 which was a big mistake in my opinion. It was fun to roam streets and buildings in the first game with your friend and smash bad guys together. I’m not sure why they omitted this feature from the second game but it hurts my Fighting Force 2 review score.
Hawk gives off a Duke Nukem 90s vibe with his commentary and cutscene retorts. He comes off as a douche with this personality. Let’s start with the good about Fighting Force 2. Hawk can now carry multiple weapons and sometimes up to about five. Weapons are now the norm. In the first game, you might have picked up a weapon, bashed some bad guys with it and went along your way for the next few minutes punching and kicking. In Fighting Force 2, I felt very naked without a weapon. There’s a big emphasis on guns now too. Guns were a scarcity in the first game but during my Fighting Force 2 review I fought my way through each level with numerous guns in my hands. Levels were generous with giving you ammo and different types of guns. Hawk was toting shotguns, machine guns, uzis, pistols, bazookas, and crossbows in the game. You don’t need to horde your ammo, but don’t go shooting away at everything if you can instead kick the enemy to death. It was a notable change from hand-to-hand combat to gunfights.
The graphics and textures have improved. I especially thought the blue flames and electricity that shot through computers, control panels, and vending machines when you broke them looked very realistic for the PlayStation. There’s also a fair share of secrets and hidden rooms to find in each level that will give you health and more weapons. Levels show a nice variety of scenery. There’s snow bases, ancient temples, skyscrapers, computer labs, factories, and more. Fighting Force showed improvements in a few sections but there’s also a lot that frustrated me during my Fighting Force 2 review.
Boss fights are a joke. The first game the bosses were pushovers, and that trend, unfortunately, follows in Fighting Force 2 review. The first boss looks like he is straight from World of Warcraft with a giant hammer and cartoonish muscle build. He has a large health bar but I just punched and kicked him a few times and he went down like a sack of potatoes. The second boss resembled Doc Oct from Spider-Man and he was even more of a pussy than the first boss. Bosses were a big whiff by the programmers. They were either too easy or just plain stupid. One boss was a beefy man on the end of a spring, like a jack-in-box. You pushed buttons to drop food in front of him and punched him when he ate it. His health slowly drained, and even when I filled him with lead from by guns he took five minutes to kill.
Fighting Force 2 is very unfair without warning in sections. I despised the snow base level during my Fighting Force 2 review. I hated it so much, not because of its difficulty but because of the ways, it would kill me without any warning. Throughout the game, you destroy every object and item for bonus points and items. In the snow base, I marched on through it punching and kicking items with no worries. When I was almost done with the level I started punching what I thought was a giant pipe on the wall. After hitting it a few times the entire base exploded killing me. It turns out that the pipe was a missile. There was no warning about it and made me hesitant to punch any other objects which reward you with items. I had to replay the entire section which took about 15 minutes to get back to that section. I resisted the urge to punch the missile but in the next room a guard threw a grenade and blew up another missile killing everyone. Again, I marched 15 minutes through the level to get back to that part, carefully took out the guards avoided the missiles and then reached a control panel. I smashed it up to take down the shields of the generators that they were protecting and went on my merry way. About 20 seconds later I was dead from a massive explosion. Infuriated, I looked up what the hell happened. It turns out that after you take down the shield you have a short amount of time to run out of the base through hallways you’ve never explored before to find the exit before the base explodes. There’s no warning of this at all. That snow base level was poor design and was unfair.
Fighting Force 2 has some great ideas but they don’t fully come together. It’s like giving a novice chef, five-star ingredients and cookware. He may be able to put something together but it doesn’t come out the way they hoped. My Fighting Force 2 review had moments of fun, even some boss fights are clever in the way you defeat them but with few checkpoints, I don’t care to play games that have unfair deaths.
For some reason, I asked for Fighting Force 2 when I was a kid. I must have played it on a demo and thought it was cool that you could destroy objects and all the weapons that came with the game. I never got very far, I think at best I was able to make it halfway through the game. It entertained a 10-year old, and I’m sure that’s all my dad cared about. It wasn’t until almost 20 years later that I completed my Fighting Force 2 review.
Fighting Force 2 Review Score:
Fighting Force 2 has short bursts of fun with the destruction of objects and weapons to choose from. The gameplay never changes though, defeat everyone in the room, the last guy will drop a card to use on the door, repeat until the end of the level. After the first few missions, it gets old. Death will find you not by combat but by poor level design. Hawk is not a likable character and he comes off as that guy that tries to impress everyone with his edgy catchphrases. The first Fighting Force was mediocre, even though it looks better, Fighting Force 2 stumbles along the way to a repetitive ending. Fighting Force 2 was not received well by critics or gamers and resulted in the game being the last in the series.
Fighting Force 2 scores a 5.9 out of 10.
What would you write in your Fighting Force 2 review? Have you played both Fighting Force games? Do you want a series revival? Which level did you like? Which level did you hate? Let me know your memories and thoughts, I’d love to read the comments!