FIRST-PERSON SHOOTERS are a dime a dozen these days (that's one money reference already - yay!), leaving developers with a bit of a problem: how do we make ours stand out from the crowd?
While something like F.E.A.R. shrewdly slips in horror elements and a bullet-time rip-off, Bet On Soldier is all about the Benjamins. Dough. Moolah. Wonga. Or cheddar, as I believe it's known in certain circles.
With no health packs or ammo clips lying conveniently around the huge levels (a pleasing mix of open spaces and cramped close-quarters stuff), you must buy your war gear beforehand, occasionally topping it up at the vending machine-style consoles dotted around. You even have to dip into your wallet to save the game.
Money is earned by dispatching enemies (headshots and other 'interesting' kills provide a bonus), with the real megabucks available in the mano-a-mano duels against the hardnut Champions.
Sadly, despite this commendable attempt at innovation and the lush graphics, Bet On Soldier's combat and (non-linear) story doesn't engage on the same level as the real shining lights of the FPS genre. Yeah, it's got nice ragdoll effects and big walker robots, but it's missing that feeling of true quality. Would we rather be playing F.E.A.R.? You bet your arse we would.
A rank outsider