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Shellshock 2: Blood Trails

The game equivalent of going 'RRRRAAAARRRGGGHH!'

There's undeniably something incredibly underwhelming about Shellshock 2, at first glance. Another war FPS, this time Vietnam-based, to add to the pile of WWII titles. Then you look again, and it's underwhelming in a completely different way - another murky horror FPS, with you being attacked by what look like dodgily ethnic zombies... There's a danger of serious zombie fatigue on the 360. All in all, mega-meh.

But, hang on - can this really be the follow-up to 2004's so-so Shellshock: Nam '67? That had its freaky moments, but still ultimately traded on its authenticity as a war experience. This time out, it seems developers Rebellion are, like Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now, choosing to forget all about fighting a war and are concentrating on the horror.


Even worse, the whole mess is your fault. You're part of a US Force charged with conveying a top secret weapon known as Whiteknight - "an enemy that has no side, one who is brutal, insane and ready to rip you to shreds" - to Vietnam, and you only go and drop the bloody thing over the Cambodian jungle. The first team sent in to find it disappeared, save for one raving loony. Now it's your turn.

So you'll be waging war throughout the jungle, much like in any normal Vietnam game, dealing with the fear, disorientation and, indeed, shellshock that characterised that war... except Whiteknight has wrought its damage on the Vietcong, and there's no telling what the walking dead soldiers will do to you when they catch you...

Can two clichés add up to a must-play game? Neither the murky images nor the meagre game details have revealed much so far. But, Rebellion are devs with a good track record, and one thing they're keen to establish is that Shellshock 2 will be very, very violent. Oddly intriguing...