Soldiers of the Universe is a story-driven First Person Shooter developed by Rocwise Entertainment. It was released on Steam as an Early Access title on 14 September 2017.
You are a hero called Hakan who, in order to take revenge for his father, joins a secret organisation in the Republic of Turkey called Akinci Warriors. Taking his father’s position, he leads military operations and fights terrorists alongside three other heroes. Hakan joins
operations against several terrorist organisations stationed at Southeast Anatolia, North Syria and Istanbul.
The story begins with Hakan receiving a harrowing phone call from his father, although the most harrowing thing here is the terrible voice acting. There is no emotion or sense of urgency from his father yet Hakan is clearly upset before delivering some cringe-worthy revenge dialogue. Nothing in the scene shows you what he is like as a person or why we should care in the first place. That is cue to brace yourself, for it doesn’t get any better as
the story continues.
Subtitles are also sub-par because they do not always match exactly what has been said and remain on the screen long after the speech has ended.
Soon, you become acquainted with your three comrades, but the scene comes across as awkward because their personalities are forced into their introductions instead of coming through naturally during events. The light-hearted character, Owl, is a good example of this and can’t even seem to decide how to pronounce his own name
After these introductions, you are dropped off to complete your first objective. To begin with, there is a choice of three guns in your arsenal, two of which have scopes, but you’d never know that without experimenting with the controls because there is absolutely no tutorial, instructions or options for them. The only thing you are taught is which key picks up ammo, which pops up every single time there is ammo nearby.
Your comrades will run across the map shooting and hiding behind cover but they can’t die and don’t seem to actually deal any damage. It doesn’t take long to discover that the difficulty is brutal, even while set to ‘easy’. Enemies will rain hell upon you the second your head peeks out from cover so if you want to use your scope you have to be extremely quick. If you wish, you can attempt to blow them up with a grenade but they don’t have much of a range and the time it takes to throw them can result in a quick death. Most of the time is spent hiding behind cover but if you do get injured, taking cover will allow you to regain health. You can crouch and crawl forwards but the movement is painfully slow and simply makes you a sitting duck.
Frustratingly the terrorists can shoot from a huge distance, which makes it hard to see exactly where gunfire is coming from. Because of this, it is likely that you’ll die several times over until you learn precisely where the enemies are situated. Of course, the minimap can help, but only if the enemies are within range. Most of the time they will be out of mini-map range yet will still manage to shoot you from afar. Spotting the enemy is even harder with mist in the distance of every map.
Graphically, Soldiers of the Universe is undemanding and looks extremely dated. Despite that, it struggles to perform, even on a powerful PC. There are frame rate inconsistencies and significant amounts of stutter, regardless of what’s taking place on screen. Sound also
has a tendency to glitch and make occasional popping noises. Trying to improve performance by altering the resolution or graphics quality makes no difference whatsoever. In fact, the desired resolution setting doesn’t even save sometimes. Be aware that there is no pause function so bringing up and changing settings while in game will not stop the action!
Textures are another problem. They either don’t load in or randomly disappear which makes character models and the environment look blocky and featureless. Guns don’t seem to be affected by those issues and are actually one of the most smoothly
animated and best-looking objects in the game although fire and explosion effects do look impressive.
Currently, Soldiers of the Universe has five operation maps, set in Turkey, Syria and Istanbul. Unfortunately, they are quite short and linear, made even more so by invisible walls that make them inexplorable. There is a reason to replay, however, with the recently added co-op mode where you can play with up to three friends.
Considering that it’s a story-driven game, there are actually very few cutscenes. The story itself is incredibly weak and incoherent right through to the end credits. Even the characters can’t save it because character building and relationships are non-existent. There are no events that even allow for such a thing to take place. It would have been nice to have had some banter going on between Hakan and his comrades, especially since their personalities are touched upon at the start. There is a whole scene at the start of the game where some men known as The Raider Warriors introduce themselves, yet you never see or hear from them again. Even the terrorist leaders don’t have any screen time apart from when they are dying.
To summarise, Soldiers of the Universe is a generic First Person Shooter fraught with technical issues and let down further by a terribly executed story. It is very short but the multiplayer does add to replayability.
If you want to try it out, it can be purchased on Steam for £11.39.
+ Good fire and explosion effects
+ Guns look great and are nicely animated
The Not So Good
– Many technical issues
– Very weak story and acting
– Brutal difficulty even on the easy setting
Overall score 2/10